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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it may be possible to deliver this course in the local community. Please get in contact with the engagement team to discuss further.
Yes, we have a dedicated team of Student Finance Advisors, who would be happy to answer any of your questions. For further information visit the Student Finance area of the website
If you’re a student with childcare responsibilities, you’ll be pleased to know our Newcastle Campus, on the Castlewellan Road, has an onsite creche, called ‘Little SERC’.  Students may even be eligible for a means-tested grant to help with childcare costs. To find out more please email
Yes, we can arrange for someone from our engagement team to visit your school, community group or organisation for an informal talk, presentation or to display a promotional stand.  To find out more and/or arrange a visit please get in contact.
If you are interested in applying for a course and need assistance in completing your online application our friendly Customer service staff are always happy to help.  For assistance please phone 0345 600 7555 or email
The engagement team run several stakeholder engagement events each year to inform staff and volunteers, who engage with the local community, about what courses are available to the local community. If you are interested in learning more or would like to attend one of these events please get in contact.
Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you with your UCAS application.  We can help with everything from choosing your courses and writing personal statements, to helping you prepare for university interviews.  

The latest restrictions to combat the Covid-19 pandemic will run for four weeks from 6pm on Friday 16 October to 6pm on Friday 13 November 2020.   The existing delivery models, as defined in the Department for the Economy ‘Framework for Safe Resumption’, will continue to be used during this 4 week period.

Practical, associated classes and exams will continue on campus; while other learning will move fully online for the duration of the four-week period. 

Tutors will make contact with students with full details of course arrangements.

The half-term break will take place as scheduled from Monday 26 to Friday 30 October 2020.

Everyone is reminded that if and when on Campus they must observe the Health and Safety measures in place for the protection of the whole SERC community.

An Apprenticeship is a work based learning programme funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE), it is designed for 16-24 year olds, contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week. You will get paid by your employer and the training is free.

Reasons to study an Apprenticeship course:

  • High quality professional and technical training.

  • High quality lecturing staff.

  • The latest technology to train on in College.

  • A Training Support Officer who will assist you both in the workplace and in the College.

  • Essential Skills such as Literacy, Numeracy and ICT.

  • The opportunity to progress form Level 2 to Level 3 and beyond.

No. Classes are continuing with the usual half-term break taking place from Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October 2020. 

The College will however be moving as much provision as possible online over the next four weeks. Students should keep checking their emails for information on course delivery for their specific course/s.

Yes, please contact the Careers team to book an appointment. Contact Us

Training for Success is designed for young people aged 16 - 18 (up to 24 years for those requiring additional support) and provides the training you need to get a job.  You will spend time in the classroom and in work placements in order to develop your skills.  You can access EMA on these courses and they are free.

 Reasons to study A Training for Success course:
  • High quality processional and technical training.

  • High qualified lecturing staff.

  • The latest technology to train on in College.

  • A Training Support Officer who will assist you both in the workplace and in the College.                                                   

  • Guidance and advice on career options.

  • Hands on projects where you can carry out work for voluntary and community based organisations.

  • Essential Skills such as Literacy, Numeracy, ICT and Employability.

  • Opportunity to progress to further levels of training.

Yes. All SERC campuses are open however during the 4 week circuit breaker we would encourage customers to only visit a SERC Campus if they really need to.

To ensure everyone’s safety whilst on campus, strict social distancing measures and one way systems are in place. Face masks should be worn at all times in public areas of the campus. Hand sanitiser is available at all entrances and exits.  You can also contact us via email or by phone 0345 600 7555.

Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you explore your options and make informed choices about your next steps.  Please contact us to book a careers appointment.

Mix vital on the job training and classroom learning with a Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) at SERC. HLAs provide you with the skills you need for your chosen career and also lead to nationally recognised qualifications.

As an apprentice you earn while you learn and receive other benefits too. Higher Apprenticeships are a great alternative to university – many offer training up to degree level, a salary and the opportunity to start moving your career forward – all without paying hefty tuition fees or running up student debts!

Choosing a HLA will give you an alternative route to high skills roles in exciting organisations, nationally recognised qualifications, work experience where you get paid and transferable skills which help you progress to high skilled careers in the professions

To undertake a HLA you much be over 18 years old and hold a Level 3 qualification such as A levels, BTEC or OCR, NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Apprenticeship. You may also need to have gained up to five GCSEs grade A* to C including English and Maths and you need to show you have the ability to complete the programme which takes between 1 – 3 years. Higher Level Apprenticeships are ideal if you are already in employment and are looking to upskill, however if you do not have an employer SERC can work with you to match you to a suitable company.

Reasons to Study a HLA:

  • 85% of HLAs stay in employment upon completion of qualification.

  • ⅓ receive a promotion.

  • Qualified Apprentices are 15% more employable.

  • Apprentices can earn £150,000* more in their lifetime.

*Source: UCAS

Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you compile and develop your CV.   We can also assist you with job applications and interview preparation.  Please contact us to book a careers appointment.

To gain entry to the Level 2 or 3 Apprenticeship programme, you must have an employer. The responsibility for securing an employer lies with you. This can be a daunting task for anyone, and so below is some advice on how to secure employment before attending College in September.

Once you have decided upon your course of study, you should seek an employer as early as possible, certainly before September. You must also complete an on-line application on the college website for your chosen course and send it in to the College. Please contact our Training Support Team to discuss your options.

Contact as many potential employers as possible by telephone, e-mail or in writing, making sure that you explain clearly why you are contacting them.

Official communication will come through the SERC student intranet, SERC website, student email and SERC social media pages.

Yes. We are still accepting applications for all Full-Time courses. Please contact our Careers team at in the first instance and they will be able to advise on course availability and offer assistance with career advice.


Wider employability skills are essential in securing employment after your studies. When you become a student at SERC you will be given the opportunity to develop these skills through our Employability Programme, that’s why your better off at SERC.

SERC will give you as many will give you as many opportunities as possible to help you gain better skills and get real life experience. You will have the opportunity to develop skills such as problem solving, good communication, critical thinking, people management and team working. This will make all the difference when you are applying for jobs or Higher Education courses in the future.

Studying at SERC will help you start the journey to your dream career as you will:

• Gain more qualifications

• Have the opportunity to set up a SERC Student Company

• Take part in industry projects

• Undertake work placements

• Get involved with volunteer programmes

We can give you advantages, skills and experience other young people take years to get. Students sitting where you are now have gone on to amazing careers with companies like Coca-Cola and NASA!

Employing an Apprentice can bring with it may benefits, as well as incentive payments, taking on an apprentice can help your business harness fresh young talent!

To get involved with the ApprenticeshipNI programme you can employ an apprentice or you can invest in a current employee by putting them through the programme.

  • Recognised training and qualification for your staff.

  • Can help all types of businesses harness fresh new talent.

  • Can help equip your workforce with the practical skills that your organisation needs now and in the future.

  • Students will learn from highly qualified lecturing staff.

  • The latest technology for your staff to train on in College.

  • An incentive payment is available for complete the Apprenticeship programme.

Applications for all part time courses, including Higher Education, are now open.  Once you apply for your chosen course/s, you will receive an acknowledgement email with the next step of the process. 


Yes, our Careers Advisors are impartial and can give you advice on your child’s career options.

We have a page on our website just for parents.

To be eligible for a Skills Intervention course you need to have been made redundant, be at risk of redundancy, be on long term furlough or have had your employment adversely affected as a result of COVID-19. For further information please contact

Awarding Organisations are in the process of issuing certificates to the College. We will make contact with you once your certificate is available. If you have any queries or need to access results slips in the interim please contact

When we notify you that your certificate is available, we would appreciate if you could wait until after the 'circuit breaker' period (Friday 16 October to Friday 13 November 2020) to collect your certificate.

Yes! If you are feeling anxious or stressed or feel you need resources to help with additional needs,  Alternatively, if you need to speak to a counsellor, then Inspire Students are available 24/7 on 0800 389 5362 for structured counselling support. If you have any health queries and cannot speak to a GP, then please email our Youth Health Advice Clinic on  If you have any welfare issues at all, please email 

Yes! SERC Careers Service remains open as a remote service. This will be monitored by phones and emails during usual business hours. Email for more info.  If you applied to University, please check your emails for more guidance. 

SERC students – please keep checking your college email for your weekly Careers Bulletin which has all the latest information on UCAS, jobs and opportunities, plus much more.

Applications for travel passes are now online. Please apply at this link: For any queries please contact the Education Authority directly on 028 9056 6200.

All SERC students who are eligible for free school meals should contact their local Education Authority (details can be found at
EMA is a means tested fund available for Full-Time students continuing in Further Education who meet the eligibility criteria. To access a downloadable application form, guidance notes and to find out if you are eligible please visit Hard copy application packs are available at campus receptions. Alternatively we can post you a pack. Please email to request an EMA pack.

Yes! The LRCs are now offering a pre booking system for all our PCs, study desks and quiet room PCs. Due social distancing, we are currently restricting numbers in the LRCs and we would encourage you to use the Booking App in Student Apps to book your place in the LRC to avoid disappointment. A link to the Student Apps is below – you will find the LRC Booking apps at the bottom of the list of apps

We are also providing a Virtual Library of e resources and e books – current students and staff should click on this link to gain access to the Virtual Library.  You can also contact us at

If you are studying a further or higher education course on a full or part time basis you may be eligible to receive assistance from the College Hardship Fund.  Check your student email account for the emails you will have received from the Student Finance Team about the Hardship Fund or email with a contact number and a Student Finance Advisor will give you a call to discuss eligibility for the Hardship Fund.
Our Student Finance team are all working remotely and are happy to assist with your questions. They can be contacted by email  The team can either reply to your enquiry by email or if you provide a contact the number one of the Student Finance Advisors will give you a call.  There is also information about various funding sources on the Fees and Finance section of our website:
Check out our Fees FAQ’s on our website or contact the Customer Services on 0345 600 7555