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University Foundation Course Launched

Posted: 17th April 2020

A new foundation programme, run jointly by two Dukes Education Colleges, Cardiff Sixth Form College and Earlscliffe, has being launched this week.  Available to a wide range of students, the new one-year programme offers students the choice of four pathways: STEM endorsed by Cardiff Sixth Form College, Business, Economics and Management, Humanities and the Creative Arts.

Designed for 17-19 year olds, the programme will be run at the Earlscliffe campus so, unlike traditional university foundation programmes, students will have the added support of a safe environment, excellent pastoral care, one to one support for academic studies, weekly TRaC testing with results viewable by both students and parents, a range of extra-curricular activities and a full work experience programme designed to complement individual students’ career choices.

Students attending the programme will also have the added benefit of not being tied to a particular university.  Instead every student will be given excellent individual careers guidance, one to one with their personal tutors, to enable them to choose the right university to suit their particular interests.  Unlike traditional foundation programmes, this means that students will be able to access top Russell Group universities, as both Colleges have excellent relationships with university admissions tutors and Earlscliffe already has a track record of helping foundation students obtain recent entry into Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Durham, Exeter, Surrey and Bristol Universities.

Foundation programmes which are internally assessed through coursework, assignments and practical work: with no external exams are suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds and are unaffected, unlike A Levels, by external factors such as this year’s coronavirus pandemic.

Said Cardiff Sixth Form College Principal, Gareth Collier: “We are delighted to be partnering our sister school, Earlscliffe on this exciting new development.  Students undertaking the STEM programme will attend the practical elements of their course here at Cardiff and our staff will also assess these students and provide feedback.  It is an excellent programme and enables many more students to be able to take advantage of the excellent teaching and facilities on offer here at the top school in the UK.”

Added Earlscliffe Head, James Harding: “Some of our international families require a more cost-effective alternative to A Levels over a shorter period but one which can also help them gain access to top universities or art colleges in the UK.  However, parents can be naturally worried about their 17 year olds being on a university campus at such a young age and so the secure and supportive environment offered at Earlscliffe is an excellent alternative.”

To enter the programme students need IELTS 5.0 and have to complete an entrance test paper or submit an electronic art portfolio.  Applications are available on both the Cardiff Sixth Form College ( and Earlscliffe ( websites or by emailing

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