It may be difficult to distinguish a further education course from a degree of higher education. However, the two are different. The later is higher education former involves imparting education for streams across all genres and topics except for the ones imparted in colleges and universities.
The curriculum for pursuing further education
The courses offered in further education need not necessarily be full time. You may opt to continue them even in your spare time. Universities, colleges and institutes imparting technical knowledge, also known as ‘tecs’, admit students for pursuing their chosen course.
The institutes include Community and Adult Colleges and Colleges of Further Education(CFE) along with many others that provide open studies. These courses have a shorter duration of completion than the degree courses. Some may even extend to a summer or winter semester. The main focus of these courses is to make students job-ready by providing them with the necessary skills.
Qualifications one can acquire
Glance through a list of qualifications that you can get by enrolling in these courses –
- GCE Level A
- International Baccalaureate
- Guilds and City
- Masters or bachelors degrees
- MBA qualification
The courses also help students earn many other diplomas and certificates that have countrywide as well as international recognition. There are also courses for ones who have left school. They can gain certification through courses like –
Ownership of the correspondence institutes
Most of the institutes in Britain offering these correspondence courses are privately owned. The exception is NEC which does not specify any eligibility for admission. The courses offered by NEC are some of the best in Britain and include certificates for –
- General studies
- Skills for business
- Courses on personal development
If you plan to earn a certification from NEC, you may contact them at their address NEC, Michael Young Centre, Purbeck Road, Cambridge, CB2 8 HN.
BTEC – A renowned council for further education
The BTEC or Business and Technical Education Council offers more than 250 options. Many well-known companies cooperate to design these courses. They are organised in different institutions including companies, degree colleges, and various training centres.
The course design is formulated keeping in mind the practical and academic needs of students receiving technical education. The topics covered under BTEC courses fall in diverse categories ranging from engineering to catering. Every year, BTEC certifies around 200,000 students with diplomas and certificates for 3 levels, namely –
- Higher National
Courses by OC
OC or Open College is another institute offering open education certification. With its 80 regional centres, and offices present in Manchester, London, Belfast and Glasgow, it provides certification and diplomas in –
- Skills for supervision
- Information Technology
Certifications from OCA
OCA specifically offers certifications to those willing to enhance their artistic skills yet wish to pursue courses from their homes. One can get certifications from OCA for courses in subjects including design and art, drawing, writing creatively, sculpture and textiles, painting, etc.
Basic Skills Unit in Britain
This 1980-established institute was formed to increase the numeracy, literacy as well as skills for communication of the Brits. It also significantly contributes in ESOL development, an initiative that improves English speaking capabilities of non-English speakers.
Other institutes and colleges
Some other institutes that certify students for open studies include –
- Business School of Warwick University
- Open University (OU)
These offer correspondence certification for MBA in –
- Administration of Business
- Information Systems
- Public relations
- Political and social studies
The courses are specifically designed for those who are unable or do not want to pursue regular courses that are full-time. Over 70 institutes offer MBA certifications and collectively enrol around 15,000 national and international students. OU itself has about 10,000 enrolments per year. Thus, it has become one of the largest British institutes imparting education in business.
The yearly fees for acquiring an MBA certification through these institutes is nearly half the fees of university degree courses. So, if you take up a 2-year MBA program at London Business School, it would cost you 40,000 Euros for two years along with an extra 10,000 for meeting your living expenses. On the other hand, when enrolling in a correspondence MBA from an open institute, you would have to pay 10,000 Euros for a year.
Apart from these, one can also obtain information related to adult education/training from different units established for study-related guidance. You can look for other listed correspondence courses from the Floodlight guide namely –
Select the institute of your choice from the ones listed above and finalise your course of interest. On completion of the course, you will have gained the necessary skills required for working in the given industry.