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Further education – Applying for a course

Two students in a design studio at the University of Huddersfield

Finding a course and an institution

Before you start looking for a course, please read the article Further education – Colleges and other institutions, plus the article Further education – Courses and qualifications.

On this Education UK website, you can search through thousands of UK further education courses. Simply go to the Search tool at the top of the page and start looking! Use the filters to pick the courses that suit you.

Education UK covers the vast majority of UK further education courses on offer, but not all (we are working on it!). The National Careers Service course search in another tool you can use.

Applying for a course

For most further education courses, you need to apply directly to your chosen school, college or university. Most institutions have application forms on their website.

There are no national closing dates for applications to further education courses. However, it is best to apply as early as you can, to reserve a place on your chosen course and to give yourself time to organise visas, travel and accommodation. Institutions usually aim to process applications within two or three weeks, but others may take longer.

Entry requirements

UK further education courses generally set their own entry requirements. These entry requirements are there to ensure that you have the right skills and knowledge to successfully complete the course.

You can see the entry requirements for each course on each institution’s website. If you use the Search tool on this website, the course details will point you to entry requirements.

  • For many further education courses you need to have achieved secondary education-level qualifications (such as GCSEs or equivalent qualifications) in related subjects. In some cases, work experience may count towards entry to a course.

  • If English isn’t your first language, the institution may ask you to take an English language test or show your English language qualifications before you can enrol. This may also be necessary for your visa application.

  • If you are unsure whether your qualifications meet the entry requirements, talk to the course provider or visit the UK NARIC website.

Students from certain countries need a visa to study in the UK. Visas are managed by UK Visas and Immigration. To find out if you need a visa and how to apply, please see our visa article.