How many hours a week of classes can I expect?
You'll have to come to College between 13 and 15 hours a week on an HNC or HND, depending on whether your course is full or part-time. You'll attend tutorials and study sessions and you'll need to set aside extra time for self-led individual and group learning activities. You should also be prepared to spend extra time studying and doing independent work - of course you're welcome to do this in our HE Study Centre, which is just for our higher education students, or the library.
What's different about studying with South Thames instead of university?
Class sizes are generally smaller here, so you'll get more individual attention. Lectures at universities can have over 100 students, while our biggest class sizes are around 30. You'll work together with other students on shared units and on group projects. You'll still be expected to work independently and we run sessions to help your study and other skills that prepare you for work or further study.
What are the course fees and how do I pay?
We like to keep our fees as low and affordable as possible. Our fees for HNCs and HNDs are often less than many other higher education providers. The course fees are listed next to each course. Remember that there's lots of help to fund your studies - including payment by instalment - so don't rule out higher education courses until you talk to us about the help available. Read more about fees and support here. And remember, studying close to home also means you'll be able to spend less money on accommodation and travel.
Will I miss out on the uni experience, such as freshers’ week and societies?
You'll have plenty of opportunities to get involved with the range of activities and clubs we offer. You could even become a class rep and represent your class's views to the College management and the HE Learner Forum. Did you know the President of the National Union of Students (NUS) was a student from an FE College? So there's no reason to see yourself differently from university students. There are lots of other perks to being on campus too, including the gym facilities and cut price hair and beauty treatments at our on-site salon.
Aren't the facilities better at uni?
When people visit us on our open days, they tell us how they're surprised at how modern and well-equipped the College is and that they had no idea it would be so impressive! We've secured several million in government funding to develop our campuses and we're constantly doing more. This is money that goes into resources for you - all our classrooms and lecture theatres are equipped with smart boards and projectors. The library is well stocked with books and online resources and all have WiFi access.
You'll work and study in our dedicated HE Zone, which includes our bespoke HE Study Centre. You can also use facilities such as the Sports England sports hall, gym and aerobics areas at the Wandsworth campus.
Is there an application deadline?
Our courses start in September and February (induction in January) and you're encouraged to apply by the end of July or December. This means we can invite you for an interview well before the course begins, which gives you plenty of time to ask us questions and get the information you need.
How do I apply?
Just search for the course you're interested in and click the 'Apply' button on the course page. Once we've received your application we'll invite you for an interview before the course begins. You can also attend campus around the time of enrolment, usually late August to early September, to apply. Remember that spaces on courses can book up quickly so start talking to us early to guarantee a spot on the course.
For most of our courses you apply directly to the College. For courses that we run with a partner university you may need to apply through UCAS or through the university itself, see the individual course descriptions or simply ask us if you're not sure.
What happens after I apply?
We'll review your application and send you a letter to confirm that we've received it. If you meet the entry requirements, we'll call you to interview with a member of curriculum staff. They'll check that the course is right for you and, if so, offer you a place which may or may not be conditional on your exam results or other pending qualifications. Once your results are confirmed, you can accept the offer and officially enrol as a South Thames College student!
How long will it take to get a degree?
The total amount of time will depend on the course you choose, but it usually takes three years. With an HNC you might enter into the second year of a degree, while HNDs might allow entry into the second or third year. Ask about our progression agreements with partner universities when you come for your interview and also the follow on courses we offer here.
Will employers be interested in employing me with a HNC or HND?
After an HNC or HND you'll be ready for work. These qualifications are highly regarded, so employers know and trust them. Gaining an HNC or HND can help you to progress in your career as well as take further professional qualifications.
What can I do after a HNC or HND?
After an HND (which is a Level 5 qualification) you can progress to a Level 6 or 7 qualification at South Thames College or at a university, where you could top-up to an honours degree. You could also go straight into work - HNCs and HNDs are valued by employers in the UK and overseas. They also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.