School Leavers / Further Education (16+)

Welcome to Further EducationSchool Leavers – What can I study?Benefits of Vocational StudyCourse Types – Qualifications ExplainedStudy ProgrammesT-LevelsProgramme Levels and Entry RequirementsWork ExperienceApplying for a Full-Time courseProgression to Higher EducationOur ProspectusParents and Carers – How can we help?Schools LiaisonStudent LifeCareers AdviceFAQ

Alison Andreas

At Colchester Institute we are passionate about your success.

Our aim is to provide you with every opportunity to gain the skills, qualifications and experience that will give you the best possible chance to succeed on your Study Programme or apprenticeship, to progress onto higher levels of study and to gain rewarding work in the job or career you choose.

We have high expectations of our students and in return we want you to have high expectations of us. We aim to deliver on those expectations by ensuring that you receive the best possible practical and learning support to help you to succeed.

Our tutors have excellent experience of the world of work and delivery takes place in industry standard teaching and training facilities, which are being updated all the time. In Colchester, we have recently added a fantastic new facility for training in Health and Social Care to our £10m development supporting STEM subjects, and we now have a great new fitness gym for use by all students. At Braintree we have just completed a whole campus transformation programme, providing outstanding learning environments for all subject areas, including some of the very best facilities in the country for Digital Media and Engineering. When they visited us in May 2022, Ofsted inspectors confirmed what we already knew – that Colchester Institute is a ‘good’ college in all that it does!

Our website aims to provide you with the information you need to help you make the right choice about your next steps in education and training – but of course this cannot tell you everything! I hope that you will come and meet with staff and students and explore our campuses at one of our Open Events. Come and see for yourself how continuing your education and training at Colchester Institute – whether in Colchester or Braintree – can set you on the right path to success, whether your next destination is a university degree, a further course of study, an apprenticeship or into the world of work.

I look forward to meeting with you.

Alison Andreas
Principal and Chief Executive

There are many different study options available after taking GCSEs. If you have an idea of the job or career you’d like to pursue or you wish to continue your education developing a particular talent, skill or passion, then one of our technical and professional programmes could be the right choice for you. There’s a fantastic range of options available and vocational learning can help you get the skills, experience and qualifications you need to kick-start your career or to go on to higher education. Many of these skills are transferable which makes these courses a great choice, even if you haven’t fully made up your mind.

Our vocational Study Programmes are designed to help you learn about specific employment areas, they are hands-on and provide the opportunity to practise skills in real situations while working towards recognised qualifications. Throughout the programme you’ll be assessed on ability, knowledge and theory relating directly to your chosen industry, rather than doing lots of lengthy essays and exams.

We have a huge range of inspiring subjects for you to choose from. Our full-time courses are designed to help you develop the transferable skills employers are looking for, or prepare you for study on a higher-level qualification. We also offer Apprenticeship programmes in a variety of industries to provide you with relevant practical experience.

Full-time study

  • Develop your vocational skills
  • Enjoy learning alongside your peers
  • Achieve a recognised qualification
  • Progress onto a degree or full-time work


  • Earn while your learn
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Achieve a recognised qualification
  • Progress onto a degree or full-time work

Whichever route you choose, you’ll receive hands-on learning through work experience, and develop your English and Maths skills too, ensuring you are ready for a bright career and a successful future!

As vocational qualifications are designed in partnership with employers, universities and professional organisations, your training will enable you to develop the skills that are highly valued by employers. You’ll have the opportunity to broaden your understanding of your chosen area through work experience and placements throughout your programme.

The in-depth skills and knowledge acquired on a Level 3 vocational programme can provide the ideal preparation for progression to higher level study, such as a degree, HNC/HND or higher apprenticeship. Most colleges and universities accept vocational qualifications as fulfilling entry requirements.

The UCAS Tariff points system is used when making offers to applicants and most post-16 qualifications are allocated a total UCAS point score. The table below shows how many UCAS points the most common qualifications are worth.

UCAS Tariff Points
BTEC and UCAS Points
KEY: D = Distinction M = Merit P = Pass

If you are planning to go on to university after completing your Level 3 programme you can visit to check the UCAS points required for the course you are interested in.

School Leavers (Further Education) Course Levels
Course Levels | Course Types
NVQs and VRQs


NVQs are National Vocational Qualifications for students who wish to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding needed at work. They enable students to become competent in a specific job or craft. They are assessed through multi-choice and short answer questions.

What is an NVQ programme?

NVQ programmes provide a mixture of practical and theoretical studies in realistic working environments to simulate the real world of work. The range and number of NVQ units studied is decided nationally by employers. NVQs are available at levels 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 is a basic introduction, level 2 is a general craft and level 3 is an advanced or more specialised craft level. Some programmes include other specialist qualifications, enrichment activities and work experience.

Why should I study an NVQ?

NVQs are a passport to a job. If you achieve an NVQ you have demonstrated the competence to do the job. This is very attractive to employers because it means that you are already trained and ready to work from day one.

Qualified, skilled employees have excellent earning potential. NVQs assess practical competence and underpinning knowledge, unit by unit, throughout your course.

What NVQs are available?

We offer NVQs for a wide range of careers in automobile engineering, construction, hairdressing, beauty therapy, childcare, catering and hospitality, and more.


VRQs are vocationally related qualifications for students who wish to prepare for a career in a specific vocational area. They are offered at levels 1, 2 and 3 and allow students to develop and practise skills required for employment and/or career progression in their chosen sector. College-based study consists of a combination of theory and practical activities related to the world of work.

You will be assisted to improve your IT, numeracy and communication skills through a programme of Functional Skills. VRQs will favour those candidates who prefer a more structured approach to learning and the associated assessment process.

BTEC Diplomas

BTEC facts and statistics

  • In 2015, 1 in 4 students who got into university in the UK did so with a BTEC (UCAS report – Progression Pathways Jan 2016)
  • Almost 79% of BTEC students go on to receive a First or Second class degree (The outcomes associated with the BTEC route of degree level acquisition, London Economics 2013)
  • 90% of BTEC students are employed full time after graduating (UCAS report – Progression Pathways Jan 2016)
  • 74% of businesses prefer recruits to hold a mix of academic and vocational qualifications or value them equally (Inspiring Growth: Pearson/Skills CBI Skills survey 2015)
  • Learners who hold BTEC qualifications have high rates of progression between learning levels compared to other types of vocational qualification (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – October 2015).

Read more:

What is a BTEC qualification?

BTEC Diplomas are work related vocational qualifications suitable for a wide range of students, designed to deliver the skills required for different career paths. The courses are a mix of theory and practical, and enable progression to a range of next steps including:

  • Employment
  • Apprenticeship
  • Further/higher study programme
  • University or other Higher Education

They provide a practical, real-world approach to learning and an alternative route to traditional GCSEs and A Levels. BTEC qualifications were established over 25 years ago and are recognised by universities, employers and professional bodies across the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide.

BTEC Diplomas Equivalences

BTECs are equivalent to GCSEs and A Levels, BTEC graduates can go on to university or start their career straight away. The table below shows the progression routes available to all BTEC students together with their more traditional equivalents.
Graph showing UCAS points per BTEC qualification

What are BTEC Level 2 qualifications?

These are one year, level 2 qualifications for students who would like to take up a career in a broad occupational area. They are vocational courses that provide a mix of essential and optional subjects tailored to suit local employment opportunities and develop knowledge, skills and understanding fo employment or progression to a BTEC Level 3 qualification. Students will experience a broad range of study in preparation for a wide range of careers in the vocational area. All programmes include Functional Skills. Some courses include the opportunity to develop other skills relevant to the occupational area and work experience.

Who should study a BTEC Level 2 qualification?

For students with at least four GCSEs (grades D – G), or satisfactory completion of an appropriate programme at level 1, these programmes are recognised and understood by employers and provide an excellent stepping stone to BTEC Level 3 qualifications. The courses are assessed by a range of methods including assignments, practical exercises, role plays, projects and case studies. Much of the course content is based on actual work situations that test the student’s ability to solve real problems individually and in a team.

Who should study a BTEC Level 3 qualification?

These qualifications are for students with a minimum of four/five* GCSEs (grades A*-C), or satisfactory completion of an appropriate level 2 entry route, who wish to prepare for a career in a specific occupational area and/or progress to higher education. College-based study consists of a combination of theory and practical activities related to the world of work. Much of the course content develops your ability to solve real problems. Subjects are mainly assessed through coursework.
*dependent on course area

What is a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma?

A BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is a one year level 3 programme, worth 60 credits and is equivalent to one A Level. This may be beneficial for students who wish to study a shorter level 3 programme. In many areas, there is an opportunity to progress to a second year and complete a larger Diploma.

What is a BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma?

A BTEC Diploma is a two year programme, worth 120 credits and is equivalent to 2 A Levels. An Extended Diploma is a two year programme, worth 180 credits and is equivalent to three A Levels. This programme can attract the maximum in UCAS points, which allows for progression to university.

Practical Awards, Certificates and Diplomas

Practical Awards, Certificates and Diplomas are designed to give students realistic experience and the practical skills that they will need in the world of work. Alongside practical sessions, students will also study the necessary theory to enable them to develop the knowledge required for working life.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are practical skills in English, maths and ICT that allow learners to work confidently, effectively and independently in life, including education and training. They aim to increase achievement in all learning, improve employability and provide a sound basis for progression to further study or training. They also help develop other important skills such as team work, presentation and problem solving. Functional Skills are common to all our lives.

They help make sense of daily life, from working out which deal is best value, to writing an application letter or sur­fing the Internet. They are about using English, maths and ICT in everyday situations.

They are essential for:

• Getting the most from education and training

• Personal development of all young people and adults

• Developing employability skills

Foundation Learning
Foundation Learning is a credit-based programme where learners (both 15-19 and post-19 adult learners) undertake a combination of courses which meet their personal needs. The aim of Foundation Learning is to increase learner participation, achievement and progression through entry level and level 1 towards achievement at level 2.

It gives greater meaning to programmes of study and supports progression to clearly defined destinations. It aims to make learning fit-for-purpose for the individual.

Learners completing courses within Foundation Learning can gain credits which allow for the achievement of an Award, Certificate and eventually a Diploma. Foundation Learning covers educational provision at entry level and level 1.

Foundation Learning programmes normally include:

  • Functional skills
  • Subject and vocational skills and understanding
  • Personal and social development
  • WorkSkills/Enterprise Skills

Foundation Learning offers students the opportunity to develop further their social and personal skills including numeracy and literacy. With a curriculum which is full of enrichment activities it makes learning fun and meaningful.

With such a diverse range of courses to choose from, Foundation Learning offers the opportunity to develop personal skills and knowledge, at whatever stage you are in life, to make your learning experience relevant and significant.

Learning for Work

Foundation and Supported Learning offer a curriculum which is the development of entry level work with numeracy and literacy embedded into a range of subjects.

All course have a wide range of enrichment activities to make learning enjoyable and meaningful.

Our Study Programmes, or full-time courses, combine a number of different components to equip you with a set of well-rounded skills for the future. Every programme incorporates a vocational qualification (for example an Extended Diploma), development of English and Maths and work-related learning.

Study Programmes Explained

All of our full-time courses for our 16-19 year old students are designed around you, your targets and your ambitions. Our courses consist of three key areas that make it easy for you to understand your workload and what is expected of you.

The programme will be individually tailored to you and will consist of a qualification, core skills in English and maths and work related learning. Read on for a more detailed breakdown of these key areas.

What makes up a Study Programme?

Study Programmes are what we call our full-time courses. They combine a number of different components developed to equip you with a set of well-rounded skills for the future. This means that your time on campus covers lots more than your chosen subject qualification alone.

Students on a full-time study programme will have around 15 hours of timetabled classes per week, over three or more days, although some will have more. Each course is different, meaning timetables will vary according to your chosen subject area, level of study, and your GCSE English and Maths results.

All courses include the four mandatory aspects outlined in the drop-down sections below, and we have high expectations of your attendance, behaviour and conduct in all parts of your course.

Specialist Skills ( Your Main Qualification)

As dictated by the demands and requirements of your chosen industry sector, you will develop the specialist knowledge and skills needed to enable you to succeed in a specific profession through your main study programme.

The main qualification you will achieve during your time at Colchester Institute will form the largest part of your programme. This will be a combination of both theory and practical learning relevant to the subject, and it is fair to say this will be your favourite part!

Our experienced tutors will usually have worked in the industry, and indeed some still do. This means that at all stages they are able to relate their students’ learning to how this will apply when working in that sector. At the College we have various workshops, studios and salons that mirror industry standards, meaning that you will be using up-to-date equipment and developing relevant skills and experience.

Specific entry requirements for each programme are listed on the individual subject pages.

Technical Training

Technical Training Study Programmes are designed for you to develop key industry skills and practice within your chosen vocational area. All students on these programmes will begin at the same level, regardless of grades upon entry, and progress together, providing each element of the course is passed sufficiently. This training will enable you to learn professional techniques and perfect your chosen craft to get you ready for the working world.

English and Maths

English and maths skills are essential building blocks for any career. Almost every job requires you to have the ability to read, write and use numbers confidently. That’s why we are prioritising the use of English and Maths, not only at College but in all areas of life. Words and numbers are all around us and being able to use them well is a valuable skill for work, study and everyday activities.

As key skills for life, you will continue to develop your English and Maths with us. If, when you enrol, you haven’t yet achieved a grade 4 or above in one or both of these subjects, you will be required to attend 2 hours per week of timetabled GCSE classes. Attendance at these classes are mandatory and you will be working towards GCSE resits and increasing your grades.

If you have already achieved grade 4 or above, you will have Great English and/or Maths built around your main course qualification to allow you to continue to stretch and develop these skills.

Industry Placement

If you are on a Level 2 or Level 3 study programme you might be lucky enough to take part in an Industry Placement which is typically the equivalent of 45 days in total. Your placement would be specific to your preferred career pathway focusing on the practical and technical skills needed to succeed in your chosen industry.

We work with local employers to source these placements and these opportunities will give you direct experience of what it is like at work, and in some placements you could be earning a wage too!

Work Related Learning

Work Related Learning, including work experience,  will be an important part of your programme, and completion of this will help you to put your learning into practice, develop real skills, explore different career options and build up your CV ready to land your first great job.

Depending on the subject you choose, work experience is around 30 hours in an academic year.

Career Readiness, Enrichment and Wellbeing

Throughout your programme, we will offer lots of opportunities for you to join our CREW and focus on your career readiness, employability skills, and all-round personal development. Our aim is to support you to stay healthy and develop as a citizen in modern Britain, embodying British Values and promoting sustainability.

What does CREW stand for?

CAREER READINESS: We offer a well-developed careers programme with opportunities for one-to-one careers guidance interviews and destination focused support including UCAS advice, CV writing and interview skills. Within your subject area you will have access to industry-related visiting speakers, external visits and entry into national competitions. We aim to provide you with the skills to be successful at work or university, and importantly how to aim high!

ENRICHMENT: We offer lots of options for you to get involved in outside the classroom with a programme of trips, guest speakers and workshops open to all students – designed to widen your perspectives and support your personal safety and development.

WELLBEING: Doing well in your studies requires you to be focused and determined. We aim to help you develop your confidence and independence – and also support you to keep physically and mentally healthy. You will explore topics varying from how to keep yourself safe online to how to manage your finances.

CREW is supported by a weekly timetabled tutorial programme covering these wide range of topics.

T Levels are new Level 3 qualifications that follow on from GCSEs. They are the equivalent to three A Levels and combine classroom theory, practical learning, and an industry placement. The placement involves working with an employer for a minimum of *315 hours over 45 days to ensure you really get to know the subject.

The two-year T Level courses listed below have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

For dedicated students, T Levels provide excellent destinations for students, including full-time skilled employment, higher level apprenticeships and Higher Education degrees.

Available T Levels:

Early Years Educator

Suitable for anyone wanting a career in early years education or childcare. Students study a range of thought-provoking topics and develop knowledge about child development, safeguarding, special educational needs, as well as examining the specifics of social interaction, how language is acquired and understanding behaviour.

Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction

Specifically suitable for careers in surveying and design, civil engineering, building services design or hazardous materials surveying. Students learn about health and safety, construction methods, digital engineering techniques, sustainability, project management, business and commerce of construction, mathematical principles and risk management.

Onsite Construction (Carpentry and Joinery Specialism)

Specifically for careers in carpentry and joinery. Students develop a general understanding of construction, including: health and safety, sustainability, mathematical principles and digital techniques. Skills taught include: cuts, joints and fixture methods to assemble various timber-based products.

While they vary between subject areas, T Level qualifications are assessed by passing all units and include:

  • Core components
  • Written examinations
  • Completion of work placements
  • Employer set practical projects
  • An occupational specialism component

The T Level Qualification

These qualifications will be graded overall as Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass, and there will be grades for each aspect of the course. The table below shows the UCAS value of each grade type.

UCAS Tariff PointsT Level Overall GradeA Level

Finding your work placement

The College will source work placements for all T Level students; we have long established relationships with local employers. We have specialised staff who will visit you in the workplace and check that you are competent in your practice and that your learning is going well.


Aim Higher    Level 4 and beyond!

Level 3                        Typically* 5 GCSEs (grades A* – C / 9 – 4)

Level 2                        Typically* 4 GCSEs (grades A* – E / 9 – 3)

Level 1                        Typically* 3 GCSEs (grades A* – G / 9 – 1)

Entry Level    No formal entry requirements, just an enthusiasm to learn and develop your skills to allow you to progress on to another programme within the College.

Unsure which programme level is for you?

Come along to an Open Event or speak with a Careers Advisor at school for guidance.

*Specific entry requirements for each programme are listed on the individual subject pages. In some cases we will consider other qualifications that are deemed to be equivalent to GCSEs, for example functional skills and qualifications achieved outside the UK, provided valid certificates are produced.


Ofqual has introduced a new grading system for many GCSE subjects. These GCSEs will be graded 9 to 1, instead of A* to G, with 9 being the top level. The Ofqual grading structure below is a comparison guide of the current and new GCSE system. For more information please visit:

study programmes
Please note: The new grading system (9 – 1) only applies to GCSEs taken from 2017.

Work experience will be an important element of your Study Programme

We’ve teamed up with local employers to bring you a range of placement opportunities to help you gain valuable skills for the workplace and prepare you for an exciting career.

All students will take part in at least 30 hours of work experience as part of their course. Some courses will require more substantive work experience of between 45 – 60 days.

Why is work experience part of my study programme?

Work experience is an important step towards getting the job you want. At work, you’ll develop the real skills you need for success, enabling you to explore different career options and build up your CV, ready to land a great first job.

Work experience should be an adventure wherever you go and we’re here to help you get as much as possible out of your time. Do that you’ll have a great story to tell employers at interview for that all-important first job.

Our commitment to you
As part of your study programme we want you to prepare for the world of work.

Colchester Institute is a vocational college and makes this commitment to you:

  • We will help you get ready for the career you want
  • We will boost your skills to ensure that you are very employable
  • At college, we will always look to give you opportunities to use your skills in work settings to help prepare for your future job
  • We will support you in gaining actual external work experience

The College’s Careers Guidance team is available to students across all campuses to provide information and careers advice to assist with students’ future employment.

Examples of students’ work experience

Observational physiotherapist – Broomfield Hospital

Dance teaching assistant – JA Performing Arts

Graphic design assistant – TWIST Interactive

Healthcare film production – Essex County Council

Performing arts teaching assistant – Theatricool

Christmas grotto prop maker – Wooden Bench Company

Job shadowing ophthalmologist – Eye Clinic at Essex County Hospital

There are also opportunities to take part in employability activities as part of your study programme which could include:

  • Visits from employers and experts – taking place outside of scheduled lessons
  • Group visits to work places and employers –additional to scheduled lessons
  • Work related projects, including ‘live briefs’
  • Employment in the college’s own ‘realistic working environments’
  • Participating in college events to develop your employability skills

****Application for full-time courses starting in September 2024 have now closed.****

It’s not too late to start a course with us this September though. 

Follow the link below to find out what your options are at this stage of the application cycle. 


Applying for a Full-Time course

Applicants will receive an acknowledgement within one week of the application being received by our Admissions team, if you do not receive this you should contact the team on 01206 712777 to check that your application has been received.

In order to apply for a full-time course you will need to follow the below steps:

    1. First select the course you wish to apply for using the course finder button located after step 3.
    2. Once you are on the page of your chosen course and you are certain that you would like to apply for this course, click the ‘Apply Online’ button for the campus that you would like to study at.
    3. You will be taken to our online application login page and you will need to set up an account. Click ‘create an account’ to begin the application process.

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Our highly experienced Careers Advice and Guidance team provide wide-ranging support to students wishing to apply to university, including dedicated UCAS support throughout the year. The team personally check all university applications before they are submitted to UCAS.

Alongside Course and Progression and Destination Tutors, our Advisers provide support right the way through from the point of choosing institutions and courses through to securing a place at university.

Colchester Institute also works collaboratively with “Make Happen” (part of the Office for Students’ Uni Connect programme). They deliver a broad and varied range of programmes and activities to students to ensure young people are aware of all the options available to them including alternative progression routes to higher education.

There is also the opportunity to discover more about the higher education courses you can study here if you choose to apply to University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. University Centre Colchester.

For further information on careers information, advice and guidance please contact

There is so much choice available when it comes to studying a full-time study programme at Colchester Institute. Our programmes, in a range of inspiring subject areas, give you the transferable skills employers are looking for in the workplace, or the appropriate route for study on a higher level qualification. We also train people in a range of industries through Apprenticeships.

We blend vocational, hands on learning with work experience as well as developing your English and math skills. Our aim is to get you ready for the exciting world of work or progression onto further study or higher education.

Our dedicated parents and carers information hub will provide you with the information to support your son or daughter from their initial application right through to when they complete their studies.

Every week we visit numerous local schools and colleges, delivering presentations, attending parents evenings and careers conventions. We also talk to Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students, discussing course choices and career options.

The Colchester Institute Schools liaison team are dedicated to providing a thorough and comprehensive service. We are happy to visit schools, colleges and youth centres to speak directly with students about the options open to them at Colchester Institute. These talks can be at any time and delivered to whole year groups, or smaller groups. Alternatively, we can also offer taster activities and workshops on campus or within your school. Please contact us with your requirements and we will try our best to accommodate your needs!

We are always happy to attend school or college based careers evenings to provide information to students and parents about the FE and HE courses at the College. Please get in touch using our contact details shown below.

Student Life at Colchester Institute

The duration of a full-time study programme can vary by course and students are given timetable details at the start of their course. It is usual for students to be in College for at least two to three days a week. It is expected that all students will attend all timetabled lessons.

The gates for the College Campuses are opened from 6am, with classrooms and facilities opening at their stated times Monday to Friday, with evening classes, salons and restaurants being open up to 9pm or 10pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays in Colchester and Braintree.

As well as their chosen subjects there will be elements of enrichment and work related experience for all students – which may include work placements, depending on the course being studied.

English and Maths

English and Maths

In addition, all students who have not achieved grade 9-4 (A*-c) in English or maths will need to keep studying these. If you haven’t yet achieved a GCSE high grade in English and/or maths, you’ll attend timetabled English and/or maths classes and work towards achieving grade C or above.

Part-time Work
Students often take up part-time work whilst studying, but please be aware that there is an expectation that students will study in their own time. There will be assignments and extension activities for all programmes with supporting information available through our Virtual Learning Environment ‘moodle’.
Course targets and communication with Parents/Carers

Course targets and communication with Parents/Carers

All students will agree an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) with their tutors at the start of the year and will set targets for their own achievements. In most cases this will be done through a web based ILP system called ProPortal, which students will have access to, both at College and at home.

Students will be encouraged to share their targets with you, and we are aiming to develop parental access to ProPortal in the next academic year. Evidence shows that students achieve best when Colleges work in partnership with parents, and so reports will be sent home at certain points throughout the year. There will also be opportunities for you to meet with teaching staff to discuss progress.

We expect students to attend all timetabled classes promptly and we have high expectations in terms of behaviour and conduct at College. Although we treat our students as adults, we still reserve the right to contact parents about any concerns relating to attendance, behaviour and achievement until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18.

Online Payments

Online Payments

Payment for trips and other products can be made via our Online Store. You will need to register and create an account before enrolment to ensure payments can be made.

Make a payment through the online store

Good careers advice can make a positive difference to a student’s aspirations and motivation whilst at college. It can be instrumental in increasing their self-confidence and enable them to discover opportunities they never would have considered.

Based at our Colchester Campus, Colchester Institute’s team of careers advisers provide information, advice and guidance to enable their students to make informed decisions about their future and help find the best job or career possible for them. Our advisers have a wealth of experience and hold at least Level 6 or higher guidance qualifications.

If you are still at school we recommend that you contact your school careers adviser for help about your future pathway.

It can be confusing to plan your next step after leaving school as there are so many different options to choose from. To help you get started please explore our useful links.

Careers Advice and Guidance

Located at our Colchester Campus, the Careers team are available Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Fridays 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Help and support is available for a wide range of areas including:

Career choice
Course choice
Progression Routes
Choosing and applying for university
Preparation for employment

One to one impartial guidance interviews are available as well as a daily drop-in service at our careers centre located next to main reception. Careers software is available to help students choose and research suitable careers.

The College holds the matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance services. This is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the quality of the delivery of information, advice and guidance is of the highest quality.

If you have a question or feedback for the careers team or if you are an employer  and would like to become involved with our Careers Programme, please contact us using the form below.

We value all feedback on our Careers Information Advice and Guidance services.

Louise Cantrill-Godden
Operational Careers Leader
01206 712679

Careers Programme

The College offers a rich and varied CEIAG (careers education, information, advice and guidance) programme which is based upon the Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance benchmarks. Details of which can be found here:

If you have a question or feedback for the careers team or if you are an employer  and would like to become involved with our Careers Programme, please contact us using the form below.

We value all feedback on our Careers Information Advice and Guidance services.

Louise Cantrill-Godden
Operational Careers Leader
01206 712679

Ask a Question

If you have a question or feedback for the careers team or if you are an employer  and would like to become involved with our Careers Programme, please contact us using the form below.

We value all feedback on our Careers Information Advice and Guidance services.

Louise Cantrill-Godden
Operational Careers Leader
01206 712679

Useful Links

Find out what a job involves and if it’s right for you.

The world of work explained with advice from people who’ve found the right path for them.

Higher Education


The organisation responsible for managing applications to Higher Education courses in the UK.

Find the right course and university for you:

Search and compare undergraduate courses in the UK:


Apprenticeships explained

Alternative paths to university, including apprenticeship and volunteering opportunities.

Search for an apprenticeship in England


Preparation for the world of work

Giving young people skills, careers support and tools to fulfil their potential

Working with schools, colleges and employers to help every young person find their best next step

Labour Market Information(LMI) explained

If you have a question or feedback for the careers team or if you are an employer  and would like to become involved with our Careers Programme, please contact us using the form below.

We value all feedback on our Careers Information Advice and Guidance services.

Louise Cantrill-Godden
Operational Careers Leader
01206 712679

Careerometer: Job Comparison Tool

Start by typing in a job that you might be interested in and then select a match from the list to see the data. You can then include a second choice to compare the compare key information about the different jobs – including salary, working hours etc.

Use the Careerometer below to explore and compare your job ideas and help you make your course choice.

Skillsometer: Discover what jobs you might do in the future

This is a quiz that can help you figure out what you want to do in the future. After you start the quiz, you will be shown a series of cards with statements.

You will be presented with a series of statements. For each statement, please think about whether you would like or have an interest in doing this in a future job. Select the emoji that represents what you think. At the end, you will be given some ideas about jobs linked to what you would like to do.

If you wish to start again please refresh the page.