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.
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.
- 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.
If you are planning to go on to university after completing your Level 3 programme you can visit ucas.com to check the UCAS points required for the course you are interested in.
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.
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 Points
|T Level Overall Grade
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: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual
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.
****Applications for full-time courses starting in September 2024 are now open!****
Applying for a Full-Time course
The application window for full-time course applications and joint apprenticeship applications for programmes starting in September 2024 opens on Monday 2nd October 2023 at 12pm.
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:
- First select the course you wish to apply for using the course finder button located after step 3.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Alternatively you can contact the National Careers Service helpline for information and advice about jobs, careers and training.
National Careers Service helpline
National Careers Service
Telephone: 0800 100 900
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