Sohar University’s General Foundation Programme (GFP) equips our newly-enrolled under-graduates with the academic skills required to gain admission to the University’s full and part-time degree programmes.
GFP studies focus on competencies in English, Computing, Mathematics and Academic Study Skills, and we are proud to say that each component consistently meets all of the delivery and outcomes standards set by the Oman Accreditation Council.
Many students who arrive at Sohar University already possess the necessary competency in English and the appropriate qualifications in Computing and Mathematics to progress straight to degree studies, but, in the first instance, they all take a placement test in English. They might also study Computing and Mathematics; in most instances, they shall need to.
English: Students who enroll on the GFP programme study English at three levels of progression – Elementary, Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate, the latter of which is designed to take them to a level equivalent to IELTS 5. In addition, students will also complete an English component called ACS. This is an Academic Core Skills programme that fulfills a remit from the MoHE that requires students to demonstrate a clear grounding in academic research and report writing. GFP English students also benefit from additional, extra-curricular classes and activities held in our Writing Studio, located in the Learning Resources Centre.
Computing: Computing is taught to two levels – IC3 Modules 1 and 2. In all instances, students studying on degree programmes or embarking on any form of research will need to be computer literate. It should also be remembered that students who study Engineering of any discipline at Sohar University will need to achieve and demonstrate higher skills in computing, including in design software. Their learning pathway will begin at GFP level.
Mathematics: Mathematics is taught to three levels – SET 1, 2 and 3 – but the degree programme on which the students intend to embark will determine which of these 3 they shall study. For example, students of Engineering or IT will take a combination of SET 1 and 3, while students of Business or Humanities will study SET 1 and 2.
GFP Admissions Procedures and Requirements
To be eligible to enter our GFP programmes at Sohar University, candidates must have completed the General Diploma in Oman (formerly the Secondary School Completion Certificate) or to have gained an equivalent qualification. Candidates who have studied on a GFP programme elsewhere but did not complete the course shall have to take our GFP placement test to determine their level of competency in English.
English: As stated above, candidates can be exempted from the GFP English component if they have already gained any of the following:
- an IELTS qualification of 5 or above, with none of the separate IELTS components of reading, writing, listening and speaking being below 4.5
- a TOEFL score of at least 500
- an IBT score of at least 58
- a pass mark on a GFP programme completed at an insititution recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), and on the completion of a successful interview with the Dean of the faculty in which the candidate would like to study
In addition, candidates will be exempted from the GFP English component if they achieve a score of 89% in the placement test.
Candidates can be exempted from the Computing component if they possess any of the following:
- an ICDL
- an IC3
- a Cambridge IT Certificate (gained on a course taught in English) or an equivalent qualification gained at an institution recognised by the MoHE. For this, a transcript and course description should be provided.
Alternatively, candidates can be exempted if they pass the Computing Modules 1 and 2 placement tests, but, to take this test, they must already possess the necessary qualifications or standards in English, as outlined above.
Mathematics: Candidates can be exempted from the Mathematics component if they have succeeded on an equivalent course at an institution recognised by the MoHE. Again, a transcript and course description should be provided.
Alternatively, and as with the component in Computing, candidates can be exempted if they pass the Math SET 1 and 2 or Set 1 and 3 placement tests. Again, to take these tests, candidates must already possess the necessary qualifications or standards in English, as outlined above.
Note: This might be a lot of information to take in all at once, so the simplest step forward is to arrive at the University and ask for assistance at our Registration office. You can also visit the head of GFP and the different heads of the three courses (English, Computing and Maths), and they will tell you exactly what you need to do. They are located in the same building as the Registration office and are easy to find.