What’s Next After SPM? List of Pre-University Programs in Malaysia

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What are Pre-University programs?

Pre-university courses are programmes that allow students to attain the right qualifications to apply to a degree program. There are various kinds of Pre-University programs including 

  • STPM
  • Foundation
  • GCE A-levels, 
  • Diploma
  • Australian Matriculation
  • Canadian Matriculation
  • American Degree Transfer Programme
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), 

Each Pre-University program has its own benefits and costs, but choosing the correct Pre-University program is vital for every student. In Malaysia, many universities often offer Pre-University programs that allow students to pursue their desired degrees within the same institution or elsewhere. But first, what Pre-University program should you choose?

What to study after SPM?

There are many options to choose from once you complete your SPM. Each Pre-University program is beneficial in a different way for a different academic goal. The illustration below explains the different pathways a student may choose from after their SPM.

CourseStructureDurationDifficult Level
International Baccalaureate (IB)> Complete six Subjects – three standard level subjects and three higher level subjects
> Complete a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course
> Complete an extended essay
> Participate in Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)
2 years⭐⭐⭐
A-levels> Complete three to four subjects of your choice
> The programme split into two levels: the advanced subsidiary (AS) Level and the A2 Level
18 – 24 months⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
STPMComplete four or five subjects including General Studies18 months⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
American Degree Transfer Programme> Made up of General and Core course and Major Courses
> Approximately 110 to 140 credits are needed to graduate
4 years⭐⭐⭐⭐
Australian Matriculation> Five subjects including English to be completed
> Continuous assessments, followed by a final exam at the end of the year.
10 – 12 months⭐⭐⭐⭐
Canada Matriculation> Complete six courses to graduate
> Students will graduate with an international recognised Ontario Secondary School Diploma
> Offers a variety of extra-curricular programmes with many after-school clubs
> Complete 10 hours of community services
1 year⭐⭐⭐
FoundationComplete all subjects required in the course structure1 year⭐⭐
Diploma> A combination of coursework and final exams
> Compulsory internship or practical training
24 – 36 months

Key Points

  • In most cases where students cannot afford to study at a private university is advisable to continue with government-operated high school for their Year 12 or STPM studies. In most cases, students are unable to choose their preferred degree program as it is allocated by the government. 
  • Students who are certain that they wish to study abroad but yet to make up their mind on the program and university to study are advised to pursue GCE A-LevelsADP and SAM respectively depending on their strategy.
  • If students are certain on the particular field and university they want to study, it is advisable to join the foundation with the university of their choice. In most case, university priorities their foundation students for placement into degree before accepting students from external pre-university programs. This is great for student targeting Ivy league university or quota based program such as veterinary or medicine.  
  • For those wishing to study in a specific country like the USA, it’s best to study their pre-university qualification such as the American Degree Transfer Program (ADP). 

Worried about your SPM result? Contact Excel Education for free personalised education consultation to find the best program for you

5 Best College to study for Pre-U Programs in Malaysia

UniversityProgramsIntakeIndicative Fee 2019
Taylor’s College
Foundation (Business, Communication, Computing, Design, Engineering, Natural and Built Environments, Science)Jan, Mar, AugRM 24,500
SACE InternationalJan, Mar & AugRM 23,450
Cambridge A-level (3 subjects)Jan, Mar, AugRM 46,374
American Degree Transfer ProgramJan, May, AugRM 60,200
HELP University & College
Foundation Studies in ArtsJan, Apr & AugRM 24,300
Foundation Studies in ScienceJan, Apr & AugRM 24,550
Edexcel A-LevelsJan, Mar & JulRM 34,060
American Degree ProgramJan, Mar, May & AugRM 45,800
UCSI University & College (KL Campus)
Foundation in ArtsJan, May, SepRM 18,000
Foundation in ScienceJan, May, SepRM 18,000
South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) InternationalJan, May, SepRM 19,000
Cambridge A-Levels (3 Subjects)Jan, Apr & JulRM 25,020
APU University
Foundation (Non-Engineering Pathways)Apr, May, Sep & NovRM 24,500
Foundation (Engineering Pathways)Apr, May, Sep & NovRM 24,800
Diploma in Electrical and Electronic EngineeringApr, May, Sep & NovRM 36,500
Diploma in Information & Communication TechnologiesApr, May, Sep & NovRM 43,900
Diploma in Business AdministrationApr, May, Sep & NovRM 41,500
Diploma in Design and MediaMay & NovRM 36,500
Methodist College KL (MCKL)
Cambridge A-Levels (3 Subjects)Jan, Apr & JulyRM 24,800
Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)JanRM 18,350

For a wider range of university and colleges, check out Top 10 Private Colleges and Universities with the Best Pre-University Program in Malaysia

Are you eligible for a scholarship?

All students are entitled to scholarships such as 10% Alumni Scholarship / bursary / waiver / discount if you register under authorised representative like us. What are you waiting for? contact us now! T&C apply!

Scholarship opportunities for International Students

UniversityScholarship TypeRequirements
(Up to 100% Scholarship)
Merit ScholarshipMinimum 9A in SPM/ IGCSE
Talent ScholarshipMinimum 5A in SPM/ IGCSE
Sports ScholarshipParticipate in any National Level competition
Community ScholarshipHousehold income below RM8000 / Minimum 4A  in SPM/ IGCSE
HELP University
(Partial Scholarship)
School Achiever Scholarship Award/ Merit basedMust be an all-rounder, attain good academic results and exhibit exemplary and outstanding leadership in extra co-curricular activities.
Sports ExcellenceParticipate in any National Level competition
50% for State athletes
75% for National athletes
APU University
(Up to 30% Scholarship)
International Student Scholarships for FoundationO-Level/ IGCSE: 9 As, 8 As. 7-6 As
(Up to 100% Scholarship)
Merit ScholarshipsSPM: 9 As and greater

Looking for scholarship opportunities for Malaysians? Contact us here!

Students who wish to study in Australia or Ireland may contact Excel Education here.

Contact us to find out more

International Student enquiries:
Phone: +6018-241-4802
Email: [email protected]   
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About Post Author

Manahil Ijaz

International student from Taylor’s University, Manahil Ijaz is a freelance writer in the field of PR and Marketing. indulges in different forms of art including writing, painting and designing. Manahil has a great passion for psychology and English literature and loves travelling too.

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