University Pathways

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what does pathway mean in university

Undergraduate university pathway programmes

International Student Support

Complete a course specially designed for international students to prepare you for success at an international university. We can help you find the best university pathway options and support your application throughout.

Undergraduate university pathway programmes help international students develop their academic study skills and their English language ability. They are essential for students from certain countries where your education level needs to be enhanced to a level comparable with the UK to help you progress to a degree programme. University pathways are often also helpful if you have not done as well at school as you had liked or want to enter a university of degree course that asks for grades above your current level of achievement

What does pathway mean in university

An undergraduate degree pathway program is aimed at preparing international students for higher education. There are many different ways you can access university level education. There are several benefits to considering pathway options that are specially designed to help students who want to study abroad.

Firstly, pathway options are suitable for students who might not meet the academic requirements for entry. A university pathway program will help you gain the academic skills you need to progress to a degree course and succeed. Pathway options can also be ideal if you want to study in a country like the USA. Here the pathway helps you access the range of undergraduate courses. The USA and Canada tend to have more flexible degree options where you can select numerous subjects to study as ‘majors’ and ‘minors’ and specialise as your interests change.

The pathway options available can be a much easier way of allowing this to happen. Pathway programmes often increase your chances of succeeding through university as they help you develop the core academic skills you need. On this basis, it can be a way of getting into a higher level university than your academic achievements meet the entrance requirements.

University pathway programmes can often help you develop your English language skills at the same time. If your current IELTS level is below the required standards, pathways can be ideal to help you raise your IELTS score to the required level for entering your degree programme.

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How does a Pathway course work?

  • For undergraduate applicants – please review the undergraduate university entrance requirements for the course and university you want to study. Do you meet the requirements (or are likely to meet the requirements) of that university and degree course. Relating to both your high school grades/likely grades and your English language skills/ IELTS test scores to enter your chosen course? If you don’t meet them/are likely not to meet them when you get your grades, you can consider applying for a university pathway option to help you access the university and degree course of your choice.
  • You need to be realistic in what you want to study e.g. if you have D and E grades it is unlikely a medical sciences pathway or foundation programme will help get you on to an MBBS degree.
  • Some nationalities are likely to need university pathways to enter an undergraduate degree in the UK e.g. Nigerian students with the West African Education Certificate (WAEC). The same applied for a range of other nationalities – please ask Uni Direct for advice or look at NARIC for educational comparability information.
  • Pre-masters courses are university pathways for students wanting a postgraduate master’s level course. Pre-masters are options in the UK if you have a degree from a certain country, or if your degree classification is low (third class or 2.2.) or without Honours
  • Some university pathway options focus on developing your general academic study skills and/or English language skills. Others are subject specific e.g. business, humanities, and engineering subjects. The same applies for pre-masters courses for postgraduate entry. Some help you develop your overall academic skills to study for a master’s degree whilst others offer English language skills development or both.
  • When you apply for your university pathway option you may already meet the entrance criteria if you have your high school certificate and English language test already. In this case you will get an unconditional offer with no conditions attached to it. This means you can then; accept your place, pay the deposit required by the university, get your confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) issued by the university and then apply for your visa.
  • If you haven’t yet the conditions of entrance to the university, they are likely to make an offer stating you need to achieve a particular level at high school (university for pre-masters entry) and in English language tests like IELTS. You must make sure you achieve this and send the university pathway provider your results to show them that you have met the conditions. Once you have met the conditions, you can get your CAS issued and apply for your visa.
  • You will receive your CAS a maximum of six months prior to the course start date and only once an offer is made unconditional and you have paid any necessary deposits asked for by the university pathway programme provider.

Undergraduate degree pathway routes

Universities offer a range of pathway options. The most popular undergraduate university pathway program is a foundation degree. If, however, your main barrier is the need to improve your English language skills. An English pre-sessional pathway is likely to be your best route. An English speaking education will help your longer term professional career goals.  Uni Direct works with pathway providers across a range of different countries including: The UK, USA, Canada, The Netherlands and China.

Our university pathways help is delivered as a part of our undergraduate degree university application support service. If you would like to find out more please contact us to speak to one of our advisers.