Looking to return to education?

We offer hundreds of courses in a wide range of subjects, with qualifications designed to suit your lifestyle – so whatever your commitments, you can make your course work for you.

We provide full-time, part-time, and distance learning courses and apprenticeships, from Level 1 to university level.

It’s never too late to get into Higher Education; we offer a range of year-long Access to HE courses that give you a route into degree-level study.

Many of our courses are free to study (subject to your personal circumstances) and have funding options. We can also offer advice on financial support – so if you have any questions, we are here to help.

Contact us See Adult courses

Free Level 3 Courses for Adults

Are you prepared for a life-changing journey to a brighter future? Take advantage of our free Level 3 courses for adults*, providing the ideal route to elevate your career for a promotion, unlock fresh employment opportunities, and boost your earning potential. Perhaps you want to learn a new trade?

In our fast-paced world, continuous learning is a must for staying competitive. Whether you’re an experienced professional or seeking a career change, our wide selection of subjects caters to industry demands. Embrace new qualifications across various industries, from business management and IT to healthcare, construction, engineering, and motorsport. What is the right choice for you?

* criteria applies. Click read more to see if you qualify.

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See our Free Courses for Adults courses


West Midlands Combined Authority Logo

These courses are funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority as part of the UK Government’s Skills for Life campaign.

Find out more about the Skills for Life campaign here.


Adult Job Seekers

Whether you are looking to develop your maths and English skills to prepare you for opportunities in the working world, or you are eager to take the next steps towards a particular career, one of our diverse range of courses for job seekers could help you succeed.

We offer an array of courses from basic grammar to accounting. We have courses that are suitable for learners without qualifications, for those with GCSEs, and Job Centre Plus courses.

Courses run across all of our campuses, which are situated in convenient locations.

See our Adult Job Seeker coursesRead more

English, Maths & ESOL

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses are great for adult students to increase your employability. You will get essential English & maths skills, and learn speaking, listening, reading and writing.

We offer ESOL at all of our campuses.

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University Level

With our dedicated University Centres, excellent links with employers, and industry standard facilities, studying a university or higher level course with South & City College Birmingham is a viable alternative to university. We are a destination of choice for hundreds of higher education students who live in Birmingham, Worcestershire, Sandwell and surrounding areas.

Our courses are run in partnership with well-established universities such as the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, De Montfort University, Newman University, and we also have Pearson (Edexcel) Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, all partnerships that are highly regarded by employers.

If you’ve always wanted a degree but left school without the required qualifications to apply to university, an access to HE course could work well for you.

See our University Level coursesRead more

Access to HE

An Access to Higher Education Diploma is a one-year Level 3 qualification that prepares learners without traditional qualifications for study at university. Over 98% of our Access to Higher Education students progress onto a university course.

It’s a fantastic option for those who are looking to earn formal qualifications, change careers or get the most from the career path you are currently on.

See our Access to HE coursesRead more


South & City College Birmingham offer a range of vocational qualifications, including BTECs, City and Guilds and Diplomas.

Vocational qualifications offer hands-on learning courses that relate to specific roles or job sectors, such as hairdressing, accounting, professional cookery or plumbing. If you prefer to learn through a mix of practical application and classroom theory, studying a vocational course with us is the perfect option. Assessment is usually through both written and practical examinations.

There are many different types of professional qualifications in a wide range of subjects at all levels, from Entry Level to a PhD at Level 8.

Professional qualifications can lead to employment and even higher education. Level 3 professional qualifications, such as BTEC, earn UCAS points for higher education, in the same way as those awarded for A Levels.

See our Vocational coursesRead more

A Levels

The Advanced Level qualifications (A Levels) are subject-based qualifications. These Level 3 qualifications can provide access to university, further learning, training, or employment.

You usually study three or four A Levels over a period of two years and they are usually assessed by means of examinations.

You can study A Levels in a college environment if you want a change from school life. Many of our students go on to pursue a wide variety of opportunities after they complete their A Levels with us.

See our A Level coursesRead more


If you’re aged 16+ and are looking for a career that suits your skills and interests, an apprenticeship qualification could be the right choice for you.

If you are employed as an apprentice, you can expect a dedicated programme of training to give you skills and experience, along with at least the national minimum wage for apprenticeships.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to progress in your current role, there are so many routes that training for an apprenticeship can take you down – from full-time work, to a higher-level apprenticeship, to university. The choice is yours.

Apprenticeship VacanciesRead more

Foundation Learning

Foundation learning offers courses for students to achieve an Entry and Foundation Level qualification. The courses allow students to build on essential skills and general education and get experience in vocational areas.

These courses are great as a preparation for students who feel they are not quite ready to commit to a full vocational course or to go into employment. Students who feel they have not got the grades they needed at school will be able to take further development in English, maths and Information Technology (IT).

See our Foundation Learning coursesRead more

Multiply (Free numeracy courses)

If you’re aged 19 and over and don’t have maths GCSE at grade C (or equivalent), you can access free numeracy courses through Multiply to build your confidence with numbers and gain a qualification.

Good numeracy skills may unlock job opportunities and lead to higher wages or prepare you for further study. They also help in everyday life, such as helping children with homework and budgeting money.

Find out more information

Qualifications explained

Qualifications explained

Choose a level

Choose a level

  • Entry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Entry Level qualifications can assist you in developing your abilities, expanding your knowledge, and increasing your confidence. They’re called ‘certificates’ or ‘awards,’ and they’re available to anyone who wants to earn a recognised qualification. There are no entry requirements. They are available in three different sub-categories, which get progressively more difficult: Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

Level 1 qualifications are the first formal rung on the numbered system of qualifications. They are frequently studied at secondary school in Years 10 and 11. If you’re looking for an introduction into general work and practical hands-on activities, these foundation level courses allow you to gain skills that will help you to earn a job or qualification. Examples of Level 1 qualifications include GCSEs at grades 3, 2 or 1 (previously D, E, F or G), Level 1 Functional or Essential Skills, or Level 1 ESOL.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 1 courses

These qualifications are a step up from Level 1. They provide a more in-depth understanding of a subject. Examples of Level 2 qualifications include GCSE grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4 (previously grades A*, A, B or C), Level 2 awards, diplomas, or certificates and intermediate apprenticeships.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 2 courses

If you’re planning on going to university, you will need Level 3 qualifications. Study at this level is more advanced, as it prepares you for your future career or further and degree level study. Examples of Level 3 qualifications include: A and AS Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, Advanced Apprenticeships, T Levels and BTEC Level Award/Certificate/Diploma and Extended Diplomas.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 3 courses

A Level 4 qualification could be seen as the equivalent of the first year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of Level 4 qualifications include: Higher National Certificate (HNC) Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Accounting AAT Diploma, and Higher Apprenticeships.

See level 4 courses

A Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of qualifications at Level 5 include: foundation degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND), Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Intermediate Certificate in HR Management, and DET in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.

See level 5 courses

Level 6 refers to qualifications gained at degree level. Examples of Level 6 include: a bachelor’s degree with or without honours, or a degree apprenticeship.

See level 6 courses

Events & Open Days

We run several events throughout the year that allow you to explore your options both in-person and online.

What’s on

Read our student blogs

Catch up on all the latest news, blogs and exciting announcements from across South & City College Birmingham.

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