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> A-level or foundation for engineering and medicine

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TSAnonymouskh798 P
post Apr 7 2021, 03:21 PM, updated 2w ago

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Is foundation enough for engineering/medicine? Should I choose a-level over foundation? What is the pros and cons of foundation and a-level? What are your suggestions?
Jedi
post Apr 7 2021, 05:04 PM

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Forget both, saturated market.

The time is over to become doctor/lawyer/engineer.

Only become one if you are super interested and willing to go through the grind
Leong Kok Leong
post Apr 7 2021, 06:07 PM

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if you're super determine foundation is good way to save a couple of thousand.
if you're still iffy about what you want to do A levels better
Just Visiting By
post Apr 7 2021, 08:59 PM

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QUOTE(Anonymouskh798 @ Apr 7 2021, 03:21 PM)
Is foundation enough for engineering/medicine? Should I choose a-level over foundation? What is the pros and cons of foundation and a-level? What are your suggestions?
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Not sure about medicine.

For engineering, if you have decided with reasonable certainty that's what you gonna study for your degree, Foundation is good enough.

Foundation study has the additional benefit of teaching you how to write a thesis with the relevant referencing style. You'll most likely be taught that. It's not of absolute importance, and you can pick it up during your degree study, but if you can learn it early, why not?

Just bear in mind, when you have studied Foundation at that particular university, you will most likely continue your degree at the same university.

If you haven't decided, say, maybe you don't want to study engineering but currently merely chart towards studying engineering, go for A-Level/STPM. It's safer. You can get a Pre-U that gives you worldwide recognition that allows you to study in other countries as well.

df569 P
post Apr 7 2021, 10:02 PM

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Just want to chime in and ask a question, I am planning to go for A levels this July although I am already 100% certain that I want to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The reason is because I feel like there aren't many strong foundation programs for mechanical engineering in Malaysia (due to poor funding of R&D) and also foundation in engineering at UM (and other gov. unis) are limited to only bumis.

Are there any good foundation programs for engineering out there locally?
ike.tan P
post Apr 8 2021, 10:50 AM

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QUOTE(Anonymouskh798 @ Apr 7 2021, 03:21 PM)
Is foundation enough for engineering/medicine? Should I choose a-level over foundation? What is the pros and cons of foundation and a-level? What are your suggestions?
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There are several stark differences between A'Levels and Foundation.

1. Foundation programmes are usually cheaper

2. Foundation programmes are usually shorter. I year versus 1.5-2years for A'Levels.

3. Foundation is not entirely exam-driven. It has a combination of assignments, group projects and class tests. A'Levels is not only 100% exam-based but has you preparing for one big final exam at the end of the year, two altogether (A/S and A/L). Technically A'levels is much harder as it is an externally managed and administered by well-established external party (e.g. Cambridge).

4. Some foundations are specialised and gives you a good heads-up into your chosen programme. Foundation programmes also has more soft-skill modules as compared to A'Levels.

If you know what you want to study and you know that you want to study in Malaysia, then foundation programmes is a good route and alternative. But if you are playing with the option of studying abroad, then do A'Levels.

My advice - is always figure out where and what you want to do. If for example, you know you want to study medicine in IMU, then go for their foundation programme there. That way, you got that one year to familiarise yourself with the university environment as well as your peers.
ike.tan P
post Apr 8 2021, 10:55 AM

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QUOTE(df569 @ Apr 7 2021, 10:02 PM)
Just want to chime in and ask a question, I am planning to go for A levels this July although I am already 100% certain that I want to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The reason is because I feel like there aren't many strong foundation programs for mechanical engineering in Malaysia (due to poor funding of R&D) and also foundation in engineering at UM (and other gov. unis) are limited to only bumis.

Are there any good foundation programs for engineering out there locally?
*
I don't understand what you mean by poor funding of R&D. Foundation programmes are technically not research-based. It only deals with the core fundamentals of the discipline area and does not require much in terms of facilities and resources. For example, a foundation in engineering subjects could be as listed below:

Chemistry
Engineering Mathematics 1, 2 & 3
Fundamentals of Mechanics
Fundamentals of Physics
Introduction to Robotics
Technical Drafting & CAD

These are not really resource intensive (except for the Chemistry lab). Hence, has no need for any R&D funding. If the institution's engineering programme is well-equipped and has good staff, chances are the foundation will be as well.

So, for you, the question is to choose where you want to study and then ask them the options available to you. Taking a leaf out of the book by Stephen Covey, The 7 habits of highly effective people - "Begin with the End in Mind"
ike.tan P
post Apr 8 2021, 11:01 AM

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QUOTE(Just Visiting By @ Apr 7 2021, 08:59 PM)
Not sure about medicine.

For engineering, if you have decided with reasonable certainty that's what you gonna study for your degree, Foundation is good enough.

Foundation study has the additional benefit of teaching you how to write a thesis with the relevant referencing style. You'll most likely be taught that. It's not of absolute importance, and you can pick it up during your degree study, but if you can learn it early, why not?

Just bear in mind, when you have studied Foundation at that particular university, you will most likely continue your degree at the same university.

If you haven't decided, say, maybe you don't want to study engineering but currently merely chart towards studying engineering, go for A-Level/STPM. It's safer. You can get a Pre-U that gives you worldwide recognition that allows you to study in other countries as well.
*
And yes - this is a very good advice.

If you are not sure what you want to study, have no idea where you want to study (locally or Abroad) and have no problems with a very exam/study intensive programme - then Do A'Levels

If you are not sure what you want to study but have some degree of certainty which country you want to study in and would prefer a more course-work, formative form of assessment, then do a country's matriculation programme - Canada - CPU, US - ADP, Australia - UNSW, SACE, Ausmat.

If you have no idea what you want to do but know that you would need to study in Malaysia but no idea where you want to study as well. Then do a Foundation in Arts or if you are inclined to engineering/sciences - then a foundation in Science.

But my advice to all students is at least figure out where you want to study. That way, choose the foundation in that university. At the very least, it gives you a year to see if you like the culture and experience there.
df569 P
post Apr 8 2021, 03:24 PM

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QUOTE(ike.tan @ Apr 8 2021, 10:55 AM)
I don't understand what you mean by poor funding of R&D. Foundation programmes are technically not research-based. It only deals with the core fundamentals of the discipline area and does not require much in terms of facilities and resources. For example, a foundation in engineering subjects could be as listed below:

Chemistry
Engineering Mathematics 1, 2 & 3
Fundamentals of Mechanics
Fundamentals of Physics
Introduction to Robotics
Technical Drafting & CAD

These are not really resource intensive (except for the Chemistry lab). Hence, has no need for any R&D funding. If the institution's engineering programme is well-equipped and has good staff, chances are the foundation will be as well.

So, for you, the question is to choose where you want to study and then ask them the options available to you. Taking a leaf out of the book by Stephen Covey, The 7 habits of highly effective people - "Begin with the End in Mind"
*
Thank you for the detailed reply, pardon me for my misunderstanding of foundation. My family has actually saved up a sum of money for me to continue my tertiary studies overseas, and I am aiming to head to UK for my degree as I am not confident that I will be able to cope with the German language to study in Germany. From what I know, some well known engineering foundations (private) in Malaysia are Nottingham and Southampton. If I have the funds to study a whole degree overseas, should I just focus on A levels and straight away head abroad? Any other options that I could consider? Thanks.

 

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