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Your questions answered

Coming to college is an exciting time but we know you’re bound to have questions!

During our last Virtual Open Evenings we were asked lots of brilliant questions during our live events.

We have put the answers to the most common ones below:

College life.

How is College different to School?

In short, college is totally different to school. You can find about what makes college different in our article here.

Is there a dress code at College?

There is no specific dress code at Nottingham College but we do have a no cap/hats policy in College buildings. For some specific courses such as Construction, or courses where you need to use specialist facilities such as labs or kitchens, then you will be required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) or follow additional health and safety protocol. Some of our Hair, Beauty and Travel and Tourism courses also require a uniform, you'll be given all the information you need when you enrol (or you can find out more at our open evenings)

How many days a week will I be in college?

This varies depending on your course, but you can expect to spend at least 2 and a half to 3 days a week in College. If you need to resit your GCSE Maths and English, this will be built into your timetable as additional hours.

Some courses require you to complete work experience and this can be in blocks of weeks or days during the term and you would attend college in between on certain days. For A Levels you can expect to be in college most days as you will be studying a minimum of 3 subjects.

If I don’t like the course, can I change?

Our online resources and Open Evenings will hopefully enable you to research your options and pick the right course, but we do understand that sometimes you may wish to change your mind after you've started your course. If that's the case don't worry - there is a 6 week period from starting your course in September where you are able to swap*

*We do our best to accommodate changes (dependent on course capacity and entry requirements) and our team of Achievement Coaches and Tutors will advise you on your options if you do change your mind.

Are there clubs and societies to join?

Yes! The Student Wellbeing team offer a wide range of activities which give EVERY student a chance to meet new friends, develop employment skills, enhance your CV, gain an extra qualification and make sure your time with us is an unforgettable one. You will find information about this when you join the college on StudentNet and college notice boards and can read more on our enrichment pages.

Does the college have sports teams?

Yes! There are lots of competitive and non competitive options for playing sport at Nottingham College. Enrichment activities include basketball, futsal, football, rugby, tennis, badminton, table tennis, ice skating, boxing, tai chi, yoga and indoor cricket. Students can take part with classmates and friends from across the College. The activities run during lunch and late afternoon on the different College campuses and are FREE for students.

The Association of Colleges (AoC) runs national representative squads and teams in many sports and take part in international events and competitions and we have competitive teams at the college.

Is there the chance to go on trips?

Yes! The Student Wellbeing team regularly organise trips and recent ones have included Alton Towers and the theatre. Lots of courses also offer trips, both in the UK and abroad.

Do we get term breaks e.g. Christmas, Easter and half term?

Yes, you can find term dates on our website or StudentNet once you have a college log in.

When will we get our timetables?

Timetables are finalised at the end of the summer and you will receive yours after you have enrolled.

Applying and entry requirements

When and how can I apply?

Applications will be opening soon. All applications are submitted online and it is an easy process consisting of filling out personal details and predicted grades – it should only take you 15/20 minutes in total. You can apply for more than 1 course if you are still unsure exactly what you want to do.

You can find out more on how to apply to Nottingham College on this page.

There will also be an application zone available at our Open Evenings.

How many courses can I study?

Our college courses for school leavers are all full time. This means that you only pick and study one. You might also have to study Maths, English or both alongside your course if you did not pass them at GCSE.

A Levels are different, you will mix and match different subjects (3 or 4).

If I fail English and Maths can I still come to College?

If you do not pass your GCSE Maths or English (or both) at school then don’t worry, it is not the end of the world and can re-take the subjects with us at College.

Hopefully with different teachers and a fresh learning environment we will help you pass them so you can progress to a Level 3 course with us. To study any Level 3 course you will need a grade 4 or above in GCSE Maths and English.

Will I have an interview for my course?

This is course dependent and full details will be given when you apply, however you will usually be invited into college before you join us for an opportunity to meet tutors and other members of staff.

I have a conditional offer, does this mean I definitely have a place?

It means we have offered you a place on your chosen course dependent on meeting the entry requirements. The full details are included in your letter or email.

If I don’t get the grades to meet my conditional offer can I still do the course?

Don't panic! If you don’t meet the entry requirements for your chosen course we will discuss options with you at enrolment.

Can I retake GCSEs at college?

We do offer GCSE resits and can discuss individual options with you at enrolment. You can find out more about GCSE's at Nottingham College on our GCSE pages too.

I've applied for a Level 2 course but want to do a Level 3 instead, is this possible?

We will assess this at enrolment but if you meet the entry requirements for a Level 3 course and there are still spaces left, yes.

I’ve applied for 4 A Levels, can I drop a subject if I don’t want to study it anymore?

Yes, you will confirm your choices at enrolment so still have time to change your mind.

I need to submit a portfolio, what should I include?

We don't expect it to be perfect but its great if you can showcase the areas that will be covered on your chosen course - it can be work you've completed at school or at home.

If your work is too big to scan then you can take photos.

Preparing for College

I've already accepted my offer, what do I need to do?

That's great! You just need to enrol.

Enrolment takes place after GCSE results day in the summer and you'll get sent a letter with further information.

What equipment and materials do I need?

You will be given a materials list during your induction days and this will depend on which course you are applying for. The list will vary per course.

I'm studying art and design, do I need to provide my own materials?

You will need to supply your own materials and we will send you a kit list.The items can be bought at our College Art Shop.

If you have studied art and design recently you may have a lot of the materials you need already (pencils, pens, paints, scissors, glue & sketchbooks etc.)

I'm studying fashion, what equipment will I need?

The fashion department puts together a pack which you can buy from college with everything in it that you will need to get started. This works out cheaper than buying separately too!

Travelling to College

Is the College easy to get to by public transport?

Our college sites are in central locations, easily accessible by public transport. You can find information on the nearest tram/bus stops and train stations on our website.

Can I bring my car to college?

As many of our sites are in City Centre locations the college does not have car parking facilities, but there are pay and display carparks nearby.

Our Basford campus has car parking available for students at a cost of £3 per day.

What happens if my public transport is late?

We are completely understanding of transport issues but ask that you allow extra time to travel to college and inform us if you are going to be late. It is important to arrive on time so you don't miss important information at the start of the lesson.

Is there free transport available?

Student Finance may be able to help you with a contribution towards travel to college, visit the Student Finance page to find out more information on how to apply.

Many public transport providers do offer discounted tickets and passes for students - you'll need to show your student ID card or enrolment letter when purchasing.

Top tips for starting College

We’ve got some top tips to help prepare you for the move from school to college!

How is college different to school?

College is totally different to school – explore the reasons why

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