A Foundation in Science is a pre-university course that aims to equip students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to pursue a science-related undergraduate degree. Thus, it focuses on subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Mathematics. These subjects, sometimes including English, make up the core or compulsory subjects in the course. However, students will be able to take electives that suit their interest.
What Makes It Different?
Compared to most other pre-university programmes such as A-levels or STPM, a Foundation in Science is shorter as it only takes one year. Semesters usually range at two to three. This makes the curriculum more focused and specialized. Grades are assessed through a combination of courseworks and exams. Entry requirements for a Foundation in Science, changes from school to school but the average is often a pass SPM, SPMV, O-Level or equivalent qualification with five (5) credits, including Mathematics /Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
As it is not administered by an external boards, Foundation in Sciences are often tailor made for a future science-related course in the university. Thus, it enables students to have a smoother transition. However, this comes at the cost of being not as easily recognized or accepted outside of the university itself. It is advised to find a university that has both a Foundation programme and the undergraduate degree you are interested in.
Often a student pursuing a Foundation in Science already knows which future undergraduate degree they plan on pursuing. Hence, Universities usually pair Foundation in Science courses with their own undergraduate degrees. For example, Foundation in Science with specialization in Pharmacy. There also much more specialized Science Foundation courses that focus directly on a field of study, such as Foundation in Engineering or Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
However, if you take a more general Foundation in Science programme there are a variety of undergraduate options. Here are just some of the things you can pursue with a Foundation in Science:
Biomedical sciences are a set of applied sciences applying natural science to knowledge, interventions, or technology that are of use in healthcare or public health. Career options are medical scientist, medical researcher and microbiologist.
Computer science is the specialization of the theory of computation and the design of computational systems. Computer science majors research of computer algorithms that process, store, and communicate digital information. Career options include application analyst, games developer, IT consultant, software engineer, systems analyst and web designer.
Quantity surveying (QS) is a field within the construction where construction costs is estimated and managed. As a quantitative surveyor, your responsibilities include cost consulting,
risk management and calculation, commercial management, asset capitalisation and project management.
Engineering is the application of science and technology on design, building, systems, and use of engines, machines, and structures. Of course, there is a large range of sub-fields in Engineering itself such as Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc.
Environmental science is the study of the environment including ecology, geography, zoology, oceanography, the interaction between human activity and the environment and the solution to environmental issues. Career options include environmental consultant, nature conservation officer, sustainability consultant, waste management officer and water quality scientist.
Nutrition and Food Science
Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food as well as the concepts underlying food processing. Nutrition is closely related to attaining and maintaining the health and well-being of individuals across the lifespan through optimizing an appropriate balanced diet. Career options include: nutritional therapist, product/process development scientist, quality manager, regulatory affairs officer, scientific laboratory technician and technical brewer.
Culinology is a relatively new field that intersects Culinary Arts and Food Science. Basically, they are scientist as well as chefs. Thus, Culinologists utilize their scientific knowledge of food to produce nutritious and innovative food and dishes.
Pharmacy is the study of preparation and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs. It aims to ensure the safe and effective use of medications. Career options include pharmacist, toxicologist, medical researcher and medical sales representative.
Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. Psychologist seek to understand the normal and abnormal cognitive, emotional, and social processes that govern human behavior whether individually or as groups. Career options include therapist, social worker, child care worker, human resources agent and advertising agent.
Medicine is the science and practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. In Malaysia, the undergraduate degree is known as a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). It usually takes five years and students often aim to be doctors.
Nursing is a profession within healthcare that focuses on the care of individuals, families or communities so they maintain or recover optimal health. They coordinate with doctors, therapists and other health care professionals to provide the best quality care for their patients. However, there are multiple specialties available for them to advance their career too, some roles go far beyond the traditional role as care providers.
Actuarial science is the field of the application of mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in financial, insurance and other industries and professions. It requires a strong foundation of mathematics as well as keen insight into economics and businesses. It can also be pursued with a Foundation in Arts or Business. Career options include insurance actuarial analyst, business analyst, underwriter and risk analyst.
Agricultural sciences is the study of the practice of farming both in microcosm and the wider picture. It is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses the biology of agricultural plant life as well as the economic and social sciences behind agriculture. Career options include: agricultural consultant, estates manager, plant breeder, rural practice surveyor and soil scientist.
Aquatic Science is the multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems, both freshwater and marine. Aquatic scientist investigate the biological, chemical interactions of plants, animals, and microorganism in bodies of water. Career options include: marine biologist, water treatment worker, hydrologist, environmental protection worker and stream ecologist.
Zoology is the study of the biology of animals as well as their psychology, behavior and interaction with the ecosystem. Zoologists are involved in a wide variety of duties such as observing and studying animals in their natural habitats, conducting experiments involving animals, collecting biological specimens and measure physical characteristics and assessing potential threats. Career options include: ecologist, environmental consultant, nature conservation officer, zookeeper and zoologist.
Sports Science is the study of the scientific principles behind exercise performance, specifically the effects of exercise on the biology of the human body from the cellular level to the whole body. Career options include: exercise physiologist, fitness centre manager, personal trainer, sports administrator, coach, sports development officer and sports therapist.
Interested to know more? Check out our What Can You Do With A Foundation In Arts article too.