UCSE Courses

Find the graduate in you at University Centre South Essex

Choosing to study at University Centre South Essex means you will receive a high quality education and an excellent student experience. You will study in a vibrant atmosphere and be taught by dedicated professionals.

Our degrees and higher education qualifications are awarded by leading institutions, including the University of East Anglia, the University of Arts London, The Open University, Pearson and City & Guilds. Our aim is to provide you with the qualification you need to successfully embark on your chosen career path or to continue with further study.

Why not take the opportunity to find the graduate in you at University Centre South Essex.

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Animation BA (Hons)

Course code: W615 Please note: This course description was updated 03-07-2023 BA (Hons) Animation, a three-year duration programme, is delivered at Level 4 to 6. This course is an innovative,...
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Art and Design Level 4 Foundation Diploma

Level 4 course (Available to UK students) This is a dynamic, intensive and creative course that covers a wide range of specialist areas and helps you prepare a portfolio to assist with entry to...
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Certificate in Education (CertEd)

This award is validated by the Open University. This teacher training programme is for individuals who wish to gain a nationally recognised Level 5 teaching certificate in the post compulsory...
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Community Coaching for England (HNC) (HTQ)

Unlock Your Potential! Become a Certified Community Coach with Pearson's BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate. This esteemed program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and...
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Construction and the Built Environment (HNC)

Developed in consultation with employers by Pearson Edexcel, this course is suited for those pursuing a career in Construction & the Built Environment. Our Higher National Certificate...
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Costume Construction BA (Hons)

Course code: B5L2 Study our outstanding Costume Construction degree, in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, awarded by University of the Arts London. The BA (Hons) Costume Construction...
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Counselling BA (Hons)

Course code: B940 This course will develop your personal and professional integrity as a counsellor whilst promoting sound ethical practice. Why study this degree at University Centre South...
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Creative Media & Promotion BA (Hons)

Course code: W213 This programme offers direct entry to the creative media industry, specifically for careers in digital media, promotional design, social media marketing, commercial styling and...
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Criminology & Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons)

Course code: LF64 This programme, which is aimed at those looking to progress to a career in criminology, forensic investigation or investigative policing, will enable you to understand the core...
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Digital Technologies (Data Analytics) (HNC) (HTQ)

Unleash the Power of Data! Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Certificate in Computing (Data Analytics) The Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) in Digital Technologies with a...
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Early Years Education BA (Hons)

Course code: X310 Early years education is one of the most exciting and rewarding occupations. As an early years professional you can help to transform children’s lives and play an instrumental...
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Education and Training Level 5 Diploma

This course fulfils the professional requirements for becoming a teacher in Education & Training. The Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training is a teaching qualification, which has a...
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Electrical and Electronic Engineering (HNC)

This course is aimed at working technicians/engineers and is ideal for anyone who is interested in developing a multi-disciplined career in electrical/electronic engineering. Timetable: every...
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Exercise, Health & Sports Performance BSc (Hons)

Course code: C602 This course offers the opportunity to explore the six main strands of sports science (health & wellbeing, nutrition, professional practice, human physiology, human...
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Film & Television Production BA (Hons)

Course code: P320 Please note: This course description was updated 03-07-2023 There’s never been a more exciting time to be getting involved with Film and TV in the UK. There are areas of...
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Fine Art BA (Hons)

Course code: W100 This course is validated by the Univeristy of Arts London Our students have gone on to become internationally-acclaimed artists, curators, art critics, lecturers, teachers...
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Games Design BSc (Hons)

Course code: WG24 Please note: This course description was updated 03-07-2023 The programme will prepare you for the exciting world of the games industry. The course is structured on the game...
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General Engineering (HNC)

This is the perfect programme if you aspire to specialise in engineering. You will learn in an industry-standard environment with industry trained tutors. This award is validated by Pearson...
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Graphic Design & Illustration BA (Hons)

Course code: W210 The BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration degree course treats the various subject areas within design not as discrete disciplines but as interweaving lines of enquiry....
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Hair and Makeup Design and Application for Production BA (Hons) Top Up

This course is validated by the University of the Arts London (UAL) With the ever-evolving production industry, makeup and hair stylists have to be highly skilled and ready to exceed modern...
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Hair and Makeup Design and Application for Production FdA

This course is validated by the University of the Arts London (UAL) This study programme is designed to advance and develop skills and techniques in the design and application for production....
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Interior Design BA (Hons)

Course code: W250 This course offers strong industry links with a programme of exciting ‘live’ projects and opportunities for work placements which often result in job offers at the end of the...
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Level 4 Professional Diploma in Creative Enterprise (UAL)

Designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to develop your career as a creative professional. The qualification will provide you with the opportunity to...
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Performing Arts (Acting Pathway) (HND)

Course code: H882 Gain the skills you need to become a versatile and creative performance practitioner. This award is validated by Pearson Edexcel. Students will have access to Thurrock...
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Performing Arts (Dance Pathway) (HND)

Course code: 4B22 Gain the skills you need to become a versatile and creative performance practitioner. This award is validated by Pearson Edexcel. Students will have access to Thurrock...
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Performing Arts BA (Hons) Top Up

Course code: W470 This course is validated by the University of the Arts London (UAL) In response to the present employment climate within the Performing Arts sector, it is important for...
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Photography BA (Hons)

Course code: W640  The programme provides students with a broad knowledge and experience of photography and post-production techniques across a range of genres, approaches and contexts. The...
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Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (FE and Skills Sector) (PgCE)

This award is validated by the Open University. This teacher training programme is for individuals who wish to gain a nationally recognised Level 6 teaching certificate in the post compulsory...
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Psychology & Sociology BSc (Hons)

Course code: L340 The underpinning philosophy of the BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology programme is to provide you with the ability to apply theory, concepts and ideas across psychological and...
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Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies BA (Hons)

Course code: X161 This programme is for those looking to progress to teaching, social work or management in the special education and social care sectors and will give you the skills and...

Success stories

Will Thatcher

Will Thatcher

Course studied

Graphic Design & Illustration BA (Hons)

My greatest achievement so far has been breaking into the industry of my choice at an agency where I am able to work with dream clients.

My name is Will Thatcher, I am 28 years old and I studied BA Graphic Design and Illustration at South Essex College until July 2023 after graduating with a first class, and this is my story.

I wasn’t a big fan of school when I was younger, so I did a Business Admin apprenticeship in London. I then stayed at that company for another four years working in IT but decided it wasn’t for me. I have always been passionate about art and design, so I came to South Essex college to pursue a more creative career. I first enrolled on the Access to HE Art & Design course for a year, which helped me solidify my choice of graphic design.

I have just finished a six-month internship as a Graphic Designer at West Ham United FC organised through the college. It was part-time, so I was lucky enough to be able to do this alongside my studies and continued this a few months after graduation. Working at a Premier League club was an unforgettable experience, and I learnt so much from it. I am very grateful to those involved, and I still can’t believe it happened.

I have just landed a job as a Graphic Designer at IMG | Seven League. They are a consultancy and digital marketing agency working with major sports brands such as the NFL, Premier League and NBA to increase fan engagement and attract new audiences.

My job involves working within the design team to come up with creative concepts for both client and internal briefs, such as social media campaigns, and producing exciting graphics to be used by the clients. Sport is super visual, and I get to work with different clients, each with unique identities, so no job is the same.

Having to give up my job to study full-time meant I knew I had to make myself as employable as possible. The great thing about Graphic design is that you can combine it with any passion. I am obsessed with sports, so this became the focus of most of my work, leading me to be selected for my West Ham internship. I also reached out to various football clubs for freelance work and developed passion projects. It was great for my portfolio and ultimately secured my current job. My advice to anyone studying for a creative degree is to push yourself and focus on a specific area/industry you would like to work in. It will make you stand out from the crowd.

I chose to study at South Essex because they offer a variety of courses on my doorstep. It allowed me to study while living at home, close to my family and friends. I also loved how diverse the college is, and I have made friends from all different backgrounds and ages. Enrolling on the Access to HE Art & Design course enabled me to try many mediums before making my choice.

Studying on my course allowed me to gain insights into the industry from my experienced lecturers and guest speakers. I learned design principles and essential skills such as Adobe Illustrator and printing methods.

The best thing about doing higher education was that I had the freedom, time, and space necessary to develop my knowledge and skills while under the guidance of my lecturers. It also gave me a lot of focus, which I may have struggled with if I had self-taught myself outside of my job.

I had no graphic design or media option at school, so everything was new, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. I now consider myself skilled in them, but like everyone, I am still learning new things every day. We also learned how to present more effectively in crits to my peers and open myself up to feedback. Responding to feedback is a crucial skill in the creative industry, and the course provides a supportive and encouraging environment to help develop this.

The college provides access to Apple Macs with an Adobe Creative Cloud, which I previously had never used before. Although they are not absolutely necessary, it was good to learn how to use this industry-standard equipment and software. There are also brilliant printing facilities.

I would recommend South Essex College because it is a good option for anyone living locally who wants a supportive environment to learn at their own pace. A smaller number of students on each course also allows more interaction with your lecturer. You would rarely get this at larger institutions, and I don't think I would be at the same level I am elsewhere.

Coming here has massively helped me with my confidence. Before I came here, I wasn’t sure where life was going, but I realised it was the best decision I've made. Like anyone, I still have days of self-doubt, but these are much rarer now due to the strides I'm making and the encouragement of others.

My greatest achievement so far has been breaking into the industry of my choice at an agency where I am able to work with dream clients. I always knew I wanted to work for major brands. I still have to pinch myself.

I want to continue working in sports and have ambitions to be a creative director one day, as I enjoy motivating others and hearing other perspectives and ideas.

James Mitchell Success Story

James Mitchell Success Story

Course studied

Film & Television Production BA (Hons)

My name is James Mitchell , I am 38 years old and I studied/at South Essex College from 2002-2007 and this is my story.

I studied MND Moving Image and then a degree BSC Television Production and Screen Theory. South Essex College was local to me, it had the course I wanted to study on and it allowed me to stay at home and work in a local theatre. Industry kit is evolving all the time but a basic understanding of the college kit was very helpful.

It was a great base unit to help you realise your career aspirations. My most memorable aspect of the college was the relationship with the lecturers. This gave me the confidence more than anything elseThe chance to prove myself. 

Since completing my course, I have worked in the West End in various theatres in Stratford Upon Avon for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in London at the National Theatre. I also worked at the college as a lecturer and technician for a couple of years, followed by working in Peterborough in shopping television and now work in Media City, Manchester for ITV News as a Lead Production Specialist.

My job entails looking after a team of fifteen production specialists and operating in television production roles. Which include head of lighting for ITV news, sound mixing, directing, floor managing, weather recordings etc. By working my way up, I was able to work as a trainee production specialist in 2013, to then being the Lead Production Specialist.

My proudest achievement so far, is winning two BAFTAs as part of a team, also winning Production Specialist of the year in 2017. I hope this will lead to my dream aspired role as an Operations Manager.

 

Are you an ex FE or HE student? Do you want your story to be told? Then contact us at marketing@southessex.ac.uk 

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 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.