Colleges of Further Education are popular with students taking university preparation courses or completing vocational qualifications on a full or part time basis. Colleges in the UK perform a variety of roles, including further education for 16-18 year-olds, vocational training and adult education.
Most UK colleges are public institutions, but there are also many private colleges which cater to specific types of students as well. Courses at UK colleges last for either one or two years.
Learn more about UK sixth form colleges, colleges of further education and colleges of higher education with our UK college guide.
International Foundation Year
An International Foundation Year is designed for international students who are about to finish study in their native country, but do not have the required grades to begin studying at a UK university. Students on an International Foundation Year programme will study a specific subject pathway which also includes specific English language and learning skills.
Many UK colleges offer an international A-Level programme which runs alongside the traditional A-Level programme for UK students. In addition to studying a number of subjects, English language learning is also included.
BTEC Nationals are for students who understand which career path they wish to take as they progress towards further study at a UK university or employment. BTEC Nationals are similar to A-Levels, generally last for two years and students will begin study at the age of 16.
HND (Higher National Diploma)
Similar to BTEC Nationals, the Higher National Diploma prepares students for employment or further study in specific industries. Courses last for two-years full-time and up to four years part-time, and it is generally the equivalent to two-years of an undergraduate degree.