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Advanced Level Foundation

This course is for those who want a fast, direct path to an academic undergraduate course at one of the leading universities in the UK.

Advanced Level Foundation pathways

Pathways to university from the Advanced Level Foundation at Kings


Degree pathways from the Advanced Level Foundation at Kings

possible pathways to degrees from the Advanced level Foundation at Kings

The course

The Advanced Level Foundation is based on the A-level syllabus and taught by Kings A-level teachers. For students with appropriate IELTS and academic levels, the Advanced Level Foundation can be followed as a standalone three-term accelerated course.

We build a good degree of flexibility into our programmes so that we can accommodate each of our student's needs and better help them achieve their goals.

Within each of our five subject streams of the Advanced Level Foundation, the student is guided to choose the best modules for the degree they aim to study at university. The table below shows some of the combinations and outcomes.

A-level equivalence

The Kings Advanced Level Foundation is based on A-level syllabuses, assessed against A-level benchmarks and moderated by an independent Advisory Board of external examiners. As such it is a highly academic pathway to the UK’s top 20 universities.

Offers to Kings Foundation students from the top 20 universities are typically based on their normal A-level offers as follows:

Typical A-level offer Typical Kings Foundation offer
A*A*A* 80%
AAA 75%
AAB 70%
ABB 65%
BBB 60%
CCC 50%


This means that if, for example, a university’s standard A-level offer for a given course is ABB, a Kings Foundation student who has an offer from that university would typically need to achieve a pass rate of 65% on the Kings Advanced Level Foundation in order to take up their university place. 

A Kings student who achieves 75% on the Advanced Level Foundation is therefore the kind of student who could be expected to achieve three As if they were following an A-level course.  

Edexcel accreditation

Edexcel logo

The Kings Advanced Level Foundation is inspected by Edexcel and assured as preparation for Higher Education study in the UK.

Edexcel is the UK's largest awarding organisation, offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers, and other places of learning in the UK and internationally. 

Course structure and content

The course runs for a full academic year. 

You can start in September and finish in June, or start January and finish in August.

Both start dates will take you on to university in September.

There are two semesters per year (34 weeks of tuition, 650+ total tuition hours). 

All students need to choose a subject stream. This will depend on the type of degree you want to study at university.

Students will take Core modules and depending on their subject stream, they will choose 3-4 Specialist Modules.

Core modules

General Academic and Study Skills

At the end of this module you will be able to:

  • read critically about the real world and apply theoretical knowledge and constructs to dynamic real world situations
  • espouse a particular view while analysing alternatives objectively and acknowledging all sides of an argument
  • focus on the main features in a lecture or seminar and take concise and relevant notes
  • gather information for an assignment from a range of written and verbal sources, making full use of library and ICT resources
  • extract and interpret information from graphical sources
  • construct coherent written arguments and oral presentations using language appropriate to the subject and to the style of presentation
  • support these by appropriate use of tables, maps, charts and diagrams, making good use of the possibilities offered by word processing and spreadsheet software.


Data Handling and Information Technology

At the end of this module you will:

  • be able to structure, store and analyse numerical and non-numerical data making sophisticated use of generic computer packages such as MS Excel and Access
  • be able to make sophisticated use of document-handling software such as Word to present text and data together with clarity
  • be able to represent data using a variety of graphical forms
  • be able to analyse numerical data using standard statistical methods
  • appreciate the application of statistics to modelling real-world situations
  • understand notions of statistical testing


Specialist elective subjects

Art and Design

At the end of this module you will:

  • be able to communicate ideas in visual form
  • be able to paint and draw in various media for different purposes
  • recognise and be able to use the expressive potential in different materials and processes
  • be able to make connections between your own work and that of other artists and designers, past and present, from your own and other cultures
  • be able to use effectively the resources of museums and galleries and draw on these for ideas and inspiration
  • be able to articulate a personal view of the subject



At the end of this module you will: 

  • be familiar with the biochemistry and physiology of the cell, digestion, respiration, photosynthesis, growth, and reproduction
  • understand the concepts and mechanisms of genetics, selection and evolution
  • understand the principles of control, coordination and homeostasis
  • be familiar with the principles of ecology and ecosystems, health and disease
  • be able to describe, explain and interpret phenomena and effects in terms of biological principles.


Business Studies

At the end of this module you will:

  • have an enthusiasm for studying business
  • have an understanding of businesses and how they operate
  • have critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet customer needs
  • be able to generate enterprising and creative solutions to business problems and issues
  • know how to assess the dynamic external environment within which businesses operate and the effects this can have upon decisionmaking within a business
  • have a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision making, problem solving, challenging assumptions and quantifying and managing information.



At the end of this module you will:

  • be familiar with the principles and practical application of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry, atomic structure, bonding and periodicity
  • be able to devise and conduct laboratory experiments to test these principles
  • be able to discuss and analyse the outcomes of these investigations, taking account of experimental errors
  • be able to write up concise and accurate lab reports of your investigations
  • have a sound grasp of the mathematics used in chemistry at this level
  • be able to assess the validity of chemical experiments, statements and inferences



At the end of this module you will:

  • have factual knowledge of economics at micro, macro and international levels
  • understand the tools of economic analysis and the problems to which these tools may be applied
  • understand economics as a discipline in its own right and be aware of its links to related subjects
  • have awareness of sources of economics data and be accustomed to using the principal reference sources



At the end of this module you will:

  • be aware of some of the major trends and events in UK, European and world history
  • have considered the impact of new ideas on the development of the whole world
  • have studied the Revolutionary development in thought, industry and politics
  • be more aware of the dramatic events facing the world in the first half of the 20th century
  • appreciate the growing issues relating to developing superpowers and their relationships with each other
  • develop the skills required to be able to understand, analyse and evaluate the evidence for human actions


Human Geography

At the end of this module you will:

  • be able to explain how environment, population, politics and economic activity interact
  • be able to describe and explain the historical and present-day patterns and processes of how and where people live
  • understand the complex geographical issues that affect economic and social development
  • appreciate the role of globalisation in making the world smaller and countries more interdependent
  • see how geographical models and theories can be applied to real-world situations and events and to critically evaluate their usefulness
  • be able to select, present and analyse sets of geographical data to illustrate and support your own ideas and theories
  • have improved your observational, analytical and critical-thinking skills in the context of real issues affecting the world and its people



At the end of this module you will:

  • be confident and proficient in all standard algebraic, numerical and mathematical techniques
  • have covered a full range of topics in pure mathematics and be able to build on the methods and techniques treated
  • have covered a full range of topics in applied mathematics which will support the study of Physics at this level
  • be able to express verbally ideas which are represented symbolically.



At the end of this module you will:

  • be familiar with the principles of mechanics, electrical theory, thermal physics and wave motion
  • be able to devise experiments to test physical laws derived from these principles
  • have a sound grasp of algebra and basic calculus as used in the development of physical theories
  • understand the relationship between theory and experiment and the role of mathematics in this relationship
  • understand the effects of experimental errors on the outcome of an experiment
  • understand the principles on which scientific method is based.


Politics, Government and Law 

At the end of this module you will:

  • understand the relationships between ideas, institutions and issues in political systems 
  • show knowledge of different systems of governance around the world
  • be familiar with the framework of the British political system and its institutions and be able to empathise with the main political viewpoints
  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature of law and its role in society
  • understand the sources of national and international law.


Assessment is integral to the course. You will write five challenging coursework assignments and take five exams per semester.

After each exam your teachers will review your progress with you so that you learn your strengths and weaknesses and improve your performance in the next assessment.

Your final award is based equally on marks gained for coursework assignments and examinations in each subject over both semesters. 

On successfully completing the course you will have:

  • a qualification which is accepted by virtually all British universities
  • a place on an appropriate university course
  • the broad skills to do well in your degree, both academically and socially.

Following the Advanced Level Foundation, our students progress on to demanding, competitive degree courses at the leading universities in the UK.

External moderation for independent quality control

The Kings Advanced Level Foundation is monitored by an Independent Advisory Board drawn from the higher education sector.

The Independent Advisory Board for the Advanced Level Foundation programme is a key element of the rigorous Quality Assurance regime which makes this course so exceptional.

The Board meets three times per year to:

  • ensure best practice is employed in setting and marking examinations and coursework;
  • moderate marks where required;
  • ensure the consistency of the Diploma award across all subjects and from one year to the next;
  • hear appeals, if required.

Members of the board are all distinguished educators from the university and sixth form sectors. Each has their particular areas of specialism but all have in common a dedication to excellence in education.



University of Aberdeen articulation

Second year entry to Engineering and Geology degrees

This accelerated programme is offered in partnership with the University of Aberdeen. It provides a dedicated pathway to the Second Year of a range of undergraduate degrees in the Engineering, Chemical, Geology and Business disciplines.

Progression to Second Year entry is guaranteed with a 70% pass in the Advanced Level Foundation and an IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in the writing section).

Advanced Level Foundation modules:

  • General Academic and Study Skills
  • Data Handling and IT
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Human Geography
  • Subsidiary: Chemistry

Leading to 2nd Year entry to Honours degree courses in:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Geology and Petroleum Geology
  • Geoscience
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Business


The University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495. It has been at the centre of the European Oil and Gas industry for over 30 years. The UK Government Department of Trade and Industry has described Aberdeen's School of Engineering as "the leading UK University for technology transfer to the Oil and Gas Industry". The majority of Aberdeen engineering graduates go on to careers in the Oil and Gas industry.

What the University says about Kings

"Kings Colleges is one of the leading providers of university preparation courses for international students in the UK. The University of Aberdeen recognises that the Kings Colleges Advanced Level Foundation Year is academically stimulating and a perfect preparation to commencing undergraduate study at Aberdeen."

"The University has independently inspected the programme syllabus and assessment procedures… Previous students who have moved from Kings to Aberdeen… have performed well and the University is proud to offer an advanced entry route to such high performing students."