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16-18 Courses

What you need to know

Scroll down, or use the links below to jump to the right section, to find out all you need to know about studying with us at Redbridge College. 

Studying with us

At Redbridge College we offer something different to help prepare you for university and the world of work. 

What is a vocational course?
Vocational courses provide a practical, real-world alternative to studying A Levels. Our courses are designed to help you progress straight to university or the world of work. Even better, there are no exams – vocational courses are assessed by written assignments, tests and practical work.

What is a BTEC Diploma?
BTEC Diplomas are practical qualifications that help young people develop the skills and knowledge that universities and employers want. They cover the essential theory of your chosen subject but also include real-world tasks and projects to help prepare you for life after college.

What is an NVQ?
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are work-based qualifications that are achieved through practical assessments and training. They are designed to be achievable and learning takes place in bite-sized chunks followed by regular practical assessments, rather than exams.

What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to earn money while learning the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. You’ll gain vital work experience and a salary at the same time as studying towards a recognised qualification.

How is college different to school?
At college you’ll be treated like an adult. For most courses you’ll need to be on campus three-and-a-half days per week, there’s no college-wide uniform and you can call teachers by their first name. You’ll have the independence to manage your own study time and there’s a full programme of enrichment activities and events, including great trips.

Our Learning Environment

We are very proud of our specialist facilities which allow you to learn in industry-standard environments. Just some of our great facilities include:

Ilford Skills Academy Hair & Beauty Training Salons
Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy students at Redbridge College have the opportunity to train in our brand-new Ilford Skills Academy Hair & Beauty Training Salons – real-life salons that are open to the general public! The salons are also open to all students, with great discounts available. Call 020 8477 0224 or email info@ilfordskillsacademy.co.uk to book, or visit www.ilfordskillsacademy.co.uk for more information.

Rouge Restaurant
Rouge is a fully licensed award-winning restaurant open to the public Monday to Friday offering fantastic dining experiences at incredibly reasonable prices. Rouge also hosts award-winning theme nights each Thursday. Call 020 8548 7441 for details.

Last Word Records
Last Word Records is our very own record label, designed to commercially release recorded works and promote new acts. We offer recording facilities for students and external artists, in a studio fully-equipped with all the latest industry software and hardware. We offer Professional Recording Experiences for singers, musicians and bands, starting from just £69. Our technicians and producers will make sure you sound your best, and you’ll get a copy of your finished tracks to keep. Call 020 8548 7110 / 7129 / 7431 for details.

FX Studios
FX Studios is a visual arts and media company operating through the college, offering students real-life industry experience. FX Studios is comprehensively equipped with digital SLR cameras and a graphic design suite, plus the latest high definition video cameras and editing facilities.

What do the levels mean?

Vocational courses at Redbridge College offer a real-world approach to learning to help prepare you for university or employment.

Whatever your stage of learning, we will provide you with an opportunity to discuss which level of course is right for you. To find out more, please ring Student Services 020 8548 7110 / 7129 / 7431, email us or chat to us live.

All information provided below is for guidance only. Every course is different, so for the most up-to-date information please check our individual course listings.

Entry Level

  • Entry Level qualifications at Redbridge College enable learners to build basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning in everyday situations
  • They can be taken at three levels: Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3
  • They provide progression to Level 1 vocational courses at Redbridge College

Level 1

  • Level 1 qualifications at Redbridge College are work-related courses that allow learners to gain basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning with guidance or supervision
  • They are equivalent to GCSE grades D-G
  • They provide progression to Level 2 courses at Redbridge College or appropriate support roles in employment

Level 2

  • Level 2 qualifications at Redbridge College are work-related courses that allow learners to build knowledge and skills related to a specific career path
  • They are equivalent to GCSE grades A-C
  • They provide progression to Level 3 courses at Redbridge College or employment at a junior level within your chosen industry

Level 3

  • Level 3 qualifications at Redbridge College are work-related courses that provide learners with the opportunity to gain detailed knowledge and skills related to a specific career path
  • They typically take either one or two years to complete and are equivalent to two or three ‘A’ levels, depending on your course
  • They provide progression to university or employment within your chosen industry

Level 4

  • Level 4 qualifications at Redbridge College recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in a work-related area
  • They typically take one year to complete and are roughly equivalent to the first year of degree level study
  • They provide progression to university or employment within your chosen industry

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What is on offer?

Enrichment is the name for all the extracurricular activities that run throughout the year to help make your student experience even more enjoyable. We have a huge range of activities, with some leading to recognised qualifications and others just great fun! Our current programme of activities includes:
  • Beauty and hairdressing skills
  • Cooking skills
  • Drama
  • Driving theory
  • First aid
  • Microsoft skills
  • Organised sports
  • Photography
  • Street dance
  • Plus so much more! 
Our calendar is packed with events for students to take part in, including:
  • Charity and volunteering events
  • Christmas party
  • Staff versus students sports games
  • Student awards
  • Summer enrichment féte
  • Talent show 
Fly abroad for a week or join us for a day trip, the choice is yours! Trips include:
  • Go Ape
  • Golf
  • Ice skating
  • Paintballing
  • Paris and New York
  • Thorpe Park

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We have more than 500 PCs and Macs available. No matter which curriculum area you choose, your learning will take place in an industry-standard environment kitted out with the latest technology. Every student at college is given their own email address, fast internet access and their own dedicated network space. You also get access to our fantastic new iZone technology suites, and all the cutting-edge equipment found inside.  

Online virtual learning zone
E-Bridge is our interactive online learning area where you can access resources for your course, keep in touch with tutors, submit assignments online, track your progress and use forums, blogs, quizzes, surveys and much more to enhance your learning experience.


There is an on-site nursery at our main Chadwell Heath campus which is run by the London Borough of Redbridge. The centre has 32 places for children aged between three months and five years. Opening hours are 8.45am - 5pm Monday to Friday during term time, with places available for half days and full days. For more information and fees contact the Centre Manager on 020 8597 1616.

Equality and Diversity
At Redbridge College we embrace and celebrate the diversity of our student body and the different cultures everyone brings to the college. We work hard to ensure that everyone can access our services fairly and that nobody is discriminated against on grounds of age, disability, nationality, gender, marital status, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

Learners with Additional Needs
Students with learning, social or communication difficulties, or those with practical or sensory disabilities, medical or other needs can access a range of support. This includes general and specialist assessment and screening, one-to-one study mentoring and special examination arrangements. We also offer general in-class support and specialist support for those with hearing impairments.

Redbridge College is fully accessible with lifts, automatic doors and specialist facilities for wheelchair users. Accessible toilets and shower facilities are available on each level of the building. For more information please contact Additional Learning Support on 020 8548 7442.

Personal Learning Advisors (PLA)
All our students are assigned a PLA, who will work with you to help set targets and give you the support you need to achieve your goals. Your targets will be regularly reviewed to ensure that you remain challenged and up-to-date with your work.

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The Learner Services team offers information, advice and guidance to students on financial aid including:

  • The 16-19 Bursary Fund
  • Educational Grants from Family Action
  • Kits for courses 
  • NUS Extra Cards 
  • 16+ Oyster Photocards
  • Care to Learn scheme

16-19 Bursary Fund
To be eligible for these awards you must be at least 16 but under 19 years of age on 31 August 2013. There are two categories to the Bursary Fund:

  • Young people in care, care leavers, young people in receipt of Income Support and disabled young people in receipt of both Disability Living Allowance and Employment & Support Allowance will be eligible to receive a guaranteed bursary of £1,200 per year
  • Learners with a household income below £21,000 may be eligible to receive a weekly bursary as well as payment of any college kit/equipment or other course related costs

Please click here to read the policy.

Awards from Charities
For information about financial awards from charities you can consult the Education Grants Directory, which is available in most public libraries. Alternatively, young people can apply for a grant from the Family Action Education Grants Programme. Visit our Learner Financial Support team located in Customer Services to complete the application form or visit http://www.family-action.org.uk/ for more information.

Help with Travel Costs
London Transport offers discounted travel to all full-time students. If you are under 19 before the start of your course and live in London you will be able to travel free on buses and trams and receive a discount on the underground. Application forms for 16+ Oyster Photocards are available at Post Offices. A £10 administration fee is payable at the time of application which will be refunded by the College.

Materials and Equipment Fees
Some courses require payment of a materials or equipment fee. Financial assistance may be available towards the cost of any college kit, equipment or uniform dependent on your circumstances, however all students are expected to pay the cost of the materials fee.

Tuition and Examination Fees
Tuition and examination fees are not payable by young people under the age of 19, unless they are classed as overseas students. Call our Student Financial Support team on 020 8548 7469 / 7445 / 7158 / 7435 for more information.

Click here to find out more about Financial Help at Redbridge College.

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Step 1 – Visit us
Come to one of our Advice Nights or our Open Day to find out more about careers, courses and college life. Find out more about our next Open Event by clicking here.

Step 2 – Apply
Once you have found a course that interests you, fill in an application form or apply online through this website. If you are unsure which course you want to study, just write ‘Guidance Interview’ on the application form.

Step 3 - Interview
Once we have received your application form you will be invited to attend an interview at the college. Don't worry, it's not a scary process - we just want to make sure that the course is right for you now and in the future.

  • If you have applied for a Graphic Design or Media course you will need to bring your portfolio to your interview
  • If you have applied for a Music course you will have an audition as part of your interview
  • If you have applied for some Sports Studies courses, you may be required to attend a practical assessment (we will contact you with the date and time)

Step 4 – GCSE results day
Enrolment starts at Redbridge College - bring your GCSE certificates and fees into college to secure your place.

Step 5 – Induction
Induction takes place in September for all full-time courses. Welcome to Redbridge College!

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