Foundation vs Diploma in Malaysia: Which Path to Take? 

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What is a Foundation and Diploma Programme in Malaysia?

Are you a Malaysian student pondering what on earth a Foundation or Diploma Programme is? Don’t be afraid of being a FOMO – we’ve got you covered!

First up, is the Foundation Programme. This is a one-year course that helps you get ready for university. You’ll learn all sorts of stuff like science, maths, languages, and social sciences. Basically, it’s like a catch-all to prepare you for your future studies. You’ll be exposed to the basics such as Foundation in Science or Foundation in Arts before you continue your degree later by the time you’re done with your Foundation. If you’re still wondering which Foundation programme to take, you can read here. 

Next, let’s talk about the Diploma Programme. This is a two to three-year course that gives you hands-on training in a specific field and you will be exposed to a certain syllabus where it will be taught in Degree Year 1. Not only that, you will be exposed to the industry with the internship required. You’ll learn real-world skills that will help you land a job after graduation.

Why study Foundation and Diploma in Malaysia?

Bestie, if you’re a student who’s done with secondary school and wondering what’s next, we’ve got some cool options for you to consider – Foundation and Diploma Programmes! 

Here are some reasons why studying Foundation and Diploma in Malaysia could be a good choice for you:

Programme

Foundation

Diploma

Purpose

To prepare students for undergraduate studies

To provide students with practical skills and knowledge for employment or further studies

Duration

1 year

2-3 years

Entry Requirements

5 credits

3 credits

Focus

Students can venture into fields such as Business, Psychology, IT, and so on based on their preferred degree programme later on

Learn and develop skills that are essential to the demands of the industry

Types of Programmes

  • Foundation in Business
  • Foundation in Engineering
  • Foundation in Science
  • Diploma in Business
  • Diploma in Hospitality
  • Diploma in Communication

Note: These are only the common Foundation and Diploma programmes in Malaysia and there’s actually a vast array of options beyond those.

Contact us for more Foundation and Diploma programmes available. 

Pathway for Foundation and Diploma in Malaysia

Foundation

Since a Foundation programme only takes one year to complete, you can begin your Bachelor’s Degree at a relatively younger age compared to students who opt for a Diploma programme. However, a Foundation programme only serves as a stepping stone to a Bachelor’s Degree and doesn’t provide any other career opportunities. Therefore, if you aspire to pursue a profession where possessing a Degree is necessary to enter the job market, like Engineer, Dentist or Doctor, then a Foundation Degree is a suitable choice.

Diploma

As a Diploma programme requires a greater amount of time to finish and provides a more comprehensive understanding and hands-on abilities that are specific to the industry, completing a Diploma enables you to directly enrol in the second year of a Bachelor’s Degree programme. 

After graduating with a Diploma, you have the option to immediately start working since many employers consider it as a basic level of qualification for various job opportunities across various industries. Therefore, compared to a Foundation programme, a Diploma can offer you more choices after graduation.

Foundation and Diploma in Malaysia Entry Requirement

For Foundation:

Academic Entry 

Minimum Score

SPM

5 credits

O Level

5 credits

UEC

3Bs

Note: Universities may have different requirements. To learn more, get in touch with us!

For Diploma:

Academic Entry 

Minimum Score

SPM

3 credits

O Level

3 credits

Certificate

1 credit

STPM

CGPA 2.00

UEC

3Bs

Note: Universities may have different requirements. To learn more, get in touch with us!

English Language Entry Requirements

Entry Level

Minimum Score

IELTS

4.0

MUET

Band 2

TOEFL

iBT 31

Note: It is important to note that entry requirements may vary based on the institution and programme. In addition, some institutions may conduct their own internal assessments or interviews to determine whether a student is qualified for the programme.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

Top Universities to study Foundation and Diploma

Since you are interested in Foundation and Diploma programme, here are the list of top universities to study Foundation and Diploma in Malaysia that you can consider:

1. HELP University

HELP University works with a mission to give students directions and ensure that they live a life of significance through education. HELP partners with many renowned international institutions all across the globe, ranging from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and many other eminent countries.

HELP Foundation programmes are internationally recognised, proving the validity of the quality of the course. Students can choose any discipline available when they eventually enrol to the university, either in Malaysia or abroad. The Diploma programmes in HELP prepares students for admission into the second year of a degree programme at internationally recognized universities. It is widely accepted by universities in Australia, the UK, and New Zealand as being equivalent to their first year of studies.

Programmes Offered

Duration

Intake

Indicative Fees (2024)

Diploma in Communication, Business, Information Technology

2 years

January, May, August 

Local students: 

RM 41,750 – RM 45,950


International students:

RM 41,750 – RM 45,950

Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Education

2.5 years 

January, May, August 

Local students: 

RM 17,750 – RM 27,750


International students:

RM 17,750 – RM 27,750

Foundation in Science, Arts

1 year 

January, May, July September

Local students: 

RM 16,350 – RM 18,100


International students:

RM 16,350 – RM 18,100

Note: The Diploma intake shown is just general.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

2. Asia Pacific University (APU)

APU provides a diverse selection of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across multiple disciplines, including business, computing, engineering, design, media, and technology. The institution has established partnerships with more than 200 universities across the globe, which provide students with opportunities to engage in student exchange initiatives, joint degree programmes, and research collaborations.

APU has garnered multiple accolades and acknowledgements throughout its history, including its placement among the leading universities in Malaysia and Asia by diverse ranking entities. The institution has obtained accreditations from esteemed professional organisations, including the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC), Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. (ACCA).

Programmes Offered

Duration

Intake

Indicative Fees (2024)

Diploma programmes

2+ Years

July, August, September

Local student: 

RM 45,200 – RM 48,000

 

International students:

RM 50,500 (USD 11,480)

Foundation programmes

1 Year

July, August, September 

Local students: 

RM 26,300 (Non-Engineering Pathways)

 

RM 26,700

(Engineering Pathway)

 

International Students:

RM 27,200 (USD 6,180)

(Non-Engineering Pathways)

 

RM 27,800 (USD 6,320)

(Engineering Pathway)

Note: The Diploma programme depends on which programme you plan to enrol in, as it has different intakes and fees.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

3. Taylor's College

Taylor’s College is well-known for its advanced amenities, which comprise contemporary lecture halls, libraries, computer laboratories, scientific laboratories, design studios, and athletic facilities. Furthermore, the university offers on-campus lodging, dining alternatives, and student assistance programmes to augment the comprehensive academic experience for students.

The institution has garnered several awards and commendations throughout its history, with multiple ranking bodies recognising it as a leading university in both the global and Malaysian contexts. Taylor’s College is dedicated to delivering superior education and equipping learners with the necessary skills to emerge as frontrunners in their respective domains.

Programmes Offered

Duration

Intake

Indicative Fees (2024)

Diploma in Business, Communication, Information Technology

2 – 2.5 years

April, August

Local Students:

RM 36,882 – RM 54,840


International Students:

USD 12,147 – USD 16,137

Foundation programmes

1 year 

February, April, August

Local Students:

RM 30,500 – RM 28,500


International Students:

USD 9,099 – USD 10,210

Note: Only Diploma in Interior Design duration is 2.5 years. For the Foundation programme, depending on which programme you enrol in, it has a different fee.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

4. Multimedia University (MMU)

MMU is a private university with two major campuses located in the state of Melaka and the city of Cyberjaya. MMU is also a member of The Alliance of Government Linked Universities (GLU). MMU houses over seven faculties in specific academic areas and has a wide range of programmes at comparably affordable price points to the students opting for education in private universities.

MMU offers a wide variety of foundation and diploma programmes. Upon completion of either the Foundation or Diploma programme, further studies can be continued in a related degree programme offered either at the Melaka or Cyberjaya campus.

Programmes Offered

Duration

Intake

Indicative Fees (2023)

Diploma programmes

2 – 2 years 9 months 

August, November

Local students: 

RM 23,400 RM 24,800 


International students:

RM 26,500 – RM 31,500

Foundation programmes

1 year 

August, November

Local students: 

RM 6,500


International students:

RM 18,750 – RM 22,750

Note: Both Diploma and Foundation programmes campus location will depend on which programme you enrol.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

5. INTI International University and Colleges

INTI International University is recognised for its academic offerings that are closely aligned with industry needs, equipping students with hands-on competencies and theoretical understanding to enable them to excel in their chosen careers. The institution boasts advanced amenities, such as contemporary lecture halls, computing facilities, scientific workspaces, engineering workstations, creative spaces, and a multimedia repository

INTI International University is dedicated to delivering superior education and equipping learners with the necessary skills to excel as accomplished experts and trailblazers in their individual domains. The objective is to offer a comprehensive educational encounter that encompasses scholastic distinction, individual growth, and practical involvement to equip learners for a worldwide context.

Programmes Offered

Duration

Intake

Indicative Fees (2024)

Diploma programmes

2 – 2.5 years

January, April, May, August 

Local students: 

RM 21,481 – RM 49,437


International students:

RM 21,481 – RM 49,437

Foundation programmes

1 Year

January, April, May, August

Local students: 

RM 11,492 – RM 21,112


International students:

RM 13,000 – RM 21,112

Note: Both Diploma and Foundation programme intake and fees depending on which programme you want to enrol in and the campus location.

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

For more information regarding the university, programs offered, entry requirements and fees, contact Excel Education

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About The Author

Qasyrina Zahirah

One day at a time 🙂

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