Frequently Asked Questions


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I want to study a Level 3 qualification and I am over 19 – what payment options are there?
You can apply for an Advanced Learning loan which will mean that you do not have to pay back the loan until you are earning over £21,000 per annum. Alternatively, you can pay in full; by instalments or a combination of this and a Loan.

I applied for an Advanced Learning Loan and started my course, but I have decided that I do not want to continue attending?
The balance of your course fee will be invoiced to you as the Student Loans Company will not continue to pay the College.

I applied for an Advanced Learning Loan and started my course, but my application has been refused?
The full cost of the course will become payable immediately, and if you decide not to continue with this course any deposit paid will not be refunded.

What course should I take?
Information on each course can be found on our website. If you would like more in depth information e.g. entry requirements or course content, a link to a course information sheet is listed at the bottom of the course details. If your question hasn't been answered, please contact the College on 01702 445700.

If I need more in depth advice and guidance on learning and work, who do I speak to?
If you need to discuss your career goals, progression at work or the skills you require to start work, you can contact the National Careers Service for impartial advice.

I have difficulty in finding the fees?
We do not wish to exclude anyone who is not in receipt of anactive state benefit or cannot afford the fees as they are on a low income. You will be able to apply to the College’s Access or Hardship Funds for partial exemption on the grounds of financial hardship. Please call the College 01702 445700 and request an Access or Hardship Funds application form. Please return it with the appropriate evidence of income/state benefit and your completed enrolment form.You will be notified of the decision regarding your application within 10 working days. Your place will be held on the course while this decision is being reached.

I cannot afford to pay for my course in one amount?
It is possible to arrange an instalment plan for your course fees. Please contact the College for further details by emailing or telephoning 01702 445700 and select option 1. There is a £10.00 non-refundable arrangement fee for each instalment plan.

I am paying for my course in instalments, but I have decided that I do not want to continue attending?
The remaining instalments of your course fee are still payable.

I am not working and in receipt of an income-based state benefit and wish to study a qualification to get into work?
Please apply to the College Access Fund for support with your fees.

I am in full-time education at another school or college; will I have to pay the course fee?
Unfortunately, you will need to pay the full cost recovery fee for the course of your choice as you are already receiving funding from the ESFA for your full-time course. Please ask for details of the fees.

I am under 19 and want to take a course that does not lead to a qualification. Will I have to pay for this course?
Unfortunately, we only receive funding for those learners who are 19 plus, and therefore the fee will have to be calculated on a full cost recovery basis. Please ask for details of the fees.

I wish to pay for a friend/ relative’s course using my debit/credit card?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept third party payments, due to restrictions on refunds to people who are not the learner enrolled on the course.

I need to cancel my enrolment before the course starts?
You can have a full refund of your tuition fees (minus a £20 registration fee per course) provided we are notified at least one week prior to the course starting. In exceptional circumstances we may be able to refund your registration fee. Please ask a member of the administrative team for more details.

I find the course I have chosen unsuitable when I turn up to the first session?
An alternative will be offered, if available, or you can have a full refund of tuition fees (less the £20 registration fee) provided we are notified within one week of the course start date. Transfers are limited to one per enrolment within the first week of the course. Any additional transfers will be subject to a £10.00 administrative charge per transfer.

I decide later on in the year that I do not wish to continue?
We work to a very tight budget and unfortunately refunds cannot be given.

I’d like to join an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class, but I am on a low income?
Please call 01702 445700 and we will try to help.

I’d like to join an ESOL class?
You should be a permanent UK resident. However, we don’t wish to exclude anyone who intends to be a permanent resident but does not yet have written permission. In this case, please call 01702 445700.

I haven’t been a resident of the UK/European Union (EU) for three years?
You will be liable to pay additional course fees. Please ask at Reception for more details.

I am on a waiting list for a course?
If you have not been contacted within 3 weeks of the start of the course, please assume that there is no place available.

The course I am interested in is full?
If the course is already full by the time we receive your enrolment form (and you have not indicated an alternative) we will let you know by email wherever possible in the first instance, or by other methods where your e-mail address has not been made available to us. Your name will be added to the waiting list. If the course is oversubscribed, we will try to put on another class.

The course I am interested in is not very popular?
We always keep enrolment open as late as possible, but unfortunately, courses cannot run if too few people enrol. If the activity you have selected is cancelled, we will try to find you an acceptable alternative. If this is not possible, a full refund of all fees will be made. You will be contacted by text and email wherever possible or by post if no email address/mobile number has been provided.

I need support in a class?
Please contact our Registry Team by telephoning 01702 445700 or by emailing Please note that you need to apply for support for every course you wish to enrol on each year. Support needs can change from one year to the next and between types of course, so it is important that we get the right support in place for you. There may be various ways in which we can assist you. A place will be held for you whilst your request is being considered.

I have a disability and can’t manage the stairs?
All courses are accessible to wheelchair users and people who have mobility difficulties (unless otherwise stated due to the nature of the activity). There are also lifts at the Southchurch and Belfairs Centres. However, please contact the college before you enrol if you have mobility concerns.

I need to park my car when I come to classes?
Limited parking is available at both the Southchurch and Belfairs Centres. Please note: Users of these car parks do so at their own risk.