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  • General

    What are the College’s term dates?

    See our term dates

    What’s the difference between being a full-time and part-time student?

    A full-time student does more than 12 hours’ study at the College per week. Part-time students attend evening classes.

    How do you make sure students are safe while at College?

    We’re strongly committed to safeguarding our students and staff while they are at College. For this reason, we require you to wear your ID badge at all times when on our campuses and anyone not wearing ID will be challenge. Our campus has a security system in place to prevent unauthorised people from entering the building.

    I am an international student, can I apply for a course?

    The College accepts applications from international students. All courses are subject to availability, eligibility and additional support requirements, which will be determined during an applicant meeting held either on campus or remotely after your application is received. This will include an assessment of your prior qualifications, residency/right to study in the UK and any fees that may be payable. You will not be guaranteed a place on a course until you have fully enrolled and received your Learning Agreement.

  • Courses

    What do the different qualification ‘levels’ mean?

    Qualification Level Academic Awards Vocational Awards Apprenticeship Level
    Level 4 Level 4 Qualifications Degree,
    Foundation Degree,
    HNC or HND
    NVQ Level 4/5
    Higher Apprenticeship
    Level 3 Minimum 2x A Levels NVQ Level 3
    BTEC Awards,
    Certificates, Diplomas at Level 3
    BTEC Extended Diplomas
    OCR Nationals, Cambridge Technicals
    Level 3
    Advanced Apprenticeship
    Level 2 5 GCSEs A*-C
    or Grade 4-9
    NVQ Level 2
    BTEC First Diploma
    Functional Skills Level 2
    OCR Nationals
    Cambridge Technicals Level 2
    Intermediate Apprenticeship
    Level 1 GCSEs G-D NVQ Level 1
    Introduction Diploma, Certificate
    Cache Diploma
    Skills for Working Life
    Functional Skills Level 1
    OCR Nationals/Foundation
    Access to Apprenticeship / Traineeship
    Entry Level 1, 2, or 3 Entry Level Awards
    Certificates and Diplomas
    Functional Skills at Entry Level

    What level course do I have to study if I want to go to university?

    You will need to study for a level 3 course, along with maths and English qualifications – usually GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above.

    What short/evening courses do you offer? When do they start?

    We offer two types of short courses:

    • Courses for career progression and/or hobby interests. These courses run for between four and 18 weeks and normally start in January
    • Free Job Centre Plus courses for people aged 19+ who are on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or other government benefit schemes. Find out more about our Job Centre Plus courses

    What age do you have to be to attend evening classes?

    Evening classes are for adults (aged 19+).

    What time are evening classes?

    Evening classes are usually held between 5.30pm and 9pm

  • Applying and enrolling

    When can I come to a College open day?

    We hold open days in the autumn and summer for school leavers and adult learners. Look out for these on our homepage or visit our Open Days page for dates and times.

    How and when do I apply for a course?

    You can apply by clicking the ‘Apply’ button on each of our course pages. The date when you will need to apply depends on the starting date for your course. For 16-18 courses you should ideally apply by April to start College in the September of that year.

    Will I need an interview before I’m accepted on to a course?

    You will not need to be interviewed, but for our 16-18 courses we will ask you to come to the College so that we can have a chat with you about your chosen programme. You will also take an English and maths assessment to check that the course is at the right level for you. Some courses may also have specific requirements.

    How and when do I enrol?

    Once you’ve been accepted on to a course, you’ll receive a letter from us giving you the date, time and location of enrolment as well as details of what you’ll need to bring along.

  • Studying at the College

    How many days a week do I have to attend college?

    This will vary depending on the course you are doing, but most courses require you to attend for between three and five days a week.

    What time do classes start and finish?

    On most courses, classes start around 9am and finish around 4.30pm but this will vary depending on your course. Evening classes take place between 5.30 and 9pm.

    What happens if I’m late for College or fail to attend?

    To get the best out of your College experience and stay on track with your studies, your attendance and punctuality need to be good. If you are ill, you need to call 020 3757 3000 to let us know that you won’t be in.
    If you fail to attend College or are late on a regular basis, we will need to follow up with you and your parent/carer to talk about why this is happening.

    What help can I get if I’m struggling on my course?

    Our Student Support service is available on campus to help you with any difficulties you might be having – whether you have concerns about your course, careers, fees and finance, housing, or personal problems.
    We also offer one-to-one and small group support for learners who have disabilities or additional needs, require assistance with English and maths, or have dyslexia. In addition, our Learning Support and Resource Centre can provide help if you need it in English and maths, essay writing, revision techniques and study skills.

    Do you have to study English and maths as part of your course?

    You need a good level of English and maths to progress in your career so if you don’t already have a grade 4 (or C) in English and/or maths GCSE, you can re-take these exams whilst studying your chosen subject at College. The English and maths courses last for a year.

  • Financial support

    How much does it cost to study at the College?

    If you’re aged 16 to 18 your course will be free. If you are an adult learner (19+), there are tuition fees but these are different for all students – the College will need to assess your circumstances at the time you apply.

    Can I get help with the cost of my course?

    Yes there are a range of financial support options available for both 16+ and adult learners:


    For 16-18 year olds, education itself is free but some people still face financial barriers so there are a variety of options in place such as the 16-18 bursary, VYP Bursary, Travel Support and Care to Learn Scheme. See our 16-18 Financial Support page for details of the support you can apply for.


    For adult learners, tuition fees apply but the amount you will pay depends on your circumstances. Adult learners are eligible to apply for a 19+ study award, Travel Award and 20+ childcare. See our Adult Finances page for full details.
    If you are studying on a level 3 course you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. This is a government scheme that helps learners aged 19+ with the cost of their tuition fees on level 3 to Level 6 courses. Find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan.

  • Apprenticeships

    If you have questions on apprenticeships, visit our Apprenticeships page where you'll find out all you need to know about apprenticeships including how they work, how to apply, and how much apprentices earn.

  • Parent/carer questions

    How do you communicate with parents to keep them up to date?

    We stay in touch with parents through regular progress evenings and progress reports. Our tutors aim to have a two-way dialogue with parents and are always happy to be contacted by phone, email or text with any concerns you have. Equally, they will contact you if they have concerns about how your child is coping or progressing.

    My child is in Year 11. Should s/he choose sixth form or College?

    While schools and sixth form colleges focus mainly on A levels, we offer a more vocational route and a broad range of qualifications in subjects that can’t be studied at school. The College environment enables students to train for a specific career in an environment where they are treated as adults and have access to industry standard facilities and expert tutors.

    Can my child access additional learning support?

    Yes, we have a range of support systems in place to help those with additional learning support. We offer one-to-one and small group support for learners who have disabilities or additional needs, students requiring assistance with English and maths, and those with dyslexia. In addition our Learning Support and Resource Centre is on hand to help with topics such as English and maths, essay writing, revision techniques and study skills.

    Will my child attending college affect my state benefits?

    No, your child attending full-time study should not affect your Child Benefit and Family Tax Credit. You should inform the appropriate authorities about their transition from school to college.

    Will studying help my child get a job?

    We are a vocational college and our main purpose is to get people into employment – not just a ‘job’ but a fulfilling, rewarding career. We only offer programmes that have been designed to match industry requirements and also integrate work placements into our courses, to maximise our students’ chances of gaining a job in their chosen career.

    Could my child progress to higher education?

    Yes, no matter what your child’s qualifications when they first join us, our courses can enable them to progress on to higher education and degree level if they have the aptitude and desire to achieve this.

Key information

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Coronavirus update

Southwark College is closely monitoring all communications and guidance as it becomes available. This information is for students and staff and reflects updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE). We are prepared to escalate our contingency arrangements in the event of change.

The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the WHO and international community. For staff and students, it remains business as usual across our sites and our workplaces.

Please note that, at present, this advice refers only to arrivals from Wuhan, and not the remainder of China. If you have returned from Wuhan you should:

General guidance for those planning visits to Wuhan or other destinations in China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains updated travel advice for those planning a trip to Wuhan or other destinations in China. This is available at:



This advice is derived from The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice:


Supplementary Q&A for individuals wishing to know more around how the UK is managing the risk: