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Help & Support

If you’re aged 16-18 and a British citizen, you won’t have to pay tuition fees, but may need help with other essential costs such as travel, books, equipment and childcare. Here are some of the financial support options available:


16-18 bursary

This government bursary provides up to £1,200 towards the costs of attending college for students experiencing financial hardship. You can apply for this bursary if your household income is £25,000 or below. Payments are subject to you achieving an attendance rate of at least 90%. Find out more about the 16-18 bursary.

VYP (vulnerable young persons) bursary

You could be eligible for this bursary of up to £1,200 a year (or pro-rata for less than a year) if you are a:

  • young person in care
  • care leaver
  • young person receiving income support
  • disabled young person receiving both Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payment)

Payments are subject to satisfactory attendance at the College.

Council bursaries

Some London boroughs offer student bursaries to young people in education and training. You can find out about council bursaries by getting in touch with your local borough council.

Travel support

16+ Oyster card

If you’re 16-18, studying on a Further Education programme and living in a London borough, you’re eligible for free travel on TFL bus routes. (Students not living in a London borough are eligible for half price travel on these routes.) Find out more about the 16+ Oyster card.

You may be eligible to receive additional support with travel costs from your local council if you live three or more miles away from the campus where you study.

Childcare support

Care to Learn scheme

If you are a young parent (aged under 20 at the start of your course) you may be eligible for the government’s Care to Learn scheme which provides up to £175 per week to help with childcare costs while you study. You can only claim this benefit if your child’s other parent is not available to provide childcare and not claiming Childcare Tax Credit. Find out more about the Care to Learn scheme.

Other support

Free school meals

You are eligible for free meals at College if you, or our parent or carer, receive benefits such as Child Tax Credits, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. Find out more about free school meals.

TOTUM (NUS extra) card

The TOTUM (previously NUS extra) card gives students access to over 200 exclusive discounts with a range of beauty, entertainment, eating out, music and travel brands. You can sign up for a TOTUM card, which costs £12 a year, at the NUS website.

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: