University foundation programmes in Ireland

On successful completion of a good pathway (University Foundation Programme) programme, students should have a guaranteed progression to their chosen undergraduate programme. A good pathway (University Foundation Programme) programme should offer international students a vital bridge between the education they have already received in their home country and the requirements they must meet to study at their chosen university. Moreover, it should provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for successful undergraduate study. As well as developing their English language proficiency, students need also to develop their communication and study skills as well as their knowledge of their chosen academic subject(s). 

The important things to consider when choosing a University Foundation Programme

  • Links with reputable universities of higher education institutions for guaranteed progression to undergraduate study.
  • Bespoke academic programme preparing her/him for academic success in her/his undergraduate study
  • Comprehensive student orientation programme
  • Excellent, dedicated and experienced teachers
  • Internationally-focused curriculum
  • Continuous monitoring and assessment of students’ academic progress
  • Dedicated, safe campus with a positive learning environment
  • Extensive cultural and social programme
  • One-to-one mentoring of students
  • No requirement for additional IELTS exam at the end of the programme.

Our tips for agents

Ideally, agents should look for English language schools that have a strategic partnership with universities or higher education institutions so that students are guaranteed progression to undergraduate study. Given the students for pathway programmes are young, ideally, agents should work with reputable English schools that can provide excellent pastoral care for students as well as excellence in teaching and learning. English language schools that can assist students in finding suitable home-stay or student accommodation and assist students in settling into their new surroundings are key considerations. Moreover, English language schools that provide one-to-one mentoring of students is a good indicator of the school’s commitment to academic quality and students’ well-being.  This is an exciting time for students so agents should match them with a reputable pathway programme that will open their minds to new ways of thinking and learning as well offering them opportunities to grow both academically and personally.

Ireland has an excellent reputation for higher education.

3U Partnership is a new force in Irish higher education that combines complementary strengths of Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  This partnership brings together three distinctive and leading institutions working together on shared initiatives to deliver world-class education and research opportunities and to attract more international students to study in each of the three institutions.

Mary Fenton is Head of the 3U University Pathway Programme for IALC-accredited language school Emerald Cultural Institute |

Emerald Cultural Institute has developed a strategic alliance with 3U Partnership to deliver the 3U Pathway University Foundation Programme at its Milltown Park campus, Dublin. This 30-week Pathway programme is accredited by Maynooth University as a Certificate in International Foundation Studies, a 60-credit level 6 special purpose award.  The programme is designed specifically for international students to equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to flourish in undergraduate study in one of our partner universities i.e., Dublin City University or Maynooth University.  On successful completion of the programme, students will be: (i) guaranteed a pathway to undergraduate study at DCU and Maynooth University; and (ii) awarded a Certificate in International Foundation Studies, a 60 credits, level 6 qualification from Maynooth University.

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About this blog

Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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