skills education careers

Welcome to South Essex College of Further and Higher Education. Our vision is an ambitious one: we aim to provide outstanding education and skills training across our campuses in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.

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Did you study at the College? What are you doing now? We'd love to hear your story - get in touch!

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Waves restaurant showcases talented students

My story Brad Shea
Understanding Stewarding at Events Level 2 Award

Brad Shea

My name is Brad I am 21 years old, I studied Understanding Stewarding at South Essex College from November 2011 until January 2012 and this is my story.

Before coming to college I was on Jobseekers Allowance, mainly looking for jobs in the aviation Industry. Before I started the course I never really looked for a job in the security industry. Roughly two weeks before the course started I got a call from Connexions. They told me everything about the course and explained that after I completed it there was a possibility that I could get a job working at the London Olympics the following year.

I chose to accept this course and to study at South Essex College at the Basildon Campus because prior to joining I had heard good things about the College and the campus. The potential opportunities that could come my way after doing the course were just too big to turn down. I often wonder where I would've ended up if I had of said ‘no’ when Connexions offered me this course and standing here writing this now, I am glad I didn't turn it down.

After completing the course I added the security industry into my job search and in February 2012 I joined Knights Group, a security company based in Camberley, Surrey. I was put onto an apprenticeship to gain a qualification in Spectator Safety. Having done part of this course with Understanding Stewarding at the College, the Spectator Safety qualification was made slightly easier for me. In March 2012 I did my first event with Knights Group, a test event at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Since that first event up until now, I have worked at some very prestigious venues including Wembley Stadium, Twickenham Stadium, Fulham FC, Reading FC, Southampton FC and in November 2014 I began working directly for Chelsea FC.

I work at various sporting venues, in and out of London with Knights Group and I also work at Stamford Bridge Stadium with Chelsea Football Club. My job entails ensuring and maintaining the safety of all spectators and staff within the venue, adhering to all health and safety practices. I think I have managed to progress so far in the last three years because I have showed that I am hardworking as both an individual and as part of a team and it is clear to see my hard work has not gone unnoticed.

During the time I was at the college, I was taught the skills that were relevant to the work that I would soon be doing. Some of these skills I still use today when I’m at work and even in day-to-day life.
I gained various skills on the course. I think the most valuable has to be communication. All three of my tutors made sure that my classmates and I were able to communicate with each other in work based situations with complete confidence. At the time I had no idea of its importance to the job. It wasn't until I started working that I soon realised how important it was.

In one practical lesson that I remember, we were given radios and taught how to use them. It was a lesson on effective communication if I remember rightly. Compared to the radios I've used in work, the only main difference is appearance. Using them is the same.

The best thing about further and higher education compared to compulsory education is that it's a lot less formal and it has completely different vibe to it. At College you're there because you want to be there, whereas at school you're there because you have to be there.

I would recommend South Essex College because it has a very friendly atmosphere, the choice of courses that you can choose from is incredible, there is pretty much something for everybody.

I have done lots of things that I am proud of since leaving the College; the ones I would like to mention are working at the UEFA Champions League Final in 2013 at Wembley Stadium, the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics and the Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium. I aim to stay in the security industry for many years to come, hoping to progress within Knights Group and Chelsea Football Club.

Confidence was always a struggle for me before I went to South Essex College, I know part of this is due to me having Aspergers Syndrome, but going through College and through work in these past three and a half years, I have surprised myself on how my confidence has progressed. Five years ago I never thought that I would ever be able to stand in front of a group of people and speak. Now I do it as part of my job and I do it with complete confidence.

1 week 3 days ago

Media students visit #MediaLive

1 day 15 hours ago

Don't forget - clocks go forward one hour tonight. Spring is almost here! :D

My story Megan Lesser
Performing Arts (Dance) Level 3 Diploma

Megan Lesser

My name is Megan Lesser, I am 18 years old, I studied BTEC Performing Arts (Dance) at South Essex College from 2012 – 2014 and this is my story.

I had been dancing for most of my life but only really looked at it as a hobby until I came to South Essex College. I chose to study at the College because it’s local to where I lived and had the course I wanted to do, also I had heard good things about it.

After getting my qualification at South Essex College, I auditioned to go into higher education to study dance and after going to an audition at Pineapple Studios in London, I successfully got into the Institute of the Arts in Barcelona, Spain to do a degree course.

My time at South Essex College prepared me for where I am now by guiding me into what the performing industry is like, helping prepare me for auditions and performances and giving me the push into the right direction.

The best thing about doing further education is it that prepares you for your chosen career and opens up new doors. While at College I gained independence, confidence and valuable friendships. The equipment we used in our shows at South Essex College such as the lighting, sound system and studios were all such good quality! The time at the college helped me progress with my fitness and flexibility in dance. I have also gained valuable friendships that I'm sure will last a lifetime.

My favourite memory of being at the College would have to be performing with my classmates at the Towngate theatre in our final end of year show. I would recommend South Essex College because they have amazing courses and teachers. They go the extra mile to help you get to where you want to be in life.

My greatest achievement so far has been moving to another country on my own and learning how to get by. My ambitions for the future following completing my degree, are to audition for dance jobs on cruise ships, in the West End and in dance companies.

1 week 4 days ago

It's #CSIBasildon! Forensic Science students are busy putting their skills to the test with this mock road collision

2 days 19 hours ago

Really excited about this great app to empower young voters #Basregister2vote @SouthEssexColl @BcaySixthForm

My story Anu Prakash
Performing Arts (Acting) Level 3 Diploma

Anu Prakash

My name is Anu Prakash I am 21 years old, I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Acting at South Essex College and this is my story.

Before coming to the College I studied a BTEC in Performing at GCSE level and chose to come to South Essex College because the course they offered me was very practical which has turned out to be very beneficial. Also the staff in the drama faculty were very friendly and gave the department a family vibe.

I received a distinction at the College and I am currently in my second year at University. I have also appeared in many films and was the female lead in a short film.

Along with acting, I also work as a casting agent (working alongside my agent who I’m signed to as a model, actress and dancer). If I am not going to my own castings or shoots, I work with other talent scouts in order to sign new talent onto our books and put clients up for castings. My time at South Essex College helped me prepare myself for the working environment because it offered me the opportunity to be an independent artist, which has helped me with my job now.

Further and higher education give you the foundation to set a stable career path and develop your future. I became more independent, learnt how to manage my time efficiently and realised that I had to work hard if I wanted to achieve good results.

My greatest achievement so far has been to secure the role as lead actress in a feature film which premiered in London last year. In the future I want to set up my own drama school and work as an actress.

Going to South Essex College is by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I have made lifelong friends and have a stable job that benefits my chosen career path and it definitely made me a much more confident women.

My story Matt Hughes
Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Matt Hughes

My name is Matt Hughes, I am 21 years old and I studied Interactive Media at South Essex College from 2010 - 2012… and this is my story.

I got into media when I discovered animation software in school IT. Prior to digital media I would always be drawing, doodling and painting. I received D*D*D* (D = Distinctions) at the College and chose to go there because I wanted to do something creative and had a thirst for animation when I started. The location also helped. I guess you could say going to college helped me become a lot more open minded and confident which are traits that have helped me a lot.

I achieved a first class marks in my first year of university and am now currently in the third year while also having secured a job at an agency I helped create called Ascesis. I am a graphic designer (soon to be art director) at Ascesis and you can see what we do at

As I have been at the company from the beginning I am in charge of more than graphic design and web design. I also hold meetings, visit clients and currently help manage the team and the projects we have as well as looking after clients. I also do a bit of developing when I get the chance.

I got to where I am now through sheer determination. When I started my job my knowledge was nothing like it is now. I had confidence that putting myself under pressure would make my efficiency and productivity increase. In my role at Ascesis I started as the graphic design/developer and as the year went on I helped the company grow by bringing in clients and managing them. Because of my success the director will soon be promoting me to art director.

Higher education is great mainly because of the networking opportunities it brings. Business is as much about who you know as what you know. Since being at university I have met people from top-end businesses and small agencies which has helped my network of contacts grow for the industry I’m in. The Education itself is good but you do need to be motivated to put in an effort yourself to achieve high grades. Another Good thing is the friends you make on your course – these will be very handy in the future!

The software used at the College gave me an intro to the Adobe Suite and I am currently working on my Adobe Suite Skills, Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. I also have gained team management, account handling and speaking skills since being at Uni and at Work.

My greatest achievement so far has been working at Acesis and finishing the O2 Academy Fresher’s Campaign. It was a painful and stressful experience but once it was done, going to the fresher’s fair was a bit surreal seeing everyone wearing my artwork and the stand having all my designs on.

In the future I want to successfully become an art director for Ascesis and grow the company, aiming for £5 million turnover in the next five to ten years.