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South Essex College


History: The college was founded in 1899 as an art school and later changed its name to the Junior Day Technical School, moving into commerce and industry courses like plumbing. It became the South East Essex College of Arts and Technology in 1991. It merged with Thurrock and Basildon College in January 2010 to become South Essex College.

Address: Three campuses: Basildon, Thurrock and Southend, which the college shares with the University of Essex. There are also several community bases around the region.

Ambience: Modern. Based in a new building at Southend, which has space for more than 13,000 students, it has an atrium, 250-seat auditorium and library with IT facilities and private study spaces. Conference venue and gallery also on site. New sports ground Wellstead Gardens also has social facilities. The new Thurrock Campus opens in Grays town centre in September 2014. Basildon's centre sits in the town centre, with plans for a new campus at an advanced stage.

Who's the boss? Angela O’Donoghue CBE, principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: Either ring  0845 52 12345 or download a prospectus from here.

UCAS code: S43


Easy to get into? You'll need 160 UCAS points for their degrees, or 40 points if you want to do a foundation degree or HNC.

Foundation degrees: Business studies; retail management; construction management; counselling; engineering; fashion communication and marketing; interior design; textiles and fashion; network technology; personal fitness training;

Vital statistics: An integrated further and higher education college offering more than 40 HE courses, in partnership with the University of Essex, the University of East London and Anglia Ruskin University. It also caters for school leavers and adult learners, through weekend and evening courses.

Added value: Was the UK's first Nikon Academy. Has a Sony-approved TV Studio, Apple Mac Academy and offsite recording studio. Seminars and talks from industry leaders in film, animation, design and counselling. Courses are predominantly vocationally-based, preparing students for industry. Prides itself on its innovative use of 'learning technologies' - students can view assessments, deadlines and weekly timetables online as part of a substantial internet database accessible from any computer. Town centre locations provide easy access to shopping, socialising and transport links.

Teaching: A 2008 Ofsted report said the College is 'good' with a number of 'outstanding' features. The college’s promotion of equality and diversity, engagement with employers, specialist resources, including the library and IT resources and the quality of the information, advice and guidance provided and governance were just some of the aspects graded Outstanding.

Any accommodation? Yes – University Square offers 561 student rooms including 64 studio rooms. All rooms are en-suite and there are generally eight to ten students sharing a flat with full kitchen/ diner facilities. En-suite study rooms cost £124.74 per week and studio rooms cost £153.86 per week. Payments are due once a term.

Transport links: All three campuses are close to railway stations on the C2C Line, which goes to London Fenchurch Street. All have good road links just off the M25. Close to Stansted Airport.

Fees: Full-time home undergrads will pay £7,000 per year if they are starting in 2014.

Bursaries: A means-tested bursary of up to £400 per year is available to students whose household annual is less than £25,000. There are also bursaries for students who choose to study foundation degrees and those who have already completed an FE qualification with the college.


Nightlife:Next to the sea, Southend is the largest town in Essex – with a number of bars, clubs and restaurants as well as three theatres, a comedy club, cinema and its very own festival. Basildon sits close to a thriving complex of nightclubs and leisure facilities, has excellent shopping and nature reserves. Thurrock offers the proximity to London, and is located close to two of the largest retail centres in Europe, Bluewater and Lakeside.

Glittering alumni: Lara Croft creator Toby Gard; former Eastender Ross Kemp; singer Alison Moyet; Emmy-nominated visual effects supervisor Matt Johnson; Depeche Mode; animation director of Yellow Submarine Jack Stokes.