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Student Finance

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.  
No, SERC is now online. All learning will continue through remote learning and students are expected to log on and attend at their normal timetabled slots.

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.

All SERC campuses are closed to the public and students.
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, 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.
Official communication will come through the SERC student intranet, SERC website, student email and SERC social media pages.

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.

Yes, students who attend online learning will be marked present by the tutor as usual.  Students should contact their tutor if they have any register queries.  If you have any EMA queries, email

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.

No timesheets are required at this time.  Trainees should attend online learning and will be marked present by the tutor as usual.  If you have any queries, trainees should contact their TSO.  Travel will not be paid at this time.

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.

For the majority of SERC students, courses continue to be delivered online. If a course has been cancelled or delivery is suspended you can complete the  Fee Waiver/Refund Request form to request a refund.
Students should contact their tutors in the first instance to have their password reset. If this is not possible, students should contact Customer Services on 0345 600 7555 or email
Absolutely!  We are currently accepting applications for all full-time courses commencing in September 2020.  Visit for more information or call Customer Services on 0345 600 7555 if you need any help.
We are hoping to open applications for part-time courses (including leisure courses) early June 2020.  Please keep an eye on our website for more information.
We are currently accepting applications for higher level part-time courses which include HNCs, HNDs and courses Level 4 or above. Visit our website for full details.
We are currently inviting all full-time applicants to attend a virtual pre-entry advice and guidance session with one of our tutors.  If you have applied, someone will be in touch soon to give you a date and time when you will be able to speak to a tutor.  Please check the email address you registered with, as this is how we will contact you.
You don’t need to do anything else!  We will be in touch with you regarding August enrolment.
SERC is currently closed to the public until further notice. Certificates will be held for up to 12 months after we receive it.  If you have any queries, please contact 
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

Alongside the impact on GCSE and A level exams, students taking vocational qualifications such as BTEC Nationals, Cambridge Technical, level 2 and 3 qualifications and access programmes are also affected by the summer 2020 cancellations.

The Department for the Economy in NI has announced that it intends, where possible, to award the majority of qualifications and essential skills by the end of August, in line with published results dates, so that students can progress on their chosen pathway. These will be treated in the same way as A levels, with students receiving a calculated result based in part on teacher, trainer and tutor assessment of attainment, and where appropriate combined with other evidence and statistical methods.

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.

Students intending to apply for a Travel Pass from the Education Authority will need to wait until they have been enrolled at SERC before they can apply.  Further information on this will be made available at our enrolment days in August 2020.
Yes.  All new SERC students need to apply for free school meals once they become enrolled at SERC.  Applications are made directly to the Education Authority and more information can be found on their website 
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 not yet available however if you need a hard copy please email and we will arrange this as soon as packs become available.
Yes! We are 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