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Frequently Asked Questions

What are ‘vocational courses’?

Vocational courses train you for specific jobs, such as catering, hairdressing, carpentry, motor mechanics, etc. Types of vocational courses available include NVQs and City & Guilds qualifications. During a vocational course, you’ll be assessed on their practical skills. These courses are best suited to you if you have a good idea what career you want to do and are a practical learner. Qualifications are available at levels 1-3 and can be taken full time or as part of an apprenticeship.

The great thing about these courses is that they mean you can focus on one subject that you have a flair for in an in-depth way that will provide you with the type of specialist knowledge and skills that employers are looking for. Vocational training that will make you ‘work-ready’ is increasingly popular because there are fewer university places available, courses are being cut because of reduced budgets and many young people don’t like the thought of owing many thousands of pounds after they’ve graduated. The University of Sussex, for instance, will be charging the new maximum £9,000 tuition fees.

However, it’s important to remember that vocational qualifications can also lead onto Higher Education if that’s the direction you choose to take later on.

Will my course lead to a job?

City College is committed to making you ‘work-ready’ and facilities such as our state-of-the-art training restaurants and salons are just like real working environments. Many of our courses include work experience and are taught by tutors with direct industry knowledge and links to employers. The college also has its own employment bureau, City Jobs, which is focussed on helping students to find work after they’ve completed their courses.

What are City College’s success rates?

13/14 success rates place us in the top 15% highest achieving General Further Education and Tertiary Colleges in the country for 16-18 learners at all levels.

As well as these excellent success rates, 86% of students go onto further study, work or university, 97% of students say they enjoyed their time at City College and 97% of students say they their course gave them the skills to progress.

Should I choose a full-time course or an Apprenticeship?

If you start a full-time course, you’re choosing to stay in full-time education and you’ll be in college for between 3-5 days per week. If you do an apprenticeship you’lll be working and earning – doing the job you want to start a career in. You’ll learn ‘on-the-job’ and also come to college, usually 1 day each week, to further your skills and get the qualifications for that career.

Apprenticeships are no longer restricted to practical trades such as carpentry and plumbing – they cover all sorts of careers including business, service industries, the creative and cultural sector, sport and technology. For more details see: and

What facilities do students have at City College?

City College is renowned for its excellent teaching facilities, which give you the experience and skills required in a professional environment. That can mean learning cooking techniques in one of our industry standard kitchens or working on advanced software packages in our state-of-the-art Mac suites.

Our Central College campus benefits from an acclaimed student-run restaurant, hair and beauty salons, travel bureau, a large and well equipped library, computer suites, art studios, art shop and a first class hospitality department. It is also in the centre of a buzzing city that has a relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere and a thriving culture. 

Our City College East campus (located close to Brighton Marina) includes state-of-the-art dance and music studios, a motor vehicle centre and sports and gym facilities. We also have specialised teaching environments for our Plumbing, Carpentry and Teacher Training courses.

What Student Support is available?

City College’s friendly and approachable Student Support team, based in the Student Centre at the Central Campus on Pelham Street, offer a range of services that will help new students adapt to life at City College. This includes providing general information about college services and facilities plus information and advice about the financial support that may be available. This support is also available at the City College East campus.

If you need additional support on top of the tutorial guidance and one-to-ones offered on all courses, the Student Support team is there to make sure that you get it. Our City Jobs employment bureau will also provide support in helping you to get work experience, a part time job or permanent employment once your course is finished.

How easy is City College to get to?

City College is easily accessible from most Sussex locations. The Central Campus on Pelham Street in the North Laine area is less than 5 minutes walk from Brighton Station and local bus routes to Pelham Street via the station are 6, 7, 12, 14, 21, 22, 27 and 37. Bus routes going to Pelham Street via London Road (also only a few minutes walk) are 5, 5B, 21, 22, 24, 26, 37, 46, 46A, 49, 49A, 49B, 50 and 8.

Most students are based at our Central Campus. Courses and facilities that are primarily based there are Art and Design, Beauty Therapy, Business, Carpentry, Catering, Computing, Digital Arts, Electrical, English Language, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Higher Education, Journalism, Photography and Science.

Courses and facilities that are primarily based at City College East on Wilson Avenue are Acting, Childcare, Drama and Dance, Building and Maintenance, Filmmaking and Animation,  Motor Vehicle, Music, Sport and Public Services.

For travel to the City College East Campus, the bus routes are 1, 7 and 21. The College also runs a regular minibus service between our Central Campus on Pelham Street and our City College East campus. The service is free for students, though you are required to provide the driver with your Student ID before travel.

For more information on Brighton & Hove Buses, see:

What should I do next if I want to apply?

Full details on how to apply for a course can be seen here

You can discover much more about City College by coming to one of our Open Evenings where potential students and their parents/carers can find out about the range of courses on offer and about life at the college. The next Open Evening will be announced on this website soon.

For more details, please call Course Information on 01273 667759 or email  

Why can I not open the link or attached interview document on my hand-held device?

At present accessing documents sent from the College website is not compatible via a mobile phone or tablet. Please use a PC to access all messages, links or documents. If you are using a PC and still experiencing difficulties, please let us know.

Will my travel expenses be refunded when I attend an interview?

The College is unable to reimburse any expenses you may incur when travelling to attend your interview.

Is there a car park?

There is a public multi-storey car park located directly behind the College and street parking is limited around the College.