HE in FE

Transition project at Blackpool & the Fylde College

HE in FE: Teaching & Learning

“seeing students with non-conventional entry criteria blossom and grow, and do well on their degrees. The older students have a lot to offer in seminars and in their writing, and the younger ones benefit from this”


Studying for an English degree these days can take many different forms. A currently expanding area is the model of taking a degree at your local Further Education college. This part of the English Subject Centre website is aimed at people teaching on English degrees in FE colleges, and of course anybody else who is interested in this approach. Some of the distinguishing features of English in FE colleges are described on the ‘Characteristics of FE’ page.

On the one hand, we at the Subject Centre wish to expand our reach to provide resources for as many practitioners as possible – hence we would like to welcome all lecturers delivering HE in FE colleges to the website and to the work of the Subject Centre.

On the other hand, we appreciate that there are some significant differences between teaching at a ‘traditional’ university (although that in itself becomes less and less easy to define) and teaching at a College of Further Education. Therefore, we feel that there may be needs, hopes, or desires of lecturers in FE which are not currently being met, and which the Subject Centre could begin to address. Hence, while encouraging FE lecturers to participate in all that we have to offer, we would also like to provide a part of the website dedicated specifically to them.

The Subject Centre’s HE in FE Project

As HE in FE Project Officer for the ESC, Candice is visiting FE institutions where HE English is taught. Identifying these institutions in itself has not been straightforward, as many of the courses are ‘hidden away’, a product of many courses being targeted at a local audience rather than a national one.

Candice has been interviewing college staff about the courses they deliver, their student intake, their teaching methods, and particular issues which affect their situation. We are hoping to be able to provide resources or events to suit these practitioners when it becomes clear the kinds of things that would be helpful. As we have said, any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

A brief tour of the website for FE lecturers

If you are new to teaching at HE level – even if you have years of experience teaching at every other level in FE – you may be interested in the New Lecturers pages. If you are new to HE you may find the annual New Lecturers Conference helpful. This conference aims to share and debate practical teaching ideas and activities as they relate to English as a subject; equip new lecturers with a ‘toolkit’ of ideas; and establish a mutual support network for participants.

Also you could look at T3 (Teaching Topics and Texts), which contains ideas for interesting or new ways of teaching particular topics or texts in English Language, Literature and Creative Writing. You can see other people’s suggestions, and also contribute your own. As an FE lecturer you are likely to have lots of interactive teaching ideas which university lecturers may not have thought of!

We also have an archive of Case Studies of innovative practice in teaching English.

Small projects have been funded by the English Subject Centre over several years – you can find reports on these in the projects area. Look out for calls for bids, and you may like to apply for funding yourself.