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Friday, 23 September 2016 11:15

HE graduation celebrations

The 21 September saw our Higher Education, Class of 2016’s graduation from South and City College Birmingham.

Taking place at our Digbeth campus auditorium, the ceremony was opened by Deputy Principal, Sardul Dhesi shortly after the room was filled with tutors, friends, families and graduates who created the most wonderful atmosphere with pride and smiles all round.

Principle Mike Hopkins took to podium to welcome guests and congratulate students: “you have shown what you are capable of and what you can achieve and you should be very proud.” 

The graduation progressed with graduand’s stepping up into the spotlight to shake the hands of Mike, Chair of Corporation, Clive Henderson and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Carl Rice who were all treated to a fantastic performance by HND student, Shannon McLoughlin. 

The ceremony concluded with Clive Henderson expressing how proud he is of the HE programme after the inspirational speeches from Alumni students, Erin Howell and Musical Youths Dennis Seaton who left a powerful message to students while sending his praises to the college: “from the moment I came here, I had the best time. As soon as you walk through the door, you’re welcomed by everyone – I want you all to remember where it started.”

To view the Graduations photos, visit our Facebook page.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:31

Recommend a Friend Competition Terms & Conditions

  • The entrant must refer one or more friends by tagging them to the competition post on the official South and City College Birmingham Facebook page.
  • Entry is open to residents of the UK, you do not need to be a college student to enter.
  • The tagged friends must enrol no later than 4pm on Friday 16th September.
  • To qualify for the competition, the tagged friend must still be an enrolled student at the time of the prize draw.
  • The winner will be drawn at random from all entries who meet the terms and conditions on Friday 14th October.
  • The winner will be notified via Facebook on Friday 14th October. Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted, or is unable to comply with these terms and conditions, the College reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random.
  • The voucher must be collected from the College in person. The winner is responsible for travel expenses incurred in collecting the voucher. The voucher may be posted but the winner will be responsible for postage costs.
  • The entrant(s) must be aged 16 or over. Proof of identity and age may be required.
  • Use of a false name or address will result in disqualification.
  • All entries must be made directly by the person entering the competition.
  • The entrant can refer more than one friend, each entry will be entered into the competition separately.
  • No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed or corrupted, or due to computer error in transit.
  • The prize is as stated, not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.
  • In the event of a prize being unavailable, the College reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.
  • The winner agrees to the use of their name, photograph and disclosure of area of residence and will co-operate with any other reasonable requests by the College relating to any post-winning publicity.

You can find the Facebook post here.

Neighbours came together with the help of South and City College Birmingham apprentices to surprise a three-year-old cancer patient and her family with a £60,000 home makeover.

Emily Cassidy and mother-of-three Lucy, 27, travelled to Jacksonville, Florida, in June so that the youngster could undergo a potentially life-saving course of proton beam therapy. While they were away, neighbours, students, and local businesses came together to tear out the kitchen, scrub away grime and eventually transform the family’s dilapidated terrace house in Stretchford, Birmingham into a clean, spacious home where Emily can continue her recovery. 

Lucy said: “the renovations are a dream come true, the work is a real testament of good old community spirit.”

Emily was just a toddler when she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a tumour behind her eye. She underwent an operation to remove the aggressive cancer in March but doctors discovered the disease had spread and she started chemotherapy.

The NHS later granted funding for Emily to travel to the US for proton beam therapy, which kills cancerous cells while minimising damage to surrounding tissue, making the side effects less gruelling than those of other conventional treatments. 

During Emily’s treatment, Georgie Moseley, 32, of Help Harry Help Others was busy leading the ambitious project to transform the home. 

Ms Moseley, who lost her son Harry to cancer in 2011, launched a Facebook appeal after visiting the run-down property earlier this year. She said: “Emily’s constantly at hospital, her life’s been turned upside down, they should all be coming home to a tranquil place where they can just be a family.”

Her call for help received an overwhelming response from businesses across the region who pulled together to meet the family’s needs. 

Lucy was told that some work would be carried out while she was away but she would have never dreamed it was going to be on this scale. She explained: “all I was expecting was for them to fix the roof and do a bit of re-plastering. It is like a show home – I feel like I have a completely new house.

“The kitchen had been nothing more than a dining room with a cooker and I had been forced to do the washing-up in the bath after the sink broke five years ago.”


The SCCB apprentices worked on the project with local suppliers and contractors to transform Emily’s bedroom into a space fit for a princess, a complete rewiring and plumbing as well as giving the home a new extension and roof. 

To view the full article, visit The Daily Mail.


Tuesday, 06 September 2016 14:44

You don't need to go to university to go higher

Higher education courses don't have to be studied at a university. At South & City College Birmingham we have a range of higher education level courses including Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Foundation Degrees and even full Honours degrees.

Our courses are run in partnership with well established universities such as Birmingham City University and Newman University and are highly regarded by employers.The benefits of studying your higher education course with us:

  • Lower tuition costs
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Stay close to home
  • A dedicated HE centre

By choosing to study a higher education qualification you will benefit from being able to study locally in smaller class sizes than at a university, possibly at a lower cost. You can also study flexibly, on a part-time basis. The good news is that you will still be able to progress onto a full degree programme in the second or final year at university. All of our higher education courses are here.

Open Days

We hold open days throughout the year when you can come along to find out more about the courses you are interested in, meet the lecturers and see our facilities. Click here to see our open days.

Along with our college open days Birmingham City University are offering open days where you'll be able to go and ask questions about courses we run in partnership with Birmingham City University. You can visit their open days page, just click here.


If you have any further queries or would like to discuss your options our dedicated higher education team will be happy to help. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The college is part of the National Collaborative Outreach scheme


QAA Review

As part of any review process the college have been given recommendations in areas that can work to improve

To view the college's action plan please download the PDF listed below.

Action Plan 

To view the QAA's full review please visit their website here: QAA Review

Annual Higher Education Student Graduation Ceremony

The Annual Higher Education Student Graduation Ceremony, will be held at the Digbeth Campus on Wednesday 21st September 2016.

 16:00 – Arrival and registration of Graduands for gowning and formal photographs

18:00 – Arrival of guests

18:15 – Students seated for the Ceremony

18:45 – Guests seated for the Ceremony

19:00 – Commencement of the Ceremony

Talented young design engineer James Owen has won a major accolade after being recognised as one of the industry’s future leaders.
He was highly commended for the national, Alfred Manly Management Award which celebrates the achievements of young engineers who are judged to be capable of progressing to a senior role within the sector.
James, who completed his higher level apprenticeship with Birmingham building services provider, J S Wright last year concluded his Environment (Building Services Engineering) course at SCCB with a double grade Distinction Merit and went on to achieve his BTEC Higher National Certificate in Building Services Engineering with a Merit. Having gained qualifications at the highest level, James continued to voluntary guide and mentor younger engineers.
The 23-year-old from Solihull was singled out by his panel for his “experience, maturity and obvious passion for the industry” and went on to receive his certificate from BBC TV Presenter, Gavin Hewitt in the presence of Margaret Manly of the Alfred Manly Trust at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) annual general meeting.
Paul Millington, J S Wright Associate Director and Leader of the J S Wright Academy, said: "James is an inspiration not only to our younger engineers but also to all those across the building services industry and thoroughly deserves his success."As well as continuing to develop his engineering knowledge and management skills, he is always willing to encourage and guide the next generation of building services engineers."
The full article can be found here

Mike Hopkins, Principal of South and City College Birmingham, will take over as Interim Principal at Bournville College on Monday, 1 August. The news follows the recent announcement of a merger between South and City College Birmingham and Bournville College, as an outcome of the Birmingham and Solihull Further Education Area Review.

Mike will take over from Michele Sutton CBE, who has been an Interim Principal of Bournville College since January 2014, in preparation for the merger of two colleges later in the year. He will retain his role at South and City College Birmingham.

Mike said: "This is an exciting development for Birmingham and will secure the future of Bournville College which will remain at the state of the art campus in Longbridge and continue operating under the current brand. The merger will take two very good colleges and create an excellent one. As we go into the future, we will be able to develop our curriculum, offering our students more choice and progression opportunities. Excellent financial and organisational stability will allow increased investment in facilities and resources, both physical and teaching, ultimately resulting in a better learning experience for our students."

Mike started in FE in 1993 as Director of Corporate Services and Clerk to the Corporation at what was then South Birmingham College, with a turnover of less than £10 million. He was responsible for bringing about a merger with City College in 2012 to what is now South and City College Birmingham. After the merger with Bournville College, the turnover will be over £73 million.

A consultation on the merger was held between March and April this year. The merger is expected to be formally approved by the Government during 2016/17 academic year.

Any applications to Bournville College or South and City College Birmingham can be made on their respective websites as normal.

Future First are a charity who provide Alumni, an online network that will enable us to keep in touch with students as they leave South and City College Birmingham.

The Alumni network will allow us to build an online community of current and former students so we are able to see how they are doing and if they have made any achievements within the working world. Not only this, by keeping in touch, we will be able to offer our former students exciting opportunities to improve their CV’s, gain and improve skills and even increase their employability.

Our former students will get the chance to act as e-mentors to those who need a bit of help and advice with their course, come along to talk to classes about how the course has helped them get to where they are today as well as their overall journey. Our former students may even be able to offer work experience opportunities to current students.

By signing up to Alumni, we will not only be able to follow your journey, you can follow ours as we update you with the latest news and events that are occurring.

To register, or for more information, follow this link:
Current students: 
Former students:

Perry Beeches Infant School & South & City CollegeThe morning of Tuesday 21st of June saw the official opening of work completed by college students and staff, together with pupils, their parents and teachers of Perry Beeches Infant School, Great Barr Birmingham. The school already had classes named after various jungle animals, so when it was time to create a wonderful new play area for the children, the jungle theme was an easy choice to make.

The project started earlier in the year, when Perry Beeches decided that they needed to make more of the sheltered area within the playground for their young pupils. Our college students quoted for the project, and once it was won, proceeded to make and paint all of the wooden animal chairs, tree tables, a safari jeep and camouflage seating and storage areas, complete with lovely decoration touches, that really brought the area to life.

Head Teacher, Vicky Colley waxed lyrical about the whole project, just before the opening ceremony. She told FYi “Everybody has commented, without question, on the professionalism of the students and the vision of the end product. It really has surpassed all our expectations. John Ward [South & City College carpentry lecturer] has been brilliant to work with. John wanted to make a connection with schools and give his students real world experience, instead of say making bird boxes. It is absolutely phenomenal. Other head teachers have seen the work and have said how amazing it is. We will be advertising who completed the work at the front of the school, so I expect your students to be very busy over the coming years.”

John Ward agreed “This is been such a fantastic project to work on. The school has been amazing and the students have been so professional, together with the standard of work being second to none.”

At 9:30, the new Lord Mayor, Carl Rice, arrived to start the opening ceremony saying “I became Mayor to celebrate the very best of Birmingham and when I saw the invitation to attend today, of course I said yes. This is a wonderful project, worked on by parents, teachers, pupils and South & City College students and staff. It shows what can be done with true partnership.”

The young pupils have watched the project come together over the past few weeks and of course were not allowed to touch or get too close. So when they were allowed to go in and play, they were very happy and excited. When asked what their favourite bit was, the boys loved the jeep, but everyone loved the cute chimp in the corner, sporting a pair of binoculars. They also loved the painted bus at the back. Every reception pupil had painted a self-portrait so that they were truly part of the project themselves.

Angela Williams, one of our Painting & Decorating students, responsible for some of the painting said “It was actually quite challenging, because I am not used to working in such a confined space, but I got used to it quickly and enjoyed it so much. It will be a great project to have on my CV and I learned a great deal.”

Three of our Carpentry students also came along to see the project being opened: Arron Jones; Ben Parsons and Charlie Gaston are all studying at level 3. They commented about working on the project “It was good fun and a pleasure. It was hard to visualise the end result, when seeing all of the various bits and pieces at college, but it is great to see everything in place and all the kids happy and excited to be able to play with it.”

Bob Howlett, Faculty Head also said “I have spent the last few weeks in college workshops, meeting all the jungle animals and jeep. It is great to see everything in place.” With a big smile he added “We await lots of orders from other schools.”

This is not the end of the project either, phase II is to replace an aging climbing frame in the playground, with a wooden pod for the pupils to play in. Watch this space for updates.

Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:42

'In Focus', a SCCB photo exhibition

South and City College Birmingham media and photography students recently took to Green Street Arts to showcase their portfolios and work during a photography exhibition.

The ‘In Focus’ exhibition featured the interesting collection of images from a variety of up and coming studio and landscape photographers and attracted staff, students, family, friends and the public from across Birmingham. The work that went into the portfolios and exhibition have proved to be very beneficial to all students including level 3 year 2’s Jesse Machin and Paige Goodman who have both been accepted the UK's number one arts university - Falmouth with only 60 in 300 people securing places. Paige said: “a lot of hard work and commitment has gone into our portfolios, many people think photography is easy but you need many resources and a lot of creativity.”

Level 3 year 2 student, Francesca Alonzo Beckett said: “the creativity of the projects has really helped me in stepping outside of the box. The work I have done during the course has assisted me in being accepted for a two month photography internship in Italy to kick start my career and passion for traveling.”

The exhibition brought together all levels of photography students and the work they have done is so much more than achieving grades, it has given them valuable experience and allowed them to create superb portfolios. Richard Hamilton, media lecturer said: “well done to all students, I am very proud of them all and proud to present their work to people.”

Do find out more information on our media and photography courses, click here.

On the 7 June, we were delighted to host the Midlands regional heat for SkillBuild 2016, for the 10th successive year at Bordesley Green campus.

SkillBuild is the UK’s biggest and longest running skills competition for apprentices and trainees, showcasing the best talent in construction based disciplines. The event is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and covers construction occupations: bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, dry walling, electrical; joinery, painting & decorating, plastering, plumbing, roofing, stonemasonry and wall & floor tiling.

The competition comprises of regional heats from April to June each year, with a national final held in the autumn at The Skills Show.

This year, in the Midlands heat, there were to be over 100 competitors from 14 local colleges and close to 30 employers are due to attend. Unfortunately due to accidents on both the M6 and M42, together with a clash of dates for an exam, the competition had fewer competitors this time round, though this did not hinder the students.

Effy Harle, a South & City College Carpentry & Joinery competitor said before the competition “I have been preparing for this competition since January, completing tasks from previous years against the clock to gain speed. I am really looking forward to it, but I haven’t competed before, though I am quietly confident and excited to be the only woman competing in Carpentry.”

Conna O’Toole, another of our Carpentry & Joinery students said “I didn’t sleep well last night, but I’m still confident”. Conna has an apprenticeship with Kendrick Homes.

100 school children from Broadway Academy, St Georges Hub and Handsworth Wood Girls Academy also came along that day and took part in the ‘have-a-go’ areas. The students could have-a-go at various activities such as putting pipes together, or the ever popular buzz-wire game and also go home with a few goodies, kindly supplied by ScrewFix.


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