Category: UK High School United Kingdom

State colleges in the UK are schools which specialise in the final two years of high school. They provide a modern and mature environment for students of all levels and provide among the best facilities and range of options available in the UK.

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State colleges are government funded schools with a mature student body – all students are 16 years or older. Most colleges will offer both a academic and vocational courses, focusing on both university entrance and career development. State colleges have more of a university campus atmosphere, and students will tend to need to take some responsibility for their own learning. State colleges are an excellent “stepping-stone” towards university life.

A typical week will have around 18 – 22 hours of class time, with 5 – 6 hours per week of classes per AS or A Level subject. Students will also be expected to study outside of these times and may use the college facilities (libraries, learning resource centres, study spaces, subject-specific facilities etc.) at these times. There will be a lot of opportunities for students to get involved with extra-curricular activites such as sports, music, and performing arts, but this involvement is on a voluntary basis and students will need to be proactive in finding out what is available at the college.

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Key features

  • A wide range of academic and vocational stubjects
  • Emphasis placed on self-study skills
  • A high university entrance rate
  • Colleges form an important part of the local community
  • Mostly non-religious colleges
  • Local host-families
  • The National UK Curriculum
  • Co-Educational colleges
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Options & Criteria

Age 16 - 18
Programme Durations 1, 2 or 3 terms +
Academic Background Average or better
English Level Upper intermediate
Status All international students


Education Agencies

If you are an education agency based outside of the UK and you are interested in being able to offer your students a place at one of our many private boarding schools, then you can contact us to register as a trusted partner of High Schools International

Partners already registered with us can download materials, fees and application forms from our Online Partner Resource Centre.


If you are a student who is thinking of studying in the United Kingdom and would like to learn which of our schools are most suitable for you, then contact us and we will connect you with your local representative of our programmes.

What to know more?

take a look at our HSI Insights feature on Galina Tckour, a Russian student at one of our State Colleges.

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