Our campuses remain closed for the foreseeable future


Application Questions

How do I apply?

All applications must be made through our online application system.

You will need to create an account that you can then log back into to track your application.

Information on creating an account and making an application.

What do I do if I can’t remember my log in details to access my account?

  • Check that you have used the correct Username (This was sent by email when you first created your account)
  • Check that you are entering the correct password.
  • Check you spelling the username and password correctly.
  • Remember these fields are case sensitive.

If you are still having trouble and are unable to access your account we are able to provide further help and support options via the link below:

I am having trouble accessing my account.

Is there a closing date for applications?

We accept applications throughout the year, but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. For full-time further education programmes we have extended our initial deadline for receiving applications of 31st January 2020 for a guaranteed place on your chosen programme (subject to you satisfying the entry requirements) until the 31st May 2020 (although we do still accept applications after this date).

What happens after I apply?

Once your application has been submitted our admissions team will complete some data checks including checking that you meet the published entry criteria for your chosen subject.

For most programmes you will then receive an email inviting you to log back into your account to book your interview. If you have applied for Music, Performing Arts or an Art related subject we will email you with a date and for an audition or portfolio review.

Please check your emails as all communication will be sent by this method.

What Happens at my interview?

You will be here between 1-2 hours depending on the programme you have chosen. (2-3 hours for performing arts) You will normally have a presentation or talk to from a member of staff, telling you more about the programme, followed by an individual interview for about 5/10 minutes.

If you are having an audition or portfolio review, more information will be given in your email.

How will I know if have been offered a place?

Offers will be subject to meeting the entry requirements of the programme, as published.

Once you have attended an interview / audition we will email you to let you know if you have an offer. Offers will be subject to you meeting the published entry requirements of the chosen programme.

If you are not offered a place on your chosen programme, we will do our best to support you in finding an appropriate alternative.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

If you would also like to be considered for an apprenticeship you must tick the appropriate box on your application.

Our apprenticeship team will contact you to discuss this further and provide you with further information.

How can I get additional support?

If you have a disability or learning difficulty, you must tell us this on your application.  Our support team will contact you for further information and to assess your needs.

If you require support at your interview or require any adjustments to help you access the interview, tell us this on your application and we will ensure that your needs are met.

If you are not sure about what of the support is available please speak to our student services team on 01206712073 or by emailing: additionallearningsupport@colchester.ac.uk

Our Additional Learning Support teams are also available at all of our open events.

Will my school/college be contacted?

If you are currently at school/college we will contact them to confirm your predicted grades and get general information about how you are progressing. We will also keep them up to date with the progress of your application.

Post Application Questions

What if I change my mind?

If at any point during the application process you wish to change your programme choice, please contact us as soon as possible. We can change a programme choice, but your original one will be withdrawn.

You will have to attend another interview for your new course.

Will I need a DBS check for my course

If your programme features contact with children or vulnerable adults, you will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting your programme. There will be an additional cost associated with this.

What if I don’t receive my expected grades or no longer meet the entry requirements?

First of all, please don’t panic! It may be that you can go onto a different level or on an alternative course. Please still attend the planned enrolment session to talk to a tutor or come along to one of our and get advice on the opportunities available to you this September and apply on the same day.

August Advice Days at Colchester Institute

Enrolment Questions

When is the Induction Day?

You will need to come to College for one day between Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd July to attend a welcome and Induction Day. These are important for you to attend to start your induction and find out more about your programme of study. Watch out for a letter coming to you at the end of May with more details and your exact date and time.

When I finish my programme, will I be able to progress onto the next level of study?

We always encourage our students to aim high to achieve their full potential. On most programmes there is an opportunity to progress on to a higher level and after Level 3 we offer a number of different degree level programmes too. Progression to a higher level is not guaranteed and will be subject to you gaining a satisfactory result in the preceding qualification and meeting the necessary entry requirements for the higher level qualification.

What if I don’t achieve the results I need?

If you have been made a conditional offer based on your GCSE grades then your results on Thursday 22nd August 2019 are all important, and fingers crossed that you get what you need! If you don’t, then don’t panic – we hold GCSE advice days around this time so you can come in and talk to us about your options, more information will be available nearer the time.

When is Enrolment Day?

Enrolment will take place between 15th August and 2nd September 2019. There will be a set date and time for your programme which can’t be changed and this will be confirmed during your Welcome and Induction Day. It is important that you avoid taking any holiday during this time as your place on your programme cannot be guaranteed if you don’t make your enrolment day.

What if I cannot make the enrolment date?

Enrolment dates are not negotiable but in exceptional cases you must let us know in advance if you cannot attend by phoning 01206 712777 or completing the “Enrolment Day Non-attendance Form”. We cannot guarantee that your place on your chosen course will be held if you do not attend on the original enrolment date, without letting us know and agreeing alternative arrangements.

What will happen at enrolment?

Students will attend with everyone else on their chosen course and will meet with a member of the teaching staff to go through their exam results, an check that they are on the most appropriate course level. Students will complete an enrolment form and sign up to the College Expectations and their learning agreement. The process will include having their photograph taken and being issued with their student ID card and lanyard.

From day one of their programme students will be required to wear their ID card and lanyard to gain access to the campuses, and at all times whilst on site.

What will I need to bring?

To complete the enrolment process the following is required:

  • Their original GCSE results slips, and proof of any other qualifications already received, plus two photocopies.
  • An official form of identification either driving licence, passport or birth certificate.
  • Their full contact details, including the email address of a parent/carer who we will communicate with up to the end of the academic year in which they turn 18 (where appropriate).
  • A pen and paper to complete their enrolment form and note any key information from their tutor.

Further Information

Please be aware that enrolment can be very busy and there may be a lot of waiting, and sometimes queuing. Whilst we work hard to reduce this, students should be prepared for a long day. The College refectories will be open but students may wish to bring food and drink with them, particularly on a hot day!

Parents and carers are not normally expected to attend enrolment.

When will timetables be issued?

This may happen at enrolment, but it is more likely to be on the students’ first day at college. Programmes with a higher volume of students may need to know students’ GCSE grades to sort them into groups, and timetables cannot be confirmed until this has happened.

When is the start of term?

Term starts on Wednesday 4th September 2019, but start dates are staggered across the Wednesday and Thursday of that week. You will receive your actual start date and first day information at the same time as your enrolment information – so look out for the information when it comes.

Parents and Carers Enrolment Questions

What happens after my son/daughter’s interview?

After attending the interview your child will be notified of the outcome within 15 working days. Successful applicants will receive an offer of a place, the offer may be conditional on achieving the entry requirements or unconditional if entry requirements have already been met. No applicant will be given an unconditional offer if they are progressing from a school.

What happens if my son/daughter is not successful on gaining a place on their chosen course?

Where possible we will recommend an alternative course if the chosen course is not suitable, on request we can provide an explanation for why that decision has been made by the course tutor. If an alternative course has not been recommended then your child can speak to their guidance advisor at their school or if not currently in school contact our careers team. You and your child can also come and visit one of our Open Events to discuss other courses.

What happens after my son/daughter has received their offer?

Your child will be invited to attend an Induction Day. The Induction day is designed to support your child with preparing for the course; it will include course related activities and some course areas will require a dress code. Further information on facilities, student services and support and information on enrolment and registration will also provided.

What happens after my son/daughter attends the induction day?

Your child will be invited to attend their enrolment/registration. Attending enrolment confirms your child’s place on the course, if they are unable to attend their enrolment session they will need to inform the admissions team in advance by completing the enrolment form or calling 01206 712777.

Complete Enrolment Response Form

Please note a place on the course is not guaranteed until enrolment has been completed. For enrolment they will need to bring with them:

  • Original GCSE results slips, and proof of any other qualifications already received, plus two photocopies
  • Official form of identification either passport, driving licence, or birth certificate
  • Full contact details*
  • Pens and paper

What if my son or daughter’s GCSE results do not meet the entry requirements?

First of all, please do not panic! It may be that they can go on at a different level for their chosen subject area. Please still attend the planned enrolment session to talk to a tutor.

Alternatively, or if your son or daughter is still unsure, please come to one of our August Advice Days where subject tutors are available to talk about all the available options. You do not have to book, just come along to one of our campuses at the designated times

Please note: any offers made on an August Advice Day may be subject to availability on the course after the enrolment period is complete on Monday 2nd September 2019. Should you have any queries please call our course enquiries line on 01206 712777.

What will happen at enrolment?

Students will attend with everyone else on their chosen course and will meet with a member of the teaching staff to go through their exam results, an check that they are on the most appropriate course level. Students will complete an enrolment form and sign up to the College Expectations and their learning agreement. The process will include having their photograph taken and being issued with their student ID card and lanyard.

From day one of their programme students will be required to wear their ID card and lanyard to gain access to the campuses, and at all times whilst on site.

When will my son/daughter’s timetable be issued?

Some course areas may issue their timetable during the enrolment period but most will provide this information to your child on the first day.

Where should my son/daughter go on their first day?

The first day for most courses will be Wednesday 4th September 2019. Information about where your child needs to meet their tutor on the first day will be provided at enrolment/registration. If this information has not been provided prior to their first day, we request that your child reports to main reception at the campus they will be studying at and a member of the team will direct them. If you would like to contact the main reception in advance please call 01206712777 or email: info@colchester.ac.uk.

Further Information

Please be aware that enrolment can be very busy and there may be a lot of waiting, and sometimes queuing. Whilst we work hard to reduce this, students should be prepared for a long day. The College refectories will be open but students may wish to bring food and drink with them, particularly on a hot day!

Parents and carers are not normally expected to attend enrolment.

Parents and Carer FAQ

What happens after my son/daughter submits their application form?

On receipt of the completed application form including reference we will acknowledge receipt and your child will be invited in for an interview or audition with the course tutor. These interviews/auditions are mandatory and it is important that your child comes prepared. Some courses have specific requirements such as for Art and Design courses they will need to bring their art portfolio, for performing arts and music courses they will be expected to prepare some performance material and some course areas will require a particular dress code.

Who can I contact if I haven’t heard back about my application?

If you have not had an acknowledgement within one week of your application being received you should contact the team on (01206) 712777 or email admissions@colchester.ac.uk to check that your application has been received.

What can my son or daughter study?

Colchester Institute offers a large variety of courses for 16 to 18 year olds including full-time courses, part-time courses, and Apprenticeships. All courses are vocational which means they are specifically designed to provide your child with the necessary skills for a specific job or career. More information about the different academic course levels can be found in our Course Levels Information section

What can I expect from Colchester Institute?

Our aim is to ensure that all our students have the opportunity and encouragement to engage positively with their programme of study; to attend regularly; to work hard and to achieve the best results that they can. In doing this, we also hope to prepare and inspire our students to take their next steps into interesting and rewarding careers or higher level programmes of study. For more information on what you can expect please view our:

Can my son or daughter go on to university having completed a BTEC vocational qualification?

Yes, BTECs are equivalent to GCSEs and A Levels, BTEC graduates can go on to university or start their career straight away. More information on the progression routes available to all BTEC students together with their more traditional equivalents can be found in our Further Education Information section.

Will I have to pay for my child’s course/equipment?

All school leaver courses are available free of charge up to the age of 19, provided your son or daughter is under 19 years old on the 31 August before they enrol on their course, are taking a full or part-time course of more than 12.5 hours a week and are a European National.

Some courses will have additional costs to over extras such as specialist kit and equipment, trips, uniforms etc., students will be notified of additional costs prior to enrolment, and payment can be made through the On-Line Store.

For families on low incomes, or in receipt of certain benefits, there is a range of financial support available. We will support eligible students with the additional costs associated with their studies, which can cover the items above, and also transport and childcare costs.

Are students entitled to Free School Meals?

Yes, in September 2014 eligibility for Free School Meals was extended to students aged 16-18 in Further Education, not including apprenticeships. We assess this as part of our overall student finance package, in most cases students eligible for Free School Meals can also get other support.

To apply, please download the application form from our Student Finance Information section.

Student Finance Information Section

For more information on the financial support available and the eligibility criteria please email student.finance@colchester.ac.uk or call (01206) 712078.

What contact can I expect from the College?

All students will agree an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) with their tutors at the start of the year and students will be encouraged to share their targets with you through the electronic system called ProPortal – students will be given access to this themselves and this can be viewed on any device linked to the internet.

Reports will be sent home at least once per year detailing your child’s progress, identifying strengths and weaknesses, level of attendance and action points to help them achieve high academic standards.

We expect students to attend all timetabled classes promptly and we have high expectations in terms of behaviour and conduct at College. Although we treat our students as adults, we still reserve the right to contact parents about concerns relating to attendance until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. If there are any concerns where we feel we need your support we will be in touch either by phone or email. If a student is issued any notices under the College disciplinary procedure, you should be sent a copy if they are under the age of 18 in that academic year.

What should I do If I am concerned about my child’s progress?

If you are concerned about your son or daughters progress you can contact their named tutor, they will have been given this information at enrolment. The easiest way to contact a member of staff is by email using the Colchester Institute email address system of firstname.surname@colchester.ac.uk for example: jane.smith@colchester.ac.uk

How much homework/coursework will my child have to do?

The amount of homework and coursework will vary depending on the nature of your child’s course, however please be aware that there is an expectation that students will study in their own time. There will be assignments and extension activities for all programmes with supporting information available through our Virtual Learning Environment.

Can students work part time whilst studying?

We encourage our students to take up part-time work whilst studying as the experience gained is beneficial in developing their confidence and independence, as well as providing an insight into an adult work environment. However work commitments should not interfere with your child’s studying so we would advise that parents help to find a balance between part-time work and study.

What do I do if I think my son or daughter is being bullied?

Colchester Institute will not tolerate harassment or bullying on any grounds. If a student feels that they are being harassed or bullied, they should keep a record detailing the event/s, including keeping copies of texts, emails and comments on social media. No-one should feel ashamed about being bullied as it is not their fault. As soon after the incident as possible, they should seek help to try to resolve the issue informally in the first instance. This can be done by contacting the Student Services (Welfare) Team, the course tutor or the Students’ Union.

If you feel your son or daughter is being bullied we would encourage you to contact Student Welfare / Bullying on (01206) 712263 and we will seek to resolve the issue.

Student Welfare & Support

How do I report an absence?

There is a dedicated Absence Reporting Line – (01206) 712160 for all Colchester Institute students. All calls are logged and the relevant tutor is notified. Please try to call before 9am.

What if I am concerned about bullying?

If you are being bullied, or you see something that concerns you, then it is important that you let us know. We really mean it when we say the College does not tolerate bullying in any form. Students and staff deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and the College has a rigorous Anti-Bullying and Harassment procedure.

If you are being bullied, or are worried about bullying either verbally, physically or online (such as social networks, email or through other mobile devices) it is important you tell your tutor or the Student Welfare Team on (01206) 712263 so that action can be taken.

What if I have a complaint?

Complaints about your course, or something more personal should first be discussed with your personal tutor. If you are still unhappy there is an online complaints form on the College website, and paper copies are available from receptions, support offices, libraries or Student Services.

All complaints, comments and compliments will be sent to The Quality Enhancement Manager, who will ensure that they are resolved or passed on appropriately.

I’m experiencing personal problems and I’m not sure who I can talk to?

The Student Welfare Adviser is available to help with problems you may experience whilst at College. Advice and information can be given on: drug and alcohol misuse, sexual health, mental health, homelessness, counselling, bullying and harassment support, safeguarding and child protection. Signposting and referrals where appropriate can be made to external support agencies.

There is also a counselling service which is free to enable students to cope with their problems in order to continue with their course and achieve their qualifications. To make an appointment just ring (01206) 712295.

I would like to be more involved with the College, is this possible?

Yes, we try to involve learners as much as possible at Colchester Institute. Each class has a Course Representative, who attends monthly meetings and can voice any issues relating to students experience at college, which you can put yourself forward for. There are also several Principal’s Question Time events each year, where students are invited to put questions to the Principal which you can attend.

How do I contact my tutor or find out more about my course?

During your course induction you will get a course handbook and be introduced to your personal tutor who will be your first point of contact for course related questions. To email a member of staff you use their first name followed by a full stop and then their surname followed by @colchester.ac.uk (eg. jane.smith@colchester.ac.uk)

What if I need extra help in the classroom?

If you have a learning difficulty and/or a disability then the Additional Learning Support team may to able to help put support in place. We offer in-class learning support, communicators and note-takers, or in some cases specialist tutors for dyslexia, literacy and numeracy, including one-to-one support. For students on Degree programmes we can advise you on claiming Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) to access additional support.

The team also co-ordinate access arrangements for exams, specialist equipment and learning aids and mobility and personal care support.

We work with the course areas to support students in a discreet way to help students achieve their maximum potential. Please talk to your course tutor or contact the team on (01206) 712839/712073 for more information.

What if I change my mind about the course I’m studying?

The Careers Team provide information, advice and guidance for all your queries on further study and progression to the world of work. They offer one-to-one confidential guidance interviews as well as a daily “drop in” service. So if you need help with choosing a career, progression, apprenticeships or job search contact the team at careers@colchester.ac.uk

Fees and Finance Questions

What help is available with course related costs?

We recognise that many students have financial worries and our Student Finance Team is on hand to advise you on the different options that might be open to you. Please view our Student Finance and Course Fees pages for more information. If the cost of coming to College is worrying you then please contact the Student Finance Team on (01206) 712078 or pop in and see us in the Student Finance office in Colchester, Student Services in Braintree or the Clacton Information Centre.

How do I pay for trips, kit or equipment?

The College operates a cashless payment system through our online shop, payments by cheques or cash are not accepted. Your tutor will be able to provide you with the details on how to register and create an account.

Facilties and Resources

How does the printing system work?

The College uses the Canon print anywhere system which allows students to print securely to any networked printer at any campus using your ID card. The first time you go to print you need to register your ID card. You can top up printing credit online through the College portal, at the College shop or use one of the coin operated top up machines.

Can I use the College Library?

Yes of course, most courses will include a Library induction where the staff will give you friendly, helpful advice to help you make the best use of the library services. But you don’t have to wait until your induction, just pop in and see the team who will be happy to help.

Travel Questions

Is there support for travel to College?

The College offers several attractive options to support students travelling to College, including the Colchester Institute Travel Scheme. Please contact Student Services on (01206) 712078/712446 for more details.

There may be financial assistance towards the cost of travel for families on a low income or where it can be demonstrated that travel costs will cause financial hardship.

Please contact Student Services on 01206 712078 to discuss travel options.

Can I park on site?

There is student parking at both the Colchester and Braintree campuses, however this is limited and there is no guarantee of a space.

Students need to apply for a parking permit to allow them to park on campus. The permit is free and can be obtained from our facilities department at Colchester or the information Centre at Braintree.

If parking a car at Colchester, there is a daily pay and display parking charge of £2.30 and a ticket must be displayed alongside a valid parking permit. There are ticket machines on site but they take CASH ONLY and do not provide change. In addition there is moped and motorcycle parking at Colchester which is free on production of a valid student ID card.

There is no charge for any student parking at our Braintree Campus on production of a valid student ID.

Please note: all vehicles are left at the owner’s own risk. The College accepts no liability for loss or damage to vehicles or belongings left on premises.

Can I buy a bus pass / travel pass on-line?

Both bus and train passes can be purchased on line through the Colchester Institute Online Store. More information can be found in our Travel Information section.

Creating an online account
Parents wishing to purchase travel passes will have to create an online store account by following the instructions below (please note that if you have two children studying at Colchester Institute, a separate account must be set up for each student to avoid any confusion):

Before making any purchase from the online store, you will be required to register with the store. To do this you should click on My Account and then click on the link under New Customer

Please enter your email address and provide a password. This is the email address to which all confirmations and receipts will be sent.

Enter your personal details.

Under Your Address, enter your postcode and house number. Then click find address. A list of addresses matching those provided will appear. Click in the circle next to the right address. The address fields will populate with the one chosen. You must give this address a name (e.g. Home / Work).

If the postcode look up cannot find your address, click the link to enter your address details manually

Click Continue to register your account

Forgotten your password? At each login stage, you will see a forgotten password button, where you enter your e-mail address and a reminder of your password is then sent to you, by e-mail, almost immediately

Purchasing a travel pass
Once you have created an account:
Click on ‘Product Catalogue’ under Navigation
Click on ‘Getting Here’
Click on either ‘First Bus Passes’ or ‘Train Tickets’
Click on the links under ‘Detailed Description’ if you need confirmation of the cost of your travel pass
Enter the cost of the pass in the ‘amount’ box the ‘add to basket’
Fill in the questionnaire
Click ‘next’
If details are correct, proceed to checkout
Once the transaction is complete, you will receive an email confirming your purchase.

Bus tickets can be collected from the College from Tuesday 1st September onwards once you have your purchase confirmation email.

Train tickets will be ordered for the student and once received at the College, we will send the student a text message confirming that the pass is ready for collection.

If you have any queries regarding travel, please call Student Services on 01206 712078.