Why study with us?

Would you like to get back into education?

Thinking about retraining or developing your skills?

South Essex College can offer you the help and support you need to gain the qualifications for a brighter future.

  • Change career to a job you've always dreamed of.
  • Enhance your career and employability prospects by upskilling.
  • Return to work after unemployment or having children.
  • Gain a new qualification with dedicated guidance and support.
  • Build your self-confidence through a new hobby.

Adult education - Rosie

The college have been brilliant, they're really flexible. Go for it, because there's a lot more support than you realise. Sometimes it's really nerve-racking and you don't want to take that first step, but it's the best thing you'll ever do.

Adult education - Josh

I didn't really know what I wanted to do and I didn't really have the necessary grades to go straight to university. I've learnt so much from this access course. It's been really good, I enjoyed it, the tutors are really supportive.


Our courses

Or browse our full range:

Full-time study

All adult courses

Adult courses
Ideal if…

You want to study a course focused on your chosen career.

Our full range of courses for adults will set you on your journey to the career of your dreams.

From accounting to hairdressing, we have the right course for you.

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Fully-funded Level 3 courses free*

Level 3 courses
Ideal if…

You are aged 19 and over and want to achieve your first full level 3 qualification.

*Fully-funded courses are available to any adult aged 19 and over who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or two full A levels.

From Accounting to Coaching and Mentoring through to Fabrication and Welding Techniques, we have a range of courses for you.

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English, Maths and Functional Skills courses free*

English, Maths and Functional Skills courses
Ideal if…

You want to improve your English or need a maths qualification.

If you want to improve your English or need a maths qualification to get a job, we offer a range of courses that will help you get the skills you need.

*If you don’t have a Grade C or Level 2 qualification in these subjects these courses are FREE.

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Short courses free*

iLearn courses
Ideal if…

You are unemployed and need help to return to the workplace.

South Essex College offers a range of FREE* iLearn courses for unemployed people to help them return to the workplace.

The college's iLearn courses cover subjects such as accounting, childcare, health and social care, forklift, hospitality, office skills and security.

*See course listing for full details and eligibility.

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Online courses

Mindful Education, Online and On Campus

Mindful Education, Online and On Campus
AAT logo
CIPD logo
CMI logo
Ideal if…

You are looking for blended learning courses that provide flexible study options.

In order to provide an excellent study experience the college has joined forces with Mindful Education to create a suite of blended learning courses that provide flexible study options, combining online learning with face-to-face lessons in the classroom.

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Short courses and training

iQualify courses
Ideal if…

You are looking to upskill in your current job role.

These courses and training sessions run throughout the year covering many subjects from First Aid and Food Safety to SIA Secuirity training and Conflict Management. Please contact us for more information on start dates available. Discounts can be offered for group bookings.


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Higher Education

Access to HE

Access courses
Ideal if…

You want to retrain or upskill, get back in to education or progress to university.

Retrain or upskill, these Access courses are designed to get you back in to education and are a great stepping stone to university.

Access to Higher Education courses are perfect if you have been out of education for some time. They provide you with a great foundation to progress to studies at university level. Completing an Access course will ensure that you are confident and well prepared to take on a degree.

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Degree courses (HE)

Degree courses
UAL logo
UEA logo
OU logo
Ideal if…

You want to study a higher education course such as a Degree, HND or HNC.

Higher education – Degrees, Foundation Degrees, HND, HNCs. Offering a pathway into careers such as teaching, counselling, interior design and much more…

We offer degree programmes which are validated by top universities including University of Arts London (UAL) and University of East Anglia (UEA). Studying locally allows you to juggle outside commitments with study and we provide a welcoming and intimate university experience.

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English language courses


Ideal if…

You want to study English to live, study and work in Britain.

English for Speakers of Other Languages, English as a Foreign Language and The International English Language Testing System.

These courses focus on the language you need to live, study and work in Britain.

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Upskilling the workforce

Ideal if…

You are willing to commit to work and study, but would prefer a more practical and work-related approach to learning.

An apprenticeship is a great way to gain the skills, knowledge, experience and the qualifications you need to get into many careers. They combine work, training and study, letting you ‘earn while you learn’.

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Industry training

Logistics and Transport

Industry training
Ideal if…

You are looking to upskill yourself or your workforce.

We offer a wide range of transport based qualifications alongside a wealth of Logistics support training. Our team at the college can help make sure your staff are qualified to deliver the best service.

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Support for adult learners

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service can provide you with information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Visit the National Careers Service website

From introductory and home learning courses, to work-based learning and vocational diplomas we can offer the advice and support you need.

When you study with us you’ll get dedicated guidance from your tutors and our specialist support teams.

Support does not end with your current course. We also support you towards your future. Our student services team are on hand to help you with nationwide university applications.


Fees and Funding

Help and support

There is lots of help available for paying course fees and there are many circumstances where you can get courses fully funded.

Visit our Fees and funding webpage to find out more.

If you are 19 or over, you may be required to pay some or all of your fees.

This can depend on the level of your course, your previous qualifications or your personal income and employment status.

For the very latest information please email our funding department at

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that returning to studying creates a whole range of questions. Here we have the answers to some of the most frequently asked ones.

There are many reasons, but the main ones are small class sizes and lots of tutor contact. We also offer lots of free courses, many of which are flexible and fit with work and family life. Our campuses are generally easily accessible by public transport.

Our adult course advisors are really focused on getting people back to work and often work alongside employers to do this.

We also have a range of industry-experienced tutors who are experts in their field.

There is no need to worry about how you are going to pay for your course as for adults aged 19 or over, many of our courses are free, particularly for those who aren’t currently working or on low incomes.

If you choose an apprenticeship, the employer pays your tuition fees. If the course you have chosen isn’t free you can find the current costs on our website.

It may be possible to pay for the course in instalments or apply for an adult learning loan.

If you choose to study an Access to Higher Education course you may not have to pay back your tuition fees if you go on to study a related higher education qualification.

You can find out more about student loans for higher education on our website

If you need help with other costs our funding team can often access funding for you. Every situation is different so the main thing is to just ask and we’ll help if we can. Contact

It is easy, just visit our course search webpage and find the course you want to apply for and click 'apply now' or contact our admissions team at

There is also an online chat facility on our website or you can call and chat to one of us on 01702 221 800.

For apprenticeships visit the workforce part of our website or email

We have a dedicated team of in-house college careers advisors who will be able to help you with job hunting, preparing CVs and other help and advice.

The college has campuses in Southend, Basildon and Thurrock. Details of where your course is based can be found on our website. Each campus has a digital hub and learning resources areas where you are able to study and find the resources you need to complete your study programme.

  • Passport or other form of ID that shows your name, address and/or migration status
  • Proof of benefit income if claiming a reduced fee for eligible courses
  • Method of payment to cover any fees or deposits if applicable
  • Qualifications – proof of any previous study if applicable

This will depend on the qualification you are studying for. Please contact our admissions team for guidance.

The majority of our courses require you to attend an interview with a course tutor. Interviews are informal and are aimed at ensuring you are enrolled on the right course for your education and career goals. You will be sent details on all relevant admissions events once you have applied.

Please send any questions to: