Further education research
Explore our research into further education
England’s further education (FE) sector is a key part of the wider educational offering to students. Further education providers include colleges, sixth forms, specialist colleges (in areas such as agriculture and arts), independent training providers, adult community education and offender learning.
The provision offered by the further education sector is broad and varied to meet the needs of its diverse student population. Programmes range from basic skills, vocational and technical qualifications to academic and higher education courses - all of which are designed to prepare students to progress onto higher study and/or employment. Courses are also developed to to support students in the workplace, extending their technical skills and academic knowledge to enhance both their career prospects and their organisations' practice.
Our research into further education explores a multiplicity of further education opportunities, from adult education, transitions from military service, leadership and management, and further education student experience.
Our research focuses on the following key topics
- Professional development for FE education teachers
- Competency framework for FE middle managers
- The Further Forces programme and military transitions to civilian life
- The notion of performativity measures used within further education
- The lived experience of degree apprentice students
- Decision making processes of college students with regard to choices post-18
Preparing for a career in FE teaching and training
Work with the Education and Training Foundation to develop an online pre-ITE (Initial Teacher Education) programme designed for people considering a career in FE teaching.
Further Forces Programme
In partnership with the Education and Training Foundation and Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Further Forces is a scheme to retrain Armed Forces Service Leavers to teach technical subjects, including Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in the Further Education (FE) and Skills Sector.
Teacher Development Programme
The aims of the project are to up-skill existing trainers who have already completed a level 4 Certificate in Education and Training teaching qualification.
Our work is frequently published in leading academic journals, including Educational Management Administration and Leadership, International Journal of Training and Development, International Journal of Educational Research, Research in Post-Compulsory Education and Journal of Education and Work.
How does the portrayal of civilian teacher training schemes affect the appeal of them for military personnel?
Mather, D. (2023) "How does the portrayal of civilian teacher training schemes affect the appeal of them for military personnel?", Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Further education workforce wellbeing: did Covid actually change anything?
Corbett, S., Johnston, K., Bezuidenhout, A. (2023) "Further education workforce wellbeing: did Covid actually change anything?", Educational Management Administration and Leadership
Ladder of competencies for education middle managers in England
Corbett, S. (2022) "Ladder of competencies for education middle managers in England", International Journal of Training and Development
Perceptions of performativity in English Further Education
Poole. R. (2022) "Perceptions of performativity in English Further Education", Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Challenges, barriers and strategies for engaging in Level 7 apprenticeship studies
Poole, R., Cook, F., Sims, S., Brindley, J. (2023) "Challenges, barriers and strategies for engaging in Level 7 apprenticeship studies", Journal of Education and Work
Discover our areas of expertise
Further education is one of our five areas of expertise in Education research - explore the others below.
Early years education
In this area of expertise, we're exploring the experiences and opportunities that play a role in the development of young children.
We're researching into issues in higher education, and finding solutions to them. Explore our higher education research.
Gender, race and education
Our work is identifying, exploring and engaging with forms of discrimination across gender and race in the education system.
Youth and digital networking
Our research in this area of expertise is investigating how young people aged 13–19 use social media and digital technologies in their daily lives.
Interested in a PhD in Education?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees - including PhDs and MPhils - on our Education postgraduate research degrees page.