Course Advice

020 3757 4000

Higher education

Southwark College provides a great alternative to traditional universities if you’d like to study locally in a friendly, supportive environment. Within our dedicated higher education (HE) hub, you'll learn from tutors with relevant industry experience, and benefit from state-of-the-art facilities that will help you get the most out of your learning experience – including hi-tech computer rooms and dedicated study areas.

Gaining an HE qualification is a fantastic way to improve your employment prospects in your chosen sector, whether you want to build on your current studies or are looking to return to studying after some years out of education. Either way, our courses are specially designed to give you the skills, knowledge, and experience employers are looking for. Through our partnerships with leading businesses, we build work experience into our HE courses, which will give you a vital advantage in the job market when you graduate.

Our HE courses are available in four key areas: Business, Finance and Computing; Health, Science and Technology; Art and Creative Industries; Teacher training and Education. You can choose to study for an HNC (Higher National Certificate), HND (Higher National Diploma) or Foundation Degree, with the option to ‘top-up’ your qualification to a full Honours degree at one of our partner universities on many courses.

At Southwark College, we can offer you the best of both worlds: a local option for your HE studies, backed by a highly renowned national group. We are part of NCG, the first group in the UK to have Taught Degree Awarding Powers, and our courses draw on the group’s long experience of providing high quality HE qualifications.

Find out more

You can find out more Southwark College Higher Education by coming along to one of our Open Days, or calling us on 0203 757 4000 at any time to arrange a visit.

You must be 18 or over to apply for a Higher Education course. If you are below this age, take a look at our Further Education courses.

  • Why choose Southwark College Higher Education?

    • 46% lower fees than most universities
    • Smaller class sizes
    • Flexible range of courses so you can gain a shorter HE qualification and go straight into employment, or continue to a ‘top up’ third year to gain a full degree
    • Strong vocational focus, with work experience built into your course
    • Fantastic state-of-the-art facilities equipped with innovative learning technologies
    • Local, easily accessible location

  • Types of qualifications

    HNC and HND

    • HNCs are usually one year and HNDs two years
    • Practical courses which prepare you for a specific career
    • A great choice if you want to progress to work quickly and don’t need a degree to work in your chosen sector

    Foundation degree

    • Typically two years
    • ‘Mini degree’ that gives you fundamental knowledge of the subject area
    • Equal to two-thirds of an Honours degree
    • Combines academic study with practical experience
    • Can be topped up to a full degree

  • Fee information

    You may be worried about the expense of studying at HE level, which is one reason why choosing Southwark College for your HE studies is a smart move. Our HE course fees are £6,165 per year (full time) or £4,625 per year (part time) – which is considerably lower than most universities.

    There are also a range of financial support options available to cover both tuition fees and living costs while you’re studying.

    Student loans

    There are two types of Student Loans:

    Tuition Fee Loan – covers your tuition fees throughout your course, and is paid directly to the College.

    Maintenance Loan – helps with living costs such as rent and bills and is paid in three instalments (at the start of each term). The amount you can borrow depends on your circumstances and household income

    You start paying back your Student Loan, and interest on the loan, back once you are working and your income is over £25,000 a year

    See more information on student loans and how to apply.

    You may also be eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan or other support such as the 19+ Study Award, Childcare Grant or Travel Award. Find out more in our Fees and finance section.

  • FAQs

    Studying at HE level is a big decision and you probably have lots of questions. If you can’t find out what you need to know in our Frequently Asked Questions on this page, just call us on 020 3757 3000.

    Does the College offer student accommodation?

    We don’t have accommodation of our own but our location close to a number of universities means that there are lots of accommodation options available including halls of residence, flat and house shares with other students, and house stays with local families. Our Student Services advisers can also help by referring you to providers such as Unite Students and Spare Room, as well as local estate agents.

    How can I apply for an HE course?

    You can apply directly to the College, either on the website application page or by filling in an application form which is available by calling 020 3757 3000.

    What will happen after I apply?

    You’ll receive an email from the College with a conditional or firm offer. You may also be invited to an interview or audition, depending on the course you’ve chosen. (If we don’t feel the course you’ve chosen is right for you at this point, our Guidance and Support Officers will be happy to help you.)

    On results day (for A levels, BTECs or other qualifications), provided you have met the minimum entry requirements, your conditional offer will become a firm offer. We will then invite you for any initial assessments required for your course and you will be given an enrolment date.

    What facilities will I use as an HE student?

    You’ll learn within Southwark College’s which includes high-tech specialist facilities, open learning spaces, and labs fully installed with the latest learning technologies.

    What happens if I find I struggle with HE level study?

    We do everything we can to ensure that our HE students are able to meet the demands of their course. Teaching is in small classes with a high staff to student ratio, and our Learning Support and Resource Centre provides help with skills you may need to build such as essay writing, research skills, revision and referencing techniques.

    I’m concerned that my level of English is not adequate for a HE course. What should I do?

    You have the option of taking one of our IELTS courses, including summer intensive courses, to get you to the right level. We specialise in helping students to improve their English language skills and are an official test centre for IELTS. Find out more about our IELTS courses.

    You can also download our HE review action plan and Single Equalities Scheme.

Access and participation plan

Our Access and Participation Plan sets out how we will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education.

It includes:

  • Our ambition for change
  • What we plan to do to achieve that change
  • The targets we have set
  • The investment we will make to deliver the plan

Student Protection Plan

Our Student Protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that our students can continue and complete their studies, or can be compensated, if this is not possible. All higher education providers registered with the Office for Students (OfS) must have a student protection plan in place.

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Coronavirus update

Lewisham 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: