What is FE?

What is FE?

FE stands for “Further education”, it includes any study after secondary school education that’s not part of a graduate or undergraduate degree.

Further education is seen as a progression route for Students who want to progress to University, start an Apprenticeship or go into Employment.

FE courses include A-Levels which are typically taught alongside others at a sixth form as well as Diploma courses which tend to be single subjects taught in-depth at a FE College.

Both A-Levels and Diplomas come with UCAS points depending on the grade achieved, these points allow access to Higher Education University courses (see more about UCAS).


What’s the difference between A-Levels and Diploma Courses?

Number of subjects
The main difference between A-Levels and Diplomas is that with A-Levels its common to study multiple subjects alongside each other whereas with a diploma you will usually study a single subject in-depth at a time.

Variety
Subject specialism and variety also plays a large part in to the decision-making process as at a sixth form you will find common subjects such as Maths, English, History, Geography whereas Colleges’ offer more specialist subjects such as Forensic Science, Engineering, Childcare, and Games Design.

Level
An important factor to take into consideration is the level you are studying, most sixth forms will just offer A-Levels, these are Level 3 and are not suitable for everybody.

At College you will find Courses that span a range of difficulty from Entry Level through to Level 3, because of this offer we have seen students who have come to College with low GCSE results enrol, move through the different levels and progress to University. We also have high level courses which suit high achievers who want to study a level 3 and progress on rapidly in a specific subject.

Industry Related
You will hear the term “vocational” used when describing College courses, this is because our Diplomas are all connected to careers.

Whether our Students want to leave here and start a job in the Construction Industry, start an apprenticeship in the Hair & Beauty Sector or progress to a Business or Management degree the focus is always on the careers possible. There are now options to progress onto Degree level apprenticeships in some areas.

Work Experience
College courses tend to come with an element of work experience, this can be work-related projects, work experience placements or real work situations as part of an Apprenticeship.

As an example, our Childcare students undertake a work placement during their time at the College, this not only gives them the real-life experience to back up their theory but also gives them a step on the ladder to employment and something for their CV.

With the introduction of T Levels, Suffolk New College is involved in pilot schemes which provide opportunities for students to have extended industry work placements as part of their courses.