Do I need a visa?
The requirement for a visa depends on your nationality and the country from which you are travelling. To find out whether or not you need a visa to study in the UK, visit: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/doyou- need-a-visa
If the programme on which you intend to study is less than six months (or 11 months if you are studying an English Language course) you can apply for a Student Visitor Visa. You are not allowed to work under the Student Visitor route and you will not be able to extend your visa beyond the original period granted. If your intentions are to study for a further programme after completing your English Language course you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
All other nationals who plan to study in the UK for more than 6 months need to apply under the Tier 4 (General) route for a student visa. Depending on the country where you live, you may need to make your application online or using application form VAF9. More information can be found on the UKBA website.
How do I apply for a visa?
In order to obtain a visa you will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies); this will be issued to you by the College once you have accepted your offer and paid the required deposit. The CAS indicates that the College would like to sponsor you to study in the UK under the Tier 4 points-based system. You will need the reference number contained within your CAS to apply for a visa.
To ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrive in the UK before your programme commences you are advised to apply for your visa at least 28 days before the course date. However, you must not submit your visa application more than three months before the course start date otherwise your visa will be refused. The rules for granting a visa are very strict, therefore please take extra care to make sure you complete the application in full and submit all the required documents.
In order to get a student visa, you will need to be able to show that you:
have been accepted on a full-time registered programme – your CAS will confirm this;
do not intend to work in the UK;
intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies; and
are able to pay your tuition fees and have enough money for living expenses for yourself and any dependents, e.g. sponsorship letter and/ or bank statements.
You will need to make an application at your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consular Office (British diplomatic post) which issues visas or entry clearance. Information can be found on the UK Visas website - www.ukvisas.gov.uk
If you are overseas student residing in the UK then please refer to the UKBA website http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/. You will need to complete an application form and you need to submit supporting documents.
The procedures are often different for each post so check details of how to make your application and average processing time. Please don’t forget to allow the time it will take to provide biometric data. Check if TB screening programmes operate in your country or a neighbouring country and, if applicable, take into account the time this will add to your visa application process. The forms you will need to complete can be downloaded from British diplomatic post websites and from the UK Visas or UKBA websites.
You will need to submit the following original documents with your student visa application:
2 passport-sized photographs;
An unconditional offer letter issued by SLC containing your CAS reference number;
Evidence that you can support yourself financially. For example, bank statements in your name or a sponsorship letter showing that you have sufficient funds to pay for your first year of tuition fees plus living expenses;
Evidence of your English Language ability;
Evidence of previous educational qualifications.
If you think an error has been made by the Home Office in refusing your application you can ask for a Review of your application; this is called Administrative Review. You will need to complete an ‘Administrative Review request notice’ – full details are available at
How do I qualify to come to the United Kingdom to study?
You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you:
- have been offered a place on a full-time course
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself such as your living cost including your accommodation and pay for your course without receiving public funds - this will vary depending on your circumstances
- are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
It will also be important to prove that you intend to leave the United Kingdom upon completion of your studies.
Do I need to have an IELTS or a TOEFL English Test?
Yes. You must demonstrate an English Language competency for you to qualify for a course of study at South London College. Applicants taking the courses below Level 6 must have B1 Level equivalent to IELTS 4.0 in each band and applicants taking courses at Level 6 and above need to have B2 Level equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in each band. The approved English tests that a student can take are listed at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/349051/Approved_secure_English_language_tests.pdf.
The most popular test are IELTS, PEARSON, and Cambridge ESOL. Please also note that applicants need to meet the course requirement for English language as well. Please check the course requirements specified on the course pages in the website for the further details. The College may conduct a Skype interview as well to confirm the English test results if required.
Nationals from the following countries are exempted from the English language tests: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America.
What are the Academic Requirements?
Applicants for a course of study at South London College are assessed on an individual case-by-case basis. We may also consider your work experience in the related fields. Please also check the entry requirements of the specific course you are interested in.
How do I apply for a course?
UK/ EU students: You can apply online on our website. Alternatively, you can complete an application form and return it to the College, along with previous academic certificates/ transcripts to show you meet the entry requirements for your course, and your passport; the documents provided must be originals and presented at the time of enrolment.
Tier 4 students in the UK: You can apply online on our website. Alternatively, you can complete an application form and return it to the College, along with certificates/ transcripts of results from any school or college or university you have attended, English test results, bank statements and your passport. English translations must be provided where necessary and all documents must be originals or certified copies. Proof of progression from courses previously taken in the UK will also be required. An application may be assessed using the faxed copies or the photocopies of any of the above documents. Successful applicants will be sent the conditional offer letter by e-mail / letter to confirm that you qualify for the course applied for within a week.
Tier 4 Students applying from overseas: You can apply online on our website, and send us your certificates/ transcripts of results from any school or college or university you have attended, bank statements and your passport. English translations must be provided where necessary and all documents must be certified copies.
Once you receive a Conditional Offer email from us you need to send the minimum required tuition fee deposit as stated in the offer letter and all of the above mentioned documents in order to get a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) or acceptance letter for your visa application. The College bank account details, fees & refund policy and relevant information about visa application are provided on the offer letter/email. You must use the CAS letter to apply for a student visa/ entry clearance. Once the Student Visa has been approved, you must notify the College by sending a copy of the visa (see the How do I apply for a visa? section).
Is there a registration fee?
There is no registration fee to apply to South London College. However, registration fees and examination fees may be applicable to awarding organisations such as ABE, BCS etc. You need to pay directly to them when you register with your respective awarding bodies and when you register to take your exams.
Visit http://www.southlondoncollege.co.uk/images/stories/PDFsDOcs/Coursefees.pdf for further information about fees.
What accommodation is available?
Finding accommodation in a foreign country can be a difficult task. We fully understand this and as part of our service, we will arrange accommodation for you according to your needs. We offer a range of safe, affordable and convenient accommodation options and our dedicated Accommodation Officer will help you make the right choice based on your priorities. Once you arrive in London, they will continue to help you with any questions or problems you may have and if you need to move, we will organise alternative accommodation for you.
A homestay is a great way to maximize your learning experience in London. Living in a friendly and comfortable environment you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your English and exchange cultures with your host family. You can choose to have breakfast and dinner prepared for you or you can cook for yourself. All our homestays are located within London travel Zones 2–4.
The student residence is only a short distance on public transport from the college. If you want independence as well as the social benefits of living with other students, this option is a good choice. You will enjoy meeting people from all over the world and make new friends. You can choose a private room or share with another student. This is a popular option so early booking is highly recommended.
If you are looking to combine the comfort of living in a home with an independent lifestyle, a house share would be a good choice. All the houses are located near transport links so you can get to college easily. Houses each have a living room with a TV and will often have a garden. You will share the communal areas with other students, but you have the choice of a private bedroom or a shared twin room. All the houses have modern bathrooms and kitchens are fully equipped with a washing machine and everything you will need for cooking
Booking your accommodation
If you wish to book accommodation in London for any part of your studies, please take the following steps:
1. Decide which type of accommodation you would like to book.
2. When you apply for a course, please also let us know full details about which type of accommodation you would like to book and the period you would like to book for. You can do this on the application form, by email or on the telephone.
3. In order to guarantee a place, you will need to pay for your accommodation in advance. We recommend doing this at least 1 month before your arrival as demand can be high, especially for rooms nearer to the College.
4. We will send you a confirmation by email with full details of your accommodation. Please note that in case your chosen accommodation type is unavailable, we will offer you an alternative.
Can I be picked up from airport upon my arrival?
You must pay £80.00 to £90.00 for an airport pick-up either in advance to the College or to the driver on same day. You must carry cash to pay the driver if you have not paid the College in advance. If you do not turn up after booking the airport pick-up or you opt for another mode of transportation after arriving at the airport then you will still be liable to pay airport pick-up charge. If the driver has to wait longer than the normal waiting hours because your flight is delayed or you take extra time with immigration checks, you will also be liable to pay for the waiting charge. Therefore, please call the mobile number given on the form if your flight is delayed or is cancelled to minimise extra cost.
Do I need Private Medical Insurance?
You are strongly advised to take medical insurance for the duration of your stay in the UK before you arrive, and to ensure your insurance covers repatriation in the event of serious medical issues or death.
What is the closing date for applications?
Applications may be accepted up to the start date of the course for UK based students. For those applying from outside the UK, please allow sufficient time for visa processing. We strongly advise to apply visa at least a month before the start date of the course. (Please check with the British Embassy/ High Commission in your home country for the latest visa processing times).
What do I need to know before travelling to the UK?
The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Greater London covers an area of over 600 square miles and has an ever-growing population, currently over 8 million people.
Throughout its history, Britain's own culture has been enriched by many other nationalities. London, especially, is home to many different nationalities which provides a fascinating variety of culture, food and entertainment.
London: This is the capital city of England and it is made up of a diverse population with people from many different ethnic backgrounds. There is lots to see and do in London and you will have plenty of time to explore the city (see http://www.southlondoncollege.co.uk/index.php/london-experience.html for further information).
Climate: The UK is often known for its unpredictable weather and in the Winter it can get quite cold and wet. This may be very different to what you are used to in your home country, so make sure you bring clothing for both warm and cold weather.
November to March are typically cold and wet with the possibility of snow on higher ground. Average temperatures are between 0º and 10º C (50º F). The temperature in summer (July and August) can reach up to 32º C (90º F). More detailed information is available on the BBC (the national news service) www.bbc.co.uk/weather.
Food: The British cuisine is varied and you will find lots of restaurants and takeaways serving food from many different countries. People in the UK usually have three meals in a day starting with breakfast in the morning; this is usually a light meal and consists of cereals and/or bread with a juice or hot drink. Lunch again is a light affair and may consist of a sandwich. Dinner is the main meal of the day, and can be taken anytime from 6pm to 9pm (or later) and would usually consist of a substantial meal, perhaps followed by dessert.
Religion: The Church of England is the official church of the country with the Sovereign as its Head and therefore Christianity is the official religion. However, there is a presence of many other religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism; you will find most people in the UK are tolerant of all religions. There are lots of places of worship across London to accommodate the different faiths.
Behaviour: You should find that most people in the UK are polite and it is common practice to say “thank you”, “please” and “sorry”. You will also find that British people will form a queue when waiting to be served – this means waiting in an orderly line and not jumping in front of others who arrived before you. The British like their privacy and personal space; this does not mean they are unwilling to talk but they do like to have some time to themselves. However, you will find that most people are friendly and will assist you if you require help;
Dress: Britain is a multi-cultural society and you will find that a variety of different clothing is considered acceptable. Most people will wear casual clothing for everyday, a suit for business meetings and interviews, and formal wear for important events such as funerals, weddings and christenings.
Whatever the time of year, it is best to have warm clothing with you and a waterproof coat.
Shopping: Many shops are open every day from 9am to 5.30pm though the hours are usually shorter on a Sunday. Supermarkets and some other shops often have extended opening hours e.g. 8:30am to 8pm throughout the week and 10am to 5pm on Sundays. Some supermarkets in cities open for 24 hours a day.
Banks: Banks usually open from 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday (some Banks also open on Saturday morning).
Public Holidays: There are 8 public holidays when colleges, offices and most shops will be closed.
New Year's Day - 1st January.
Good Friday and Easter Monday - this can occur between mid-March and the end of April.
May Bank Holiday - first Monday in May.
Spring Bank Holiday - last Monday in May.
Summer Bank Holiday - last Monday in August.
Christmas Day - 25th December.
Boxing Day - 26th December.
Healthcare: If you have come from a country with a health-care agreement with the UK or are staying for more than six months, you may be able to obtain free medical or dental treatment under the NHS.
If you are a long-term student (12 months or more), it is advisable for you to register with a local Doctor. We can provide contact details for doctors in your area. You will need to contact the doctor to see if they are accepting new patients and you will normally need to have an appointment to provide basic information about your medical history.
Public Transport: In London there is an extensive public transport system - trains, buses, trams, underground trains (the ‘tube’), light railway, the river and bicycles.
The Greater London area is divided into 6 travel zones. Zone 1 covers the main business and shopping districts in the centre of London. The College is located in Zone 4. The College administration team will be happy to explain how the travel system works if you need any help.
Transport for London (TfL) is the organisation responsible for running the public transport system in London. You can find all you need to know about the service, including information about the types of ticket and travelcard available, maps, prices and timetables, by visiting the TfL website. The website can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk
Perhaps the most popular type of travel card in London is the ‘Oyster card’ because it offers the cheapest fares. You can pay to add credit to your Oyster card at most stations, many shops, or by using the TfL website.
The 18+ Student Oyster photocard allows you to save 30% on Travelcards and Bus and Tram passes in London (valid for 7 days, 1 month or up to a year). Further information is provided at induction/ registration.
The TfL website also contains a very useful ‘Journey Planner’ that will tell you how to reach your destination. You simply type-in where you are travelling from, where you are travelling to, and when you wish to travel – and the ‘Journey Planner’ will give you all the options.
Outside of London public transport varies from area to area. Most major towns and cities are linked by railway. Cities will have regular bus services but smaller towns may not.
Internal flights also operate between major cities.
Smoking: This is not allowed in public places but may be allowed elsewhere.
Will my qualifications from South London College be recognised internationally?
The qualifications offered at South London College are awarded by organisations/ bodies (eg. ABE, City and Guilds and ACCA) accredited by OFQUAL, the British government’s regulatory authority. These should all be recognised internationally but we recommend that you check your particular country of interest before accepting a place on a course.
What are the starting dates of the programme?
The starting dates are usually January/February, Jun/July and September/October. Starting dates for English courses are from any Monday. Please check the course you are interested in.
Does South London College provide any scholarships?
From time-to-time we introduce various scholarships to outstanding students. It could be up to a 100% scholarship such as the mock exams top 10%, the College top 25%, the UK top 50% and Global top 100%. Please contact the Admissions team to check if there are any other schemes operating at the moment.
In addition, the UK government offers a limited number of Scholarships through the Chevening scheme: http://www.chevening.com
A scholarship search is also available through Education UK at: http://www.educationuk.org/Scholarships-for-UK-study
Your own government may offer scholarships for international studies - contact your local British Council offices: http://www.britishcouncil.org/
Will the College help me to extend my visa?
Yes. The College endeavours to provide its students with academic progression once they finish their course of study at the College. If you have already been studying with us, you can apply for an extension of stay for further studies in the UK provided you are enrolled at the College on a full-time course and have satisfactory progress and attendance.
May I bring my spouse and children with me?
No, you cannot bring any dependents since July 2011 unless you are studying a Level 7 course at a University.
How much money do I need to show to the British Embassy/ High-Commission?
Applicants must provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to support their stay in the UK, including emergencies, without recourse to public funds. This must cover the total tuition fee and the living expenses such as accommodation, food, travelling, clothing, etc. Bank statements which clearly identify the account holder together with a transaction and details of conversion rates at the approximate date of application are required.
The applicant’s bank statements must have minimum maintaining balance of £7200 which must be in the account for 28 consecutive days prior to the application being made (and the statement must be no older than one month old). It must also include the remaining tuition fees for the first year of the course. For example, if your first year course fee is £3500 and you have already paid £3000 to the College then you must have £7700 in your account (£7200 + £500 remaining fee for your first year course of study).
The bank statement(s) you provide must be in the name of the applicant or the name of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). If the bank statements are from:
your parent(s), you will need to provide either your birth certificate, which must include your parent(s) name(s), or a relationship verification certificate;
your legal guardian(s), you will need to provide a relationship verification certificate.
Please follow this link http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ for your current monetary exchange rate.
Further information from UKVI regarding the financial evidence you must provide can be found at https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/eligibilityA guideline to your likely expenses can be found at https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/documents-you-must-provide.
How much are the estimated living expenses?
Budgeting for living costs is an important part of college life. Some of the costs you will need to consider are:
Accommodation – this may include household bills such as water, gas and electricity;
Tuition fees including any examination and registration fees not included in your programme fee;
Food and clothing;
Leisure and social activities;
Child care costs, if you are travelling with your family.
Your accommodation and College fees are likely to be your two biggest costs but they are generally fixed costs which you can plan around. Depending on your eating habits and preferences for socialising, your weekly expenses may vary and will need to be managed so that you do not overspend.
Do I need to apply via UCAS?
No. Please apply directly to us.
What level of course fee do I have to pay?
If you need to apply for a student visa from abroad to study in the UK you will be categorised as a Tier 4 (General) overseas student. If you are already residing in the UK on a student visa, you will be categorised as a Tier 4 (General) in the UK student. Different levels of fees apply to these 2 categories, and the UK/ EU student category. Details of all the course fees and other charges can be found at http://www.southlondoncollege.co.uk/images/stories/PDFsDOcs/Coursefees.pdf.
In addition, any other form of permanent residency permit or non-student visa may be considered for UK/EU student status for the purpose of calculating course fees. Please contact the Admissions team or the Accounts team for further details.
How will I pay my fees?
International students are encouraged to pay their entire programme fee in full before enrolment and by doing so will receive a discount of 10% if they are studying the programme of 2 years and more. Students who cannot pay the entire programme fee but would like to pay for each year in full before the start of the academic year will also be entitled to a 5% discount. All overseas Tier 4 students are required to pay the first year fee in full before enrolment.
If the fees are not paid in full, a payment plan may be agreed with the College before enrolment. This will set out the amount that has to be paid and the date the payment is due until the balance of the fees is met. The payment plan scheme has a service charge of 10% and instalments must be paid by direct debit or standing order. An instalment plan will be issued prior to enrolment.
Please contact the Accounts team if you need any further advice regarding fees.