HE Fees and Funding

 

Tuition fees

The amount of financial support provided to higher education students will depend on the programme you choose and if it is a full-time or part-time course. It will also depend whether you are a home, EU or an international student.

Fees and payment schedules

Information on fees and payment schedules can be found on our Policies, Procedures and Downloads page.

 

Additional costs

The University Centre South Essex provides an extensive range of classrooms and studios, hardware, software and technician support. A wide range of professional equipment is available for students’ use, making it possible to successfully follow the course of study without making additional significant personal investment in equipment - unless students choose to do so.

Whilst the University Centre tries to keep additional student costs to a minimum, there may be additional costs associated with your course. The cost of optional activities is not included in the tuition fee and students will need to meet this cost in addition to fees. A summary of the costs that students may need to budget for, while studying a course at the University Centre South Essex in the 2022-23 academic year are listed here.

Typically, at any university practice-based courses incur more costs than text-based subjects.

Most courses have some specialist material available for students to use, however students will need to budget for the cost of specialist materials, equipment, stationary and printing beyond that provided. This spend will be between £50–£300 per year depending on individual requirements.

Most course books and a wide range of magazines and journals are available in the library. Students do not need to have their own copies, but if they wish to, students should budget up to £200 over the course to buy them.

Specialist equipment is provided to cover essential learning, with access to computers and necessary software across the University Centre, however some students may choose to buy their own specialist equipment. These may include cameras, or computers and software. Budgets can range from £50–£2,000. Buying specialist equipment is best undertaken in consultation with academic and/or technical staff. The amount spent will depend on individual choices but this expenditure is not essential to pass any of our courses.

Students will receive a printer allowance for standard A4/A3 printing each Academic Year, some courses, for example Photography, may incur higher costs which are not included in the allowance (up to £500 based on previous student experience) when printing and framing images of professional standard for public presentation.

On Engineering courses students are required to bring their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Costs in the final year of study on a creative course are very likely to be higher than in earlier years as students bring together their final body of work and portfolio, students may need to budget between £200 and £1,000.

Final-year graduation shows are opportunities to present your final, independent project work to the public. Practice-based courses will typically incur higher costs. Depending on the specific nature of the final project students may need to budget between £20–£1,000.

Students on placement will normally incur additional transport costs dependent on the location of the placement. For students on BA (Hons) Counselling, students will required to pay a sum for 30 hours of personal therapy, a sum for clinical supervision, a sum for appropriate personal indemnity insurance, and a sum for required membership of an industry regulatory body. Students on placement may also be required to pay a sum for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

For most courses there will be the opportunity to attend field trips and off-site visits, for example to galleries, exhibitions, and studios, museums of relevance to the curriculum, relevant exhibitions or conferences, court visits etc. These are optional and are not required to pass the course. The nature of the costs vary from provisions for a packed-lunch to flight and accommodation costs for international field trips.* The amount spent would be based on location and number of trips taken, and typically range between £30 and £1500 across the duration of the course. Students attending theatre performances will normally be asked to pay for the cost of their ticket.

*For the Academic Year 2022-23 students on BA (Hons) Digital Animation, BA (Hons) Film & TV Production and BSc (Hons) Games Design will have a residential trip built into their third year studies, Covid and other unforeseen restrictions permitting.

 Further information

Please speak to our HE Support team for more information about fees and advice on international fee-paying status.

 

Student Finance

You can find out all about the financial support you are entitled to from the government at the following address: www.gov.uk/student-finance.

Tuition Fee and Living Cost loans are available from Student Finance England. The tuition fee loan is paid directly to the university and covers the cost of the course. The living cost loan (also referred to as a student loan or maintenance loan) is usually paid in three instalments directly into your bank account to help cover living costs including accommodation, food and course materials.

You can use the student finance calculator to find out how much you will be able to get from the government.

There is information on the Student Finance England website about how to apply, paying your student loan back, interest rates, additional support for students with special circumstances and much more. Student Finance England also share up to date information via their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Applying for student finance

We have created the following document to help you understand more about the process of applying for student finance.

To be eligible for a tuition fee loan you must fulfil certain criteria in regards to:

  • UK residency status
  • The university or college you are studying at and the course you are taking
  • Previous higher education study (first-time students)
 Please note: if you already hold a higher education qualification when applying for entry to our undergraduate programmes you may not be eligible for further tuition loan funding we strongly urge you to visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance or contact Student Finance England direct.
Regulations relating to Higher Education study

Please see below for regulations relating to Higher Education study at University Centre South Essex.

 

Advice and guidance

Our higher education support team is on-hand to provide advice and guidance on issues relating to study costs and financial support, including hardship funding.

 Further information

If you require assistance with your application or more information please contact HE Support HESupport@southessex.ac.uk

Prior to starting your course, it is advisable to work out if this is financially viable, especially if you plan to give up work, or will lose benefits that you were previously eligible for. Before you do this you are advised to speak to the benefits agency to see how your benefits may be affected by enrolling onto a higher education course.

University Centre South Essex works with The Money Charity to assist students in understanding and managing their budgets. We recommend that you use their budget builder to help you prepare for university.

You can find the online tool here.

 Student Finance England Contact Information

Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Darlington DL1 9HJ

Telephone: 0300 100 0607

NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0300 100 0607

Success stories

Tony Waghorne Success Story

Tony Waghorne Success Story

Course studied

Film & Television Production BA (Hons)

South Essex College was perfect for me, especially when it came to Further Education

 

My Story Tony Waghorne

My name is Tony Waghorne, I am 26 years old, I studied Digital Animation and TV and Television Production and Screen Media at South Essex College from 2012 until 2017 and this is my story.

Before coming to study at South Essex College my background was, ‘I don’t know what I want to do’. I always had a heavy involvement in sport but sadly we can’t all be Premier League footballers. I’ve always been creative and when picking GCSE subjects an art teacher convinced me to take it and I developed an interest. I knew I had the ability to tell a story and it wasn’t until an open day at the college I stumbled across animation. 

South Essex College was perfect for me, especially when it came to Further Education. I was a short 10 minute train journey away and to be honest I really didn’t want to move away to university. I knew I’d get distracted and not get the grade I was hoping for and eventually finish with.

The college prepared me for the workplace by putting me in real world situations. Strick deadlines, communicating with me like a colleague and not a pupil and not to mention the industry-level equipment.

I finished college with a Triple Distinction** and finished Further Education with a 1:1.

I was lucky enough to be accepted for an internship two weeks after completing further education at a digital sports agency in London. The company then employed me full-time and I stayed with them for a further 13 months. I then decided to try freelance work but I didn’t enjoy it. Luckily my previous employer took me back as senior videographer. Shortly after, a video agency in Westminster working for big fashion brands including Ted Baker and GHD employed me to be their sole videographer. My current employer contacted me regarding an opening and I’ve been with them for the best part of  three years now.

I currently work as a senior videographer for Nash Tackle Limited. Nash Tackle are one of Europe’s leading carp fishing brands and in the media department we make anything from studio-shot product videos to feature-length documentaries shot all over Europe.

I do everything you’d expect in terms of shooting and acting as a lead on these shoots, but I also do a lot pre and post-shoot. This can be anything from booking hotels, contacting venues, assigning shoots/edits, watching edits and providing feedback and am just a general point of contact to the other videographers in the team. My manager is hoping to develop me into head of video in the not too distant future.

I think I would have been lost if I just left secondary school and attempted to get into this industry on my own. The college guided me into employment that I wanted to do and a career that I can strive in. I was able to change course easily and therefore find the right path for me through great mentorship and available opportunities.

At South Essex College I gained all of the basic skills I need to do my job. When I started further education I didn’t even know what aperture was and just five years later I’m leading crews of six on European shoots and being considered for a head of video role.

One of my most recent achievements was being flown out to Thailand to shoot. One of the many reasons I wanted to do this career was because of the travelling aspect and an experience like that is one many don’t get in their career.

The equipment at the college, especially the editing software's and machines are identical to what I use and what I always have used in the industry.

My time at the college helped 100% with my confidence. I’m not a confident person and there’s many moments you don’t look forward to when studying, presenting in front of a class for example, but these are the things that really help develop you and confidence is something that has been key to my career development.

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Wade

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Wade

Course studied

Graphic Design & Illustration BA (Hons)

The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling

Sophie Wade, from Stanford-le-Hope, is in her second year of the Graphic Design BA (Hons) course at University Centre South Essex.

She was nominated for the award for her professional manner and her proactive attitude to work. 

Sophie has many notable achievements at the university centre so far such as securing a web design work placement based in London, working at a Leigh-On-Sea based marketing agency and collaborating with the RSPB on her final second year project.

Her tutor said: “Sophie has approached her work placement unit in a professional manner since day one and her proactive manner has meant that she secured many work placement opportunities, including working with the RSPB on her own self-directed project. 

Sophie has been a really great peer mentor throughout the academic year and all her interactions with employers have helped prepare her for the professional world when she completes the course next year.”

Sophie returned to education after three years of working in local authority administration roles to embark on a new creative career path and was very nervous about starting her degree studies in 2020, but said the staff at the university could not have been more accommodating and helpful.

She said: “I feel privileged to have been selected to receive this award and I am extremely grateful to the staff across the UAL creative portfolio who have selected me as the winner.

The university centre has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with the tutors and seek feedback and support on a one-to-one basis and there is a real community feeling. I could not think of a better way to conclude my second year of study here at the university centre.”

Sophie’s ambition for the future is to embark on a career where she can combine her love for graphic design and digital technology and create solutions which make a positive difference to people's lives.
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Mark Ganyu

Celebrating Success 2022: Mark Ganyu

Course studied

General Engineering (HNC)

Learning is ageless and I’ve really enjoyed being a student again and pushing myself to reach my potential

Mark Ganyu, from Stanford-le-Hope, studied HNC General Engineering at University Centre South Essex.

He was nominated for being a motivated, punctual, well-mannered, hardworking individual and for consistently maintaining his high standard performance since in his level 3 part-time engineering course four years ago.

His tutor said: “Mark’s work and performance have been exemplary and has exceeded expectations in the last four years whilst tending to family commitments, changing jobs and overcoming a language barrier. He has been an asset to this programme and we wish him all the success.”

Mark would recommend University Centre South Essex as a mature student as it helped him in many scenarios and was very flexible and supportive. 

Mark commented on his nomination and said: “It was a complete surprise to be winning an award and makes me feel good. Learning is ageless and I’ve really enjoyed being a student again and pushing myself to reach my potential.”

“It’s a kind gesture from the awarding bodies and tutors to recognise my efforts and would like to thank them all for their dedication during my time at the university centre.”

Mark has aspirations of studying for a higher education degree course but may take his knowledge and skills to his current company, where he can continue accepting new challenges and opportunities. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Billy Gibbons

Celebrating Success 2022: Billy Gibbons

Course studied

Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies BA (Hons)

I would recommend people to look at University Centre South Essex, especially if you have a disability as there is good access and amazing support.

UEA Student of the Year, Billy Gibbons, won his award for his determination to succeed in spite of the challenges he faces.

Billy has significant speech and language delay, developmental delay and an auditory processing impairment. He communicates using ‘total communication’ which combines British Sign Language, lip reading, speaking and listening. He also has mild cerebral palsy affecting mainly his lower limbs.

His tutors have praised him for not letting barriers get in his way and for always striving to achieve his best.

Billy said he was ‘very proud’ to have won the award.

He said: “I knew I would be very committed and determined to do my very best this year and very thankful to be recognised by my tutors for this.”

Billy was quick to recognise and praise the ‘excellent’ support he is receiving, which was one of the reasons he chose to study at the university centre.

He added: “I wanted to study at University Centre South Essex because there was opportunity for me to keep the fantastic support I had had during my time on my Further Education course at the college.

“I would recommend people to look at University Centre South Essex, especially if you have a disability as there is good access and amazing support.

Billy’s ambition is to complete his degree, something he has been working towards and dreaming of since he was young.

He said he also wants to become a role model for other students who believe they can’t go to university when in fact they can. 

Celebrating Success 2022: Aniku-Rehman Gul

Celebrating Success 2022: Aniku-Rehman Gul

Course studied

General Engineering (HNC)

I would highly recommended the university centre for its variety of different courses, professional and expert tutors, it is extremely well organised and student orientated.”

Aniku has carried off  the HNC/HND Student of the Year award because of his excellent attitude towards learning.

He said: “It is an absolute honour to win this award and I'm humbled that my mentors/teachers think of me so highly.”

Aniku said he chose to study at University Centre South Essex because it is one of the only higher education institutions that offer the course he wanted study - electro-mechanical engineering. Being employed as a multi-disciplined engineer, this was the perfect course for him. 

His tutor commented: “Aniku is motivated, punctual, well-mannered, committed, hardworking, and an excellent collaborator. He is very thorough in implementing given feedback and is improving his work consistently. 

“Aniku’s distance travelled in such a brief time since he joined L4 HNC programme in September 2021 is remarkable. He has flourished from a quiet student to an accomplished confident team member not hesitating to offer his assistance to his peers and tutors. He is an asset to his programme of study.

Aniku added: “It is an extremely well organised course. Considering my course is part-time it can get intense. Having a course that’s organised so well just makes everything, especially the learning part, easier to digest.

“I like that the different aspects of engineering are covered well and taught in a professional and easily digestible manner.

“My greatest achievement so far has been gaining promotion from maintenance technician to regional reliability engineer. I would highly recommended the university centre for its variety of different courses, professional and expert tutors, it is extremely well organised and student orientated.”

Aniku said that he would really like to continue his education and get a degree in Electromechanical Engineering. His future ambition is to take up a Chartered Engineering role or become a senior consultant. 


 

Celebrating Success 2022: Amy Slade

Celebrating Success 2022: Amy Slade

Course studied

Hair and Makeup Design and Application for Production FdA

The university centre feels more like a family environment; you get the opportunity to collaborate with other students from other courses as well as work with people who are a part of the industry.

UAL Student of the Year, Amy Slade has won the award for overcoming severe anxiety and showing impeccable determination.

Amy said she chose the course because there are units in it that are not included in other universities and they focus on what is needed in the industry.

She said: “I am surprised but happy to get this award, I enjoyed the course because of the concept of studying with a smaller group of students. You also get more one-to-one time with your lecturers for when you need help with your work or somebody to talk to.
I had the creative freedom to explore the units independently and include my own personal interests in my assessments.”

Amy’s tutor said: “Amy suffered with severe anxiety before attending our course and her skills were of a low standard for industry. Since September, she has embraced all wellbeing sessions with confidence and success, she has picked up all hair techniques, including the advanced techniques within six weeks. She has embraced every challenge that has been thrown her way, so much so, she has completed five work experience placements where all other students have declined them.

“Her attitude and drive has to be commended, as her confidence has soared, we are all extremely proud and it is a joy to watch her truly blossom In this short amount of time. It’s like she is a new person – it’s truly amazing.”

Amy feels that completing her first year having had the opportunities to collaborate with other students for their own personal projects as well as industry work experience has been her greatest achievement.

She added: “The university centre feels more like a family environment; you get the opportunity to collaborate with other students from other courses as well as work with people who are a part of the industry. In the future I would like to travel and to try to find my way in the industry to secure a career as a hair and makeup artist; particularly for film, TV and music.”

Success story: Taylor Skevington

Success story: Taylor Skevington

Course studied

Criminology & Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons)

The course was very interesting and unlike other courses I had seen at other universities. Also, the centre was close to home and had multiple options for travel.



My name is Taylor Skevington, I am 23 years old, I studied Criminology & Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) at University Centre South Essex from October 2017 to June 2020 and this is my story.

I took my A-Levels at Seevic College in English Language and Literature, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology and applied for the degree straight after.

I have gone on to do a MA Criminology degree at the University of Essex and achieved a Distinction. I am now a 1st year PhD student in Criminology at Essex.

I have recently finished a part-time position as a research officer on the Understanding Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Project for the Home Office.

I was entrusted to do research for and write the literature review of the project and was also given administrative tasks for the overall project.

My PhD supervisor gave me the position as they were one of the researchers involved in the project and thought the topic was close to my own research.

The course was very interesting and unlike other courses I had seen at other universities. Also, the centre was close to home and had multiple options for travel.

The module on Personal Development was extremely helpful as it gave us tips on important skills such as writing your CV and job interviews. The work placements during the third (and last) year were also good experience for careers in the discipline. 
Higher education gives you the opportunity to learn more about a subject you are passionate in and to further your personal development.

I gained valuable timekeeping and presentation skills because of the multiple types of assignments that were assigned. It also taught me skills in writing and research, especially important in further education. 
My favourite memory of doing my degree was being in lectures with my peers as it was always a welcoming and fun atmosphere.

Not only was my degree interesting but my lecturers were extremely supportive and constructive in their criticisms.

My aim is to become a researcher/academic in criminology/sociology.

My time at the college helped me build my confidence in my work and in communicating with others.

For more information on the Criminology and Forensic Investigation: www.southessex.ac.uk/course//criminology-and-forensic-investigation-bsc-hons-1