College explained

Abbreviations broken down, different levels explained and lots of myths busted.

With so many different abbreviations, levels and myths, it can sometimes be hard to know what’s what so we’re going to break it all down for you!

First off, we’ll start by explaining the difference between Further Education and Higher Education.

Further Education (FE): Further Education is generally a course that a 16-19 year old would do. Whether that is A Levels at Sixth Form or a Level 3 qualification at College. This is where you’ll earn your UCAS points which brings us to our next point.

Higher Education (HE): Also known as degree level or University level courses. At Grantham College and & University Centre, we offer Level 4 & 5 HE courses which are the equivalent to the first year of a degree. You can then top up to a full degree at a local University (we’ve got links with Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln FYI).

Levels explained: As a general rule of thumb, students who join us at the age of 16 from school may go onto a level 3 course which is the same level as A Levels. We offer courses from entry level to level 5 so there’s something for everyone. Depending on what GCSEs (or equivalent) you have, you will start on a level that suits you and you can work your way up. To be able to continue on to level 4 studies, you have to have completed all the way up to level 3 in some way – whether that’s through a BTEC, Apprenticeship or A Levels.

Myth busting time. We’ve heard so many myths and we’re here to tell you the truth about college!

1. You CAN go to University after College. 

As long as you’ve got the required entry grades/UCAS points, there’s nothing stopping you.

2. BTECs and apprenticeships are just as good as A Levels.

There’s no better or worse qualification between BTECs, apprenticeships and A Levels – they’re just different ways of learning and some suit different people. BTECs are very hands on and practical. You’ll likely have few or no exams. Apprenticeships are a way of learning and earning – you’ll go to work 4 days a week and come to college 1 day a week (this can differ within different apprenticeships/work places) and will earn a wage. A Levels are very theory based with lots of exams at the end.

3. The standard of teaching at college is just as good as any other education provider.

Our tutors have all come from industry and can therefore give you a better insight into your chosen career path because they’ve already been there!

4. College is very different from school.

At college, you get treated like an adult. You don’t have a uniform and you don’t have to be there all day unless you’re timetabled to be.

5. You’ll still go on trips and visits.

We have plenty of exciting trips for our students. From Warner Brothers Studios to trips abroad with the Erasmus scheme, there is something for everyone. 

There are plenty more myths which we could spend all day talking about! If you want to read more, visit our myth busting blog at:

Is there anything else you want to know the answer to? Perhaps you’ve heard something which you’re not quite sure is true or not? Let us know! Contact us on social media @granthamcollege or email us at