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Higher Education in your local FE college

Higher Education (HE) is not all about moving away from home to a university. For students who want to stay close to home, perhaps have other commitments, and who might be happier studying in a college rather than a university, there are options at a local Further Education (FE) College.

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What are the benefits?

FE colleges tend to offer more vocationally-related HE qualifications and this can mean a good chance of employment after the course or, for students currently employed, possible career progression. Colleges usually offer HE courses such as Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Certificates (HNCs), which are shorter than a three year Honours degree (2 years full time) with the option to do an extra year to get a full Honours Degree. 

HE courses in FE Colleges often have smaller class sizes meaning there is more interaction with tutors and more study support too. A lot of these courses are offered on a ‘part-time’ basis so they can fit around work or family commitments. HE courses in FE Colleges tend to have lower fees; where universities charge up to £9250 per year, many Foundation degree courses at FE colleges cost from £6000.

What types of HE courses are offered in FE colleges?

Top tips for choosing a HE course in an FE College

  • Shop around – course cost is set by the college or university and can vary.
  • HE in FE Colleges often have smaller class sizes which means more tutorial support.
  • Most FE Colleges also offer English and Maths GCSE courses and a number of options for pre-HE study if you need more time or support to prepare for HE level qualifications.
  • All full time Foundation and Honours degrees appear on the UCAS website, which is also where you apply.

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