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.

The latest

1 week 1 day ago

Next Ninja Warrior at South Essex College?

My story Josanne Gregory
Art and Design Extended Level 3 Diploma

Josanne Gregory

My name is Josanne Gregory, I am 25 years old, I studied at South Essex College from 2009-2012 and this is my story.

I did a BTEC level 3 in Art and Design at the College having previously been at Thames Gateway College studying Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. I choose to study at South Essex College as the textiles print facilities were fantastic and you were also provided with your own studio space in which to do your work.

Being older than my peers was no problem at all and being at the the College helped to develop my knowledge of the subject. I became more confident in asking for help and contacting people who could further help me. I developed my pattern cutting skills which has been invaluable to the career I am going to pursue.

Since leaving College I have been at De Montfort University Studying Fashion Fabrics and Accessories. I will be graduating in July this year (2015). So far I have been given an award from the Leather seller’s Charity Fund. I have also had work selected to be sold at Indigo Paris. I will be presenting my work at my degree show and I have done a presentation to be selected to attend New Designers in London this year. The best thing about doing further education is that it has provided me with the technical skills and information I needed to succeed. I made lifelong friendships at the College and the teaching staff made my experience a positive and successful one.

I would definitely recommend the College because the staff and the facilities are great. I am currently working on my website and am also in the process of setting up a folksy and etsy site to start selling my designs. I am also in contact with independent shops to sell my designs through. Going to college really gave me a confidence boost. The skills I learnt and developed whilst I was studying there gave me a better knowledge of techniques than a lot of Colleges so I was prepared when I started at university.

24 min 57 sec ago

@ConcordRangers We'll spread the word when the students are back after half term :)

1 week 1 day ago

Yammer is a group chat service used for students & tutors to communicate outside of the classroom. Find out more here

My story Steve Lovell
Sports Studies BSc (Hons)

Steve Lovell
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Hello my name is Steve Lovell, I am 24 and this is my story.

I did a BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching, Development & Fitness at South Essex College and I'm about to finish the final year of my sports degree at Southend University. I came to South Essex College in 2008 with no qualifications, having attended St Christopher’s School for my secondary education. I have Asperger’s syndrome and dyspraxia, and wasn't sure whether I should have taken up a course in life skills or choose the sports course that I really fancied.

People doubted that I would cope with the pressure but I managed to complete the first year. It was then discussed whether I should leave then with a sense of achievement or to return for the second year course, when I could have found it too stressful and lose confidence in my abilities.

I decided to give it a try and achieved a distinction. By now, my Asperger’s was beginning to help me as I was totally absorbed in the course and had to make sure that I was prepared and on time for all my assignments.

Once again, when I had passed the second year, there was confusion as to whether the course was getting too tough for my abilities for the third and fourth years, but by then I was living and breathing sport. I was desperate to play football and made four attempts at breaking into the College football team in four years but all ended in failure, however on a positive note, I went on to achieve my qualification of triple * distinction in BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching, Development and Fitness.

One of my proudest moments was when I achieved Sports Student of the year, and was then encouraged to go on to university which was something I'd never thought of in my dreams. However, not everyone was sure I would cope without my level 2 English & maths and so I was given all the support needed to help me pass. I failed in my first attempt at English by one mark and felt gutted! But I was luckier with my maths when after three months of sleepless nights, I managed to pass. For my second attempt at my English exam, I knew time was running out and was under a lot of pressure. On the day that the Olympic torch came to Basildon, I was sitting my English exam there. While waiting for the results, the examiner walked past and casually mentioned I had passed, which gave way to a lot of erupted screaming and crying (my mother, not me).

Onwards to Southend University, which proved to be more of a challenge and made me think about quitting but decided to stick it out to Christmas. During this time, I'll be eternally grateful to my then tutor, David Blainey, who with much persuasion (remember I’d had four failed trials) got me to join the Uni football team. I had no idea of the success and achievement it would bring as I went from being terrified to actually enjoying being in goal. Thanks to Dave and the team's encouragement, I couldn't believe when at the end of the year after saving two penalties in the last two games to help win us the league, I was made player of the year which I'll remember for the rest of my life. That wasn't bad for someone with weak hands, tremors and no experience of eleven-a-side football! Although we never reached those heights again, I was made captain on several occasions.

Thanks in no little way to the football, by the time it got to Christmas, I seemed to have settled into uni life. I finished my first and second years and I'm now about to finish my final year at university after what I believe to be a record seven years at Southend, from BTEC level 1 at 17 years old to a Bsc (hons) Sports Studies degree (hopefully) at 24 years old.

I'm currently a voluntary football coach at Great Wakering Colts, where I've been working for four years and now looking to do a master’s degree in strength and conditioning in the near future.

I would encourage anyone with a dream to go for it. I hardly left my bedroom when I started at College and preferred food to exercise but now I run in fun runs of eight miles and more, swim, play football up to three times a week (when not injured) and enjoy going out at the weekend.

Going to Southend college and university totally changed my life.

32 min 25 sec ago

Thank you @SeevicCollege & @SouthEssexColl for the RT's re: Media Team opening. Open to hearing from keen students!

My story Andrew Hall
Print Media & Journalism Level 3 Diploma

Andrew Hall

My name is Andrew Hall, I am 29 years old, I studied GNVQ Intermediate Media and BND Print and Publishing at South Essex College from 2001 to 2004 and this is my story.

My background (along with most of the students I studied with) was that I studied for my GCSEs at school and when I finished I wanted to study something that excited me. I chose to study at South Essex College because I felt the College would give me a better understanding of the field I wanted to investigate. College prepared me for the workplace by making me able to talk to people from all backgrounds. It taught me to know when I should speak and when to listen, when to fight my corner to the bitter end or when I should admit defeat. I learnt that stuff happens - the good and the bad - but what happens next is just as important. If something bad happens you have to pick yourself off the floor, dust yourself off and keep going.

Since completing my course I have had a range of jobs such as working at Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council. In 2010, I started working on my young adult book reviewing blog called The Pewter Wolf (

For the Pewter Wolf blog I read and review books and then give an honest reaction to the blog readers. I fell into being a book blogger by sheer fluke. I was unemployed and while looking for work I started reading and then writing my thoughts on the book I read online. I didn’t think anything of it when I started, but then publishers and authors talked to me and invited me to blogger events, sending me books in exchange for an honest review and I found myself being part of the book blogger community. At College I learnt different things that made me have a much better understanding of the field I was entering which is hugely important now when I write The Pewter Wolf. Just because I don’t use the equipment I learnt on at College doesn’t mean they haven’t been useful in my life now. It’s how you use those skills that is important.

The great thing about doing further education was that I studied the field that I was interested in. No one told me I had to. I wanted to learn about the world of media and then later the world of publishing. Because I wanted this knowledge I made myself learn it and I had to put the work in. The skills I learnt at College have helped me in both my professional and private life. The College taught me that it is important to listen to my work colleagues and work with them and there are also times when I must use my skills to work alone. It also taught me to voice my thoughts over possible ideas and to ask questions - no matter how big or small they are.

I think my favourite memory of being at College was my first day. I remember the excitement and nerves over what was going to happen next. Meeting my fellow classmates, who felt exactly the same as me as no one knew what was going to happen next. Then getting straight into it. That, I think, is my fave memory. Earlier this year The Pewter Wolf was nominated for three awards with the UKYA Blogger Awards. These awards are the first (to my knowledge) to be supported by publishers and recognise the hard work that book bloggers do. I won one award; Blogger’s Blogger, which is a huge honour as I still feel like I am faking my way through reviewing books at times.

My ambition is to keep working hard at The Pewter Wolf and continue reading books so that my review may make one person think: “That sounds like something I like”, and discover a book or author that they love. I feel that my time at the College built my confidence up and it was the start of me getting comfortable in my own skin. College was the kick I needed to realise that I didn’t need to please everyone. I had to please myself and make myself happy. It took a long time to get there (and I think we all have a long way to go) but College was very much the starting block! I would recommend South Essex College because it gave me space to grow. Not just in what I was learning, but personally as well.

7 hours 58 min ago