South Essex College

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South Essex College of Further and Higher Education
Established 1899 (1899)
Type Further Education College
Principle and Chief Executive Angela O'Donoghue CBE
Location Luker Road
Local authority Southend-on-Sea
DfE number 882/8000
DfE URN 130672 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 11,100 as of May 2015[1]
Gender Mixed
Ages 16–99

South Essex College of Further and Higher Education, also known as South Essex College, is a further education college located over three main sites in Basildon, Southend-on-Sea and Grays in Essex, England. The college provides courses for students of all ages, from 14 to 19-year-olds to undergraduates, adults and businesses.[2]


The college was founded in 1899 as an art school and was renamed later as the Junior Day Technical School, then being restructured to include in its teaching commercial and industrial skills for education in courses like plumbing.[3] The college became South East Essex College of Arts and Technology in 1991.[3]

In 2004, the college relocated to a £52 million campus in the centre of Southend, close to main public transport routes and right next to the High Street and mainline railway station.[4] The college formally merged with Thurrock and Basildon College on 1 January 2010 and was renamed South Essex College.[2]

In 2013 the Forum Southend-on-Sea opened which has a dedicated South Essex College area on the third floor.[citation needed]

In 2014 the Thurrock campus relocated to a £45 million building in the centre of Grays.[citation needed]

The college is seeking to relocate its Basildon campus to the town centre in the future.[5]


South Essex College's Further Education provision includes a wide range of A-levels and vocational courses such as BTECs and apprenticeships. The college offers a range of higher education course including degrees, HNCs and HNDs. Programmes are validated by University of the Arts London and Pearson. The college also offers services to businesses through its Business Development Team and offers apprenticeship training.


Southend Campus

The Southend Campus is located in the heart of Southend-on-Sea town centre, next to Southend Central railway station.

The college’s building in Southend is recognised as providing one of the most innovative and exciting learning and working environments in the country and was featured in the Learning and Skills Council publication 'World Class Buildings – Design Quality in Further Education' in March 2005[6] and ‘Better Buildings, Better Design, Better Education’ published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.[7] It also won a Structural Steel Award[8] and was a finalist in the RIBA/LSC Further Education Awards in 2006.[9]

It has 26,500 m2 (285,000 sq ft) of space with an atrium accommodating a 250 seat auditorium within the ‘Performance Pod’, dining decks, viewing balconies and social, meeting and event areas.[citation needed]

Beauty Therapy students are taught at the Beauty Academy in Queens Road, a few minutes walk from the main campus. It also offers reasonably priced treatments to the general public. The College also offers purpose-built sports facilities at Wellstead Gardens in Westcliff-on-Sea, with a gym and playing fields for team sports.[10]

The Southend Campus also played host to a World Record attempt where two students tried to break the longest radio show broadcast.[citation needed]

Basildon Campus

The Basildon Campus is situated in spacious grounds just outside Basildon Town Centre. It specialises in vocational courses ranging from science, hairdressing, motor vehicle, health and social care, public services and sport.

The Campus offers realistic work environments such as motor vehicle workshops. For those studying animal care, an animal-management centre is on-campus.[citation needed]

Thurrock Campus

In 2014, the Thurrock Campus relocated to a new £45 million building in the centre of Grays. The campus offers specialist workshops linked to courses for construction, engineering, media and creative arts in addition to facilities for logistics, childcare, health & social care and IT courses. There is an outdoor amphitheatre to showcase the college's acting and musical talent.[citation needed]

The Forum Southend-on-Sea

The Forum Southend-on-Sea is a £27 million ultra-modern library and learning zone located opposite the Southend Campus. South Essex College is a partner in this venture with the University of Essex and Southend Council. The Forum houses a library collection on the first floor and a dedicated South Essex College area on the third floor. As well as hosting most of Higher Education resources, The Forum supports the delivery of the college's HE courses. Students have access to a huge range of books and resources as well as over 100 new computers and wifi access. Other areas in the Forum include a University of Essex floor, the Focal Point Art Gallery, a 200-seat lecture theatre and refreshment facilities.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°32′16″N 0°42′40″E / 51.5378°N 0.7111°E / 51.5378; 0.7111