Colleges of further education offer a wide range of courses leading to a number of different types of qualification. Courses are available for all levels of ability and can be combined to provide a programme of study tailored to your needs.

When deciding which route to apply for, compare courses - the same course may be available at several institutions. Find out how the courses differ and what students from that course go on to do.

When comparing further education institutions, try to find out about the facilities available, the age mix of students and entry requirements.

Institutions often run open days, open evenings or taster courses so you can find out more. Details of these events are usually posted on the institution's website.

For more information about local colleges, check the pages in the local Connexions service sections:

Sunderland College
Telephone 0191 511 6000

Gateshead College
Telephone 0191 490 0300 

Newcastle College
Telephone 0191 200 4000 

South Tyneside College
Telephone 0191 427 3500

Tyne Metropolitan College
Telephone 0191 229 5000