Further Education and Higher Education Colleges

FE and HE Colleges are similar to community colleges in the USA. In Britain, many FE Colleges provide comprehensive academic courses such as English, GCSEs, A levels, vocational qualifications, and some colleges also provide foundation and BA courses. HE Colleges usually provide undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Britain has a strong history of vocational education and FE Colleges often provide more practical courses in a variety of field such as hairdressing, catering management, tourism, mechanics, business management, childcare, design, etc.


Students above 16 will be taught GNVQs and on successful completion, can consider going to university. They can then complete their vocational qualifications at a university where they will be awarded a BTEC or HND qualification, which is the equivalent to the 1st and 2nd year university level. If they have strong enough grades, they can then apply to the final year of the university to complete a Bachelor's degree.

Compared to a traditional academic school curriculum (for example, GCSE, A level and first degree), vocational courses are more practical. Evaluation for vocational programmes is based on daily assessments, reports and test results. This differs from the traditional approach whish is based on end of semester exams.  UKEAS counsellors can offer advice on the best route for students.

Traditional academic degrees Vocational qualifications
A Level GNVQ
EDEXCEL First and National Diplomas
The 1st and 2nd undergraduate year EDEXCEL First and National Diplomas

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