Student Union

When you enrol with us, you automatically become a member of the College’s Student Union.

Run by students, the Union exists purely to improve your experience as a student both academically and socially, and make your time with us exciting and memorable.

Get involved in College life

There are many ways you can get yourself involved in College life, meet other students, make your voice heard and gain important experience to put on your CV. When you enrol with us, you automatically become a member of the College’s Student Union which is part of the National Union of Students (NUS). Run by students, the Union exists purely to improve your College experience both academically and socially and make your time with us exciting and memorable. This membership gives you access to advice and information, discounts on parking, shopping, stationery and many other useful benefits to make living on a student budget easier.

TOTUM cards
Totum logo

As you are a student at the College, you are entitled to purchase a Totum (NUSExtra card) for £14.99 for 1 year or £24.99 for 3 years. This is a must for all students who want to get radical discounts in hundreds of outlets. You can purchase your card online.

TOTUM is the UK's number one student discount card and app. It is the new name for the NUS extra student discount card and your TOTUM membership opens up a world of brilliant student discounts, offers and vouchers on your everyday essentials, must-have gear and luxury items.

In store and online, TOTUM puts over 350 UK student discounts and offers right where you want them – in your pocket. And TOTUM is the only student discount platform endorsed by the National Union of Students (NUS).

There are lots of discounts available depending on your type of membership, from a range of famous online and high street brands and local independents.

TOTUM also is available with PASS-accredited proof of age ID, perfect for proving you're over 18 on a night out.


It’s your Student Union…

…and that means you can take an active part in shaping it. You can put yourself forward for to be an Executive Officer in the annual elections. We encourage you to develop clubs and societies, organise trips, parties and various other leisure and sporting activities.

If you are elected as a student union officer you will be entitled to get a Totum card free. As an Executive Officer you will have the opportunity to attend the annual NUS conference at our expense which can be held anywhere in the British Isles. This will give you the chance to interact with over 500 SU officers. The Student Union also runs various charity events and awareness campaigns, so keep your eyes out and get involved.

At the start of the year, each course will elect a Course Representative, who is invited to attend monthly meetings with the various College Departments and Senior Leadership Team to discuss their opinions and suggestions on behalf of your whole course. Remember, it’s your College and we want you to have a voice in how things happen here! Recently, along with the Student Union, the Course Reps have played a major part in securing parking discounts in Southend, improving the College’s WiFi, ensuring that all courses have all of the relevant equipment that is needed and making sure that prices in the canteen are kept low enough for students to afford.

We are proud of our students and encourage you to gain skills that go beyond your qualifications. We offer you the chance to contribute to College life, helping out with internal College events such as Freshers’ Fairs, Open Days and Award ceremonies. As a student union officer you will also get paid an hourly rate for work that you do for the student union.

In short, being a student at South Essex College is your opportunity to play an active role in our community, make friends, learn new things and ensure your voice is heard.

Check out the Student Union's Facebook page.

Success stories

Celebrating Success 2022: Maison Lundrigan

Celebrating Success 2022: Maison Lundrigan

Course studied

Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Level 3 Diploma

It’s a great college, especially for people with disabilities. The support I received from my tutor Charlie was brilliant. I really enjoyed the practical, hands-on aspect of the course.

Maison Lundrigan was named Motor Vehicle Student of the Year for his dedication and the consistent hard work he put into his studies.

The 18-year-old was praised for the high quality of his work and the fact that he was the first to pass his online exams. 

He has excelled during his time at the college, so much so, he is now embarking on a three-year apprenticeship programme at the college.

Maison has achieved all this despite living with additional needs.

He said it felt ‘brilliant’ to win the award and ‘it’s made me realise that I can achieve even with my disability.’

He added: “I chose the college because it offered the right course for me.

“It’s a great college, especially for people with disabilities. The support I received from my tutor Charlie was brilliant. I really enjoyed the practical, hands-on aspect of the course.”

Maison is now looking forward to his apprenticeship so he can pursue his dream of becoming a car mechanic.

His tutor said: “He is a pleasant and well-mannered young man that any college or employer would be pleased to have. Maison has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Celebrating Success 2022: Luke Lambert

Celebrating Success 2022: Luke Lambert

Course studied

Performing and Production Arts (Musical Theatre) Level 3 Extended Diploma

I have enjoyed receiving honest feedback and having the opportunity to grow as a performer. Tutors really encourage their students.

Performing Arts Student of the Year, Luke Lambert, has won his award because in every respect, his development and improvement has been outstanding.

Luke said that he feels extremely proud and grateful for the recognition. 

He said: “I chose to study at the college because I went to the open day with my parents. We were all really excited by the course and impressed by Richard and his ambition for his students.”

He added: “The course has been great for learning professional etiquette, as well as the actual training. I have enjoyed receiving honest feedback and having the opportunity to grow as a performer. Richard and Neil really encourage their students.” 

Luke’s tutor said: “Luke is an outstanding student. The development of his skills set during his time at this college is phenomenal which has been rewarded by casting him in the lead of the cohorts FMP production of ‘Spring Awakening’. As a result of his continuous diligence and want to improve, he has achieved offers from four top London Drama Schools to study Musical Theatre, Bird College, Arts Educational, Italia Conti and Guildford Conservatoire (GSA). This is far above what was expected at the beginning of his training. 

“He has demonstrated that he is highly motivated to succeed in this industry and aspires to always do his best. He is polite and well-mannered at all times to both his peers and his tutors. He is extremely well respected  by his cohort. He is always supportive of them and goes out of his way to help them. 

“He has become a very influential member of the group in so many positive ways. Behaviour, focus and attention to detail is impeccable and cannot be faulted. He has met every deadline for both practical and academic tasks. A faultless time at this college.”

Luke will be studying for a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre at ArtsEd in London from September and his ultimate ambition is to be performing leading roles in the West End. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Zoe Souto

Celebrating Success 2022: Zoe Souto

Course studied

Animal Care Level 2 Diploma

Zoe Souto, 17, from Rayleigh, studied Level 2 Animal Care at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for the award for her excellent attendance and attitude to college life and for completing work before deadlines to a very high standard.

Her tutor said: “Zoe is a very calming influence on the group. She keeps up-to-date with all work and goes above and beyond what is expected.

“Zoe may be hearing impaired but she never lets that act as a barrier to her learning and does everything to a great standard. I often have to set her work from level 3 to keep her ticking over.”

Zoe said: “I feel so proud of myself and surprised as I didn’t expect to be nominated, let alone win. I enjoyed all the support that was given during my course and have always been made to feel at home at the college.”

Zoe’s ambition for the future is to run her own pet services business or run her own cattery.
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Stefan Vijan

Celebrating Success 2022: Stefan Vijan

Course studied

IT Level 3 Extended Diploma

Students are given opportunities, staff are friendly and highly experienced and you receive the help you need

Stefan Vijan, 18, from Basildon, studied the Level 3 Information Creative Technology Diploma at the Centre for Digital Technologies Campus in Basildon.

He was nominated for the award for his commitment to his studies and for going out of his way to support other students in the group.

His tutor said: “Stefan is a very able student who consistently challenges himself and always strives to achieve the top grades. I know that his commitment to his studies will pay off and we look forward to hearing about his future successes.”

Stefan chose to study at South Essex College because of the new technologies and opportunities at the college as well as other important factors such as distance and course schedule. 

He said: “I have enjoyed the practical side of my course. I was able to develop practical knowledge within IT, and was able to use my creativity to make programs, devices, and websites. I believe this wouldn't have been possible in another college or a sixth form, thus making me choose this course.

“I would recommend South Essex College because it is a great college. Students are given opportunities, staff are friendly and highly experienced and you receive the help you need.”

Stefan’s ambition is to land a job within in the industry, and from there, work hard until he reaches his goal of working in management. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Peacock

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Peacock

Course studied

Creative Media Production (Television and Film Production) Level 3 Extended Diploma

I would definitely recommend South Essex College to those are who are looking for somewhere to be themselves and find their true passion.

Sophie Peacock, 17, from Billericay, studied the Level 3 Creative Media (Television and Film) Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for the award for her good level of organisation and commitment to every task as well as being a mature, professional and articulate student. 

Her tutor said: “Sophie takes advantage of every opportunity available to her both in college and outside, as she understands the value and benefits it will provide her with, in terms of networking, communicating, professionalism and improving her knowledge and skills. She is an absolute pleasure to have in the classroom and I hope she goes on to achieve great success.”
Sophie chose to study at the college because she liked the facilities that were available for her course.

She has loved the amount of creative freedom that the course has offered and being able to create any ideas and turn them into a reality with the support of her tutors.

Sophie was really proud and a little bit overwhelmed about winning the award.

She said: “I would definitely recommend South Essex College to those are who are looking for somewhere to be themselves and find their true passion.”

Sophie’s ambition for the future is to become a producer on the set of a live entertainment program. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Course studied

Art and Design (Graphic Design) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Coming to college gave me the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Reiss Willis, from South Ockenden, studied the Level 3 Art & Design (Graphic Design) Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

He was nominated for his positive attitude, work ethic and for producing high quality work, using digital and non-traditional methods.

His tutor said: “Reiss is a very nice individual, who is popular with the rest of the group and always eager to help other students. He should be incredibly proud of himself and his achievements because if he continues with this positive attitude and work ethic, he will have a fantastic future.”

Reiss would recommend South Essex College because of its accessibility, its support in all fields and the quality of teaching.

His greatest achievement was making a change in himself, to become more dedicated and motivated and be the ‘best version’ of himself. 

He said: “I struggled a little in school with behaviour and staying focussed so I knew coming to college was a fresh start and I could make a new impression. By completing all work to the highest quality and always completing additional work, I was able to win this award which I am very proud of.”

His plan after college is to go to Loughborough University and continue pursuing his dreams. 

His long term ambition is in graphic design where he would like to have his own firm and become a creative director, taking on jobs and rebrands for big companies.
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Mia Riley

Celebrating Success 2022: Mia Riley

Course studied

Sport and Exercise Sciences Level 3 Extended Diploma

I am so glad I chose South Essex College as it has given me the independence I needed in preparation for university

Mia Riley, 17, from Southend, studied the Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for her award for taking on multiple extracurricular activities and qualifications through college and putting in all her effort to every academic situation.

Her tutor said: “Mia is on track to achieve the highest grade possible for her course and has improved greatly throughout her time on the course. She is an exemplary sports student and person with a great care for education and future. We wish her all the success for the future.”

Mia liked that the students were treated as adults compared to school and that she was given more independence across the two years.

She describes herself as a shy person and said it would have been easier to stay at school, however her current course sounded a lot more challenging and pushed her out of her comfort zone. 

She said: “I feel so pleased about winning the award and feel proud to receive it. I am so glad I chose South Essex College as it has given me the independence I needed in preparation for university.”

Mia will be going to Loughborough University to study sport science, physical education and coaching, with ambitions to eventually become a PE teacher.