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Welcome from the Principal

Sue-Rimmer-portraitWelcome to South Thames College.

From MBAs to accountancy exams, from A-levels to HNDs and from apprenticeships to leisure courses in topics as diverse as art appreciation and investing on the stock exchange, we offer more than you think from our centres in London.

The student enrichment team, welfare services, careers advisers and tutors are here to guide, support and help you. And that includes how to find funding or manage your studies.

Be a part of our diverse student population, enter a World Skills competition as part of one of our award-winning teams, volunteer to help local community groups, hang out in the cafes, enrichment room and other social areas, have a massage in one of our commercial salons or eat at the new restaurant at our flagship Hospitality and Catering Academy, join one of our sports teams and get to know the other students.

Whatever you want to do, South Thames College can take you further.

Sue Rimmer OBE, Principal and Chief Executive

Sue Rimmers Signature   


History of South Thames College

There has been an educational establishment on our Wandsworth site in south west London for more than 100 years.

It was founded in 1895, funded by a tax on whiskey! Students had to pay what was then a substantial fee of £1 a term for day classes. There were around 500 students studying there, a large number for those times.

1910-11 College regulations stated that "...each boy must wear the school cap or straw hat; he must also provide himself with a satchel, gymnasium shoes and a swimming costume." Apparently, the caps came in different colours depending on what "House" the student belonged to and, according to one student in 1930, the colours used to run in the rain, staining the students' faces blue, red, green or yellow.

Today, over 21,000 students are enrolled at South Thames College, and government funded courses like BTEC Nationals and A-levels are free for 16-19 year olds.

In 2009, the College merged with Merton College, another thriving education establishment in South West London.

Interestingly, while many things have changed dramatically over the last 100+ years, the focus of what is now South Thames College has not.

In 1895, students were enrolled on 'Trade Classes' designed to train and, maximise the potential of, people looking for skilled work, including carpentry, brickwork, plumbing and hygiene.

Today our vocational courses are still designed to give excellent training and maximise the potential of students looking for skills. These still include carpentry, brickwork, plumbing, and hygiene, but we have expanded into many other areas too.

South Thames College over the years

1895 Wandsworth Technical Institute was founded on the Wandsworth High Street site, replacing 'The Parsonage'
1900 More than 1,000 students enrolled on courses at the Institute
1926 The present buildings on the High Street were completed; they were later awarded a Grade II listing
During World War II our College was used to train men and women in a variety of skills and occupations that were important to the war effort, for example radar
1955 Our new 'South Block' was completed to complement the existing buildings
1974 Wandsworth Technical Institute merged with Putney College of Further Education (on Putney Hill)
2000 Government Minister Malcolm Wicks opened our Tooting Centre - a new building with state-of-the-art facilities next to Tooting Broadway tube station
2000 We completed the refurbishment of our Roehampton Centre which now offers a Learning Centre, IT facilities, cafe, Beauty Therapy suite and Childcare provision
2005 We added a new frontage to the Grade II Listed building in Wandsworth High Street, designed to be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Later in the year we won an Access Award at the Wandsworth Council Design Awards
2006 We start development work, including the demolition of the South Block dating from 1955, which will result in a new learning facility at the Wandsworth Campus. As part of the building is listed, we have to use a clever design to connect the old and new buildings
2009 We open for business in the redeveloped Wandsworth campus
2009 The complete redeveloped Wandsworth Campus is opened officially
2009 Merton College merges with South Thames so between them there are now five sites across two boroughs with campuses in Balham, Merton, Roehampton, Tooting and Wandsworth
2013 Based at the Merton Campus, our flagship Hospitality and Catering Academy opens. It includes Taste, a commercial restaurant open to all and run by the students as part of their studies to provide valuable workplace experience
2013 Aurora, our non-residential centre for 16-25 year olds with autistic spectrum disorder and complex needs, opens. Here a dedicated team delivers individualised learning pathways for these young adults

Our Facilities

South Thames College has some of the best teaching facilities in London. We’ve invested in the tools, technology and environment to give you the best chance at success in your chosen career.

We've also created safe and interesting places for when you’re not in class, whether you’re looking to cram in some extra study or you just want to relax between lessons.

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  • Fully commercial hair and beauty salons
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  • Spaces for group work, individual study or relaxing with friends
  • Engineering and technology workshops and science labs

About our libraries

You'll find plenty to help you with your coursework and assignments at the libraries on the Merton and Wandsworth campuses.

Library resources

The libraries offer you so much more than books. You can make use of the internet connected computers, quiet study areas and group work tables. Or, ask our friendly staff for help as you research your assignment using textbooks, DVDs, journals and online resources.

You also have access to specialist software and equipment such as large sized keyboards and you can buy all the stationery you need for your studies here.

If you have a disability or medical conditions we have specific guidance on resources.

Photocopying and printing

You can use our self-service photocopiers and scanning services. You'll be allocated print credits at the start of your course and monthly throughout the academic year. Unused credits are non-refundable.

At the Merton Campus Library we offer a spiral binding service. And at Wandsworth Campus you can visit Print Services - near the Link Café – for colour copying, laminating and binding.

To contact the us to renew books or to ask a question, see our get in touch page.

Library opening times (term time)
  Merton Wandsworth
Monday 8:30am-7pm 8:30am-7pm
Tuesday 8:30am-7pm 8:30am-7pm
Wednesday 8:30am-7pm 8:30am-7pm
Thursday 8:30am-5pm 8:30am-7pm
Friday 10am-4pm 10am-4pm
Saturday Closed Closed
Sunday Closed Closed


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Independent Governor - Jonathan Hick
Governor Jonathan Hick

Member of the Finance and Resources Committee

Jonathan is currently an Investment Analyst in Advisory and Capital Raising division of a financial advisory company. His focus is helping companies with social entrepreneurs and established social enterprises to grow and scale their impact.

Prior to that he worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers for 6 years in the Advisory business, working on mergers and acquisitions. He is a Chartered Accountant and has a degree in Management and Chinese Studies from the University of Nottingham.

Independent Governor - Kazi Hossain
Governor Kazi Hossein

Member of the Audit Committee

Works for HM Treasury Department as an Policy Advisor, liasing with the financial sector, the Bank of England etc. Previous roles with the Department of Energy and Climate Change on Ministerial and Stakeholder Engagement, Policy Development and undertook project management roles.

Kazi has an MSc in Environmental Technology and Energy from Imperial College London and has a BA in Geography (1st Class Honours) from UCL.


Academic Staff Governor - Karen Fullman
Karen Fullman staff governor

Member of the Quality and Performance Committee

Karen has worked part time for South Thames College for 11 years as an Early Childhood Studies lecturer Levels 1 to 5, for the Department of Health and Social Care. She also works for Kingston University as an Early Years Teacher assessor.

Karen has a Masters in Early Childhood Studies and has Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. Previously, Karen worked in a nursery and voluntarily at the Royal Hospital for Neuro disability. She is a member of the Institute for Learning.