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Friday, December 05, 2008

Advertorial: Building Blocks to a Career in Science

If you’ve always wanted to pursue a career in a science-related field, be it medical, engineering or pure sciences, consider taking up a foundation course in science.

Many students choose to take up a common pre-university programme like A Levels or SAM after Form 5 as a pre-requisite before continuing on to tertiary studies. A Levels and SAM are popular because it’s been around in Malaysia for a long time and most people are familiar with it.

Such programmes also offer a general combination of subjects. This is very convenient for those who are undecided about their degree majors as they could use their time during pre-u studies to discover themselves better.

However, there are some who are already sure of what field to go into after pre-u. If you are thinking about pursuing a degree in a science-related field, then you may be interested to know more about another practical option available.

A foundation programme is like a pre-university programme which is catered to the field of study or institution of higher learning you wish to pursue after you complete. For example, let’s say you’ve already decided to go to Melbourne University, Australia for your degree. Then, it makes real sense to take up the foundation course offered by Trinity College that leads straight to the university after completion.

If you really weigh the pros and cons, doing a foundation course before tertiary studies is a really cool option!

5 Reasons To Do a Foundation Programme

What are the benefits of taking a foundation programme?
  1. It’s a 1-year programme, so it is a faster and more direct pathway

  2. It leads you directly to the degree major or institution you would like to link to

  3. Like its name, it provides a good foundation with the basic subjects that are relevant to your degree

  4. You will most likely be tested on almost equal percentage of ongoing coursework and final exams.

    This is great because of two points: (1) your future will not depend entirely upon the final exam results, and (2) this format is closer to the study structure in university.

  5. Best of all, it is one of the cheaper options compared to some popular pre-u programmes!

Read on to know what some students from the Foundation in Science (FIS) course at Taylor’s University College have to say about their course and experience:

Taylors University CollegeBuddies in science… (L-R) Sia Ming Yan, Louis Poh, Dillon Sarim & Tommy Chua

Pass with flying colours
“I have grown a lot since I joined this course 3 months ago. Being so different from secondary school, I struggled very hard to adapt to the course at first. But after 2 months, I began to catch up with the routines of this course and started doing well. I am learning new things every day. It is my dream to graduate from Foundation in Science with flying colours. I think that I should be able to do it with help from teachers and also with my own effort.”
FIS Student, Sia Ming Yan's Group Presentation on Int Science Project

“One thing I like about the course is the opportunity to do our E-Portfolio. It is one of the best ways introduce myself to future employers because it contains details of my resume, goals, aims, academic skills and much more. I can set my academic goals and let employers see how determined I can be and how I plan to develop myself.”

~ Sia Ming Yan, 18
Biggest change in meTaylors Students Doing ResearchTaylors Students Doing Research
“I was a very quiet and cool person before. But after 3 months, I found myself turning into a very talkative person. To give an example, for our integrated science project on the topic Fruit Batteries and Its Potential, I learned to overcome my panic and fear of giving presentations. My communication and presentation skills have improved tremendously and I have become good at persuasion and debates.”

“Doing this course has also taught me to manage my time properly, do research work, increase my computer literacy and brush up on my practical skills. These skills gave me the confidence to face difficult times like sitting for exams. To manage my time, I prepare a timetable and discipline myself to follow it in order to complete my to-do list. I am very happy to have bettered myself in many areas and to learn so many things in this course.”

~ Louis Poh, 18
A better human being
“Entering Taylor’s has changed me a lot, not just academically but also as a person. Now, I know the important meaning of friendships. Having a small class is an advantage because we really get to know each other very well and we get full attention from our lecturers. I am also learning a lot of soft skills from my lecturers and my peers. I need to think in a mature way in order to keep improving. Being trustworthy and responsible is the way to success. A very special word of thanks goes out to my lecturers and my peers.

~ Dillon Sarim, 18
Taylors Foundation in Science July 2008 BatchTaylors Foundation in Science July 2008 Batch

Not an ordinary programme
“At first I thought the Taylor’s Foundation in Science was just an ordinary course. Boy, was I wrong! As time went by, I found that it was a very well-rounded course – we were trained to do well in academic subjects but beyond that, we had to learn soft skills and do hands-on work in the different types of workshops. We attended workshops on time management, stress management, personal development, etc. I found that very useful and it really helped me to do better in my performance and grades. The lecturers are very knowledgeable and they are good mentors.”

~ Tommy Chua Jin Wei, 18

Foundation in Science by Taylor’s University College

The Foundation in Science offered by Taylor’s University College started with its pioneer batch of students in July 2008. The curriculum and assessment is developed by Taylor’s but fully monitored by the University of Melbourne, Australia.

At the end of this 1-year programme, students will receive a Certificate of Foundation in Science and will be able to qualify for first-year entry into medicine, biotechnology, engineering, pure science or even business.

The Foundation in Science qualification is recognised and accepted by all partner universities of Taylor’s University College.

Entry Requirements
SPM, O-levels or its equivalent with 5 credits including English and Math

* For those intending to do medicine, minimum B4 and above for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math

Intakes January and July

The Foundation in Science programme consists of 2 semesters and subjects are offered in modules:

English 1
English 2
Statistics & Calculus
Organic Chemistry
Physical & Inorganic Chemistry
Fundamental Physics
Modern Physics
Compulsory MQA Subjects: Malaysian studies and Moral/Islamic studies

There are 2 streams available: (1) Health Sciences Stream (2) Engineering Sciences Stream.

Specific additional subjects catering to each stream are: a. Health Sciences stream
Cell Biology, Human Biology & Psychology

b. Engineering Sciences stream
Statistics & Calculus, Algebra & Geometry, Advanced Calculus and Mechanics

Students are also inculcated with soft skills and cognitive skills in line with Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities:
Foundations & skills for lifelong learning, Problem solving skills, Communication skills, Intrapersonal skills, Interpersonal skills, Cosmopolitan thinking & intercultural competence, Technology savvy

Teaching & Learning Methodologies
The Foundation in Science makes use of special teaching and learning methodologies such as:
  • Problem-based learning
  • Action learning
  • Project-based learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Discovery learning
  • Generative learning
  • Simulations
  • Reciprocal teaching & many more

50% of the assessment is based on course work and internal continuous assessment, while the other 50% on a final examination. Examination scripts and marking schemes are monitored by the University of Melbourne.

After completing the Foundation in Science at Taylor’s, students may opt to continue their tertiary studies on any of the following pathways:
  • Direct entry into the University of Melbourne or RMIT degree programmes
  • Taylor’s School of Engineering – twinning programme with the University of Birmingham (Majors: chemical, electrical & electronic, mechanical. Optional majors: civil and biomedical)
  • Taylor’s School of Biomedical Sciences – twinning programme with University of Queensland, Australia (Majors: biomedical science or biotechnology)
  • Taylor’s School of Computing – twinning programme with RMIT University, Australia
  • Taylor’s Business School – twinning programme with the University of the West of England (UWE) or University of South Australia (UniSA)
Visit Taylor’s University College website for more information
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