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Student Finance

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Earn while you learn
    You will receive at least Minimum Wage (HLA) for the duration of your studies including College Day!
  2. Experienced Mentor 
    Work with and learn from professionals with years of experience in your chosen industry
  3. Just 1 day per week in College
    Complete your HLA (Foundation Degree or Diploma) with just 1 day or evening per week in College over 2 years (3 years for Mechatronics and Culinary Arts)
  4. No fees = No Student Loans
    Your course will be fully funded by the Department for the Economy which means no student debt!
  5. Fantastic career opportunities
    You have a job from day one which opens many opportunities for progression/promotion within your company

t and interview skills at careers@serc.ac.uk

Yes, it may be possible to deliver this course in the local community. Please get in contact with the engagement team to discuss further.
Parents receive regular updates of their child's progress via the online portal. These updates consist of written summaries, pictures or a combination of both. Creche staff also share verbal feedback with parents at the end of each session. Parents are always welcome to speak to the creche manager at any time if they have a query or concern.
Yes, we have a dedicated team of Student Finance Advisors, who would be happy to answer any of your questions. For further information visit the Student Finance area of the website
If you’re a student with childcare responsibilities, you’ll be pleased to know our Newcastle Campus, on the Castlewellan Road, has an onsite creche, called ‘Little SERC’.  Students may even be eligible for a means-tested grant to help with childcare costs. To find out more please email communities@serc.ac.uk
Yes, we can arrange for someone from our engagement team to visit your school, community group or organisation for an informal talk, presentation or to display a promotional stand.  To find out more and/or arrange a visit please get in contact.
Children are offered a healthy snack and drink during each session, taking into consideration any dietary requirements or food allergies.

Opportunities are available for you to gain qualifications from Level 4 upwards if you are a new employee or an existing employee in a new job role. Entry requirements will depend on the apprenticeship pathway.

To take part in the Higher Level Apprenticeship programme you need, as a minimum, to:

  • be employed or be about to take up permanent paid employment as an apprentice, or be an existing employee moving to a new job role, with a Northern Ireland based company
  • work a minimum of 21 hours per week (which includes time for ‘off-the-job’ training)
  • have achieved all necessary entry qualifications determined by the relevant sector
  • pass any entry tests specified by the relevant sector
  • be the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland (18)

You may need to meet other eligibility considerations, for example you may not be eligible if you're a non-EU national, a public sector worker or already have a recognised vocational qualification.

  • Contact employers directly by email, telephone or call in with your CV
  • Contact your local College – email us for support at any time in they year!
  • Look for vacancies online (employer websites or job search website such as Job Centre Online
  • Have you previously done a school work placement? Contact them if aligned with your chosen industry
  • Contact SERC’s career service for free advice, CV support and interview skills at careers@serc.ac.uk
If you have already applied to study in Newcastle and have completed your course application form, please clink on the link to register your child now
Little SERC can cater for up to 26 children at each session.
Currently each session costs £18.00.  There are 2 sessions each day; a morning session from 9:15am – 12:15pm and an afternoon session from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The creche accepts fees paid via the Care to Learn, FE Childcare and Hardship Fund Childcare provision grants.
Absolutely!  You must attend enrolment day, upload your qualifications, and meet with our teaching teams.
Please submit an application for the new course you are interested in.  If you have exceeded the total of three applications, you need to email admissions@serc.ac.uk asking for one of the courses to be removed.  You should then attend the enrolment day as advertised and remember to upload your qualifications to your online account.
Not at all!  Please submit an online application for your chosen course(s) and come to your chosen campus on enrolment day.  You will need to ensure you have your qualifications uploaded to your online account when you have your results.  Please keep an eye on your email account as this is how we will contact you.  The school (department) delivering your course may be in touch with you before enrolment day, so it is important that you check your emails!
Please don’t panic.  Come along to our enrolment day and we will match you with a suitable course.  We will have experienced Careers officers on site who can help you explore your options and make the most of the opportunities available.  
If you are interested in applying for a course and need assistance in completing your online application our friendly Customer service staff are always happy to help.  For assistance please phone 0345 600 7555 or email info@serc.ac.uk.
The engagement team run several stakeholder engagement events each year to inform staff and volunteers, who engage with the local community, about what courses are available to the local community. If you are interested in learning more or would like to attend one of these events please get in contact.
Little SERC is there to help parents who enrol on a course at our Newcastle Campus and need access to childcare for their children from three months up to compulsory school age.
There are two separate sessions each day, from 9:15am – 12:15pm and from 1:00pm to 4:00*pm daily during term time (*subject to change).

An HLA is a Level 4/5 Qualification for new employees or for existing employees who are upskilling/entering a new job role.

  • Main qualification is a Foundation Degree or Level 4/5 Diploma, achieved over 2 years (3 years for Mechatronics and Computing)
  • It is an employment contract, working 4 days per week with your employer and studying in College 1 day per week. You are also paid for your day in College!
  • Entry requirements vary but generally include GCSE Maths & English at grace C or above and A Levels or a Level 3 Certificate/Diploma

As an apprentice you will be a new or existing employee, in a Northern Ireland-based company, working with experienced staff to learn and develop your skills.

An apprentice also receives ‘off-the-job’ training, usually on a day-release basis with a training provider, to work towards achieving vocational qualifications and Essential Skills qualifications (reading, writing, maths and computers).

Your training provider will meet with you and your employer to discuss your training needs and will then develop a training programme for you. They will be with you every step of the way throughout your apprenticeship to support you and make sure you are making progress. Usually you are with the employer four days a week and with the training provider one day a week. Your employer will pay you for your time spent with the training provider. 

We offer a broad range of activities both indoors and outdoors which are based on the current planning theme. This supports children’s learning while developing each child’s physical, social and emotional, cognitive and language development through play.    

In each area of the creche we provide a range of activities suitable to the particular age group. This which enables each child to develop at their own individual pace.

Learning through play is an integral part of a young child’s development as through play children learn essential skills such as concentration, problem solving, imagination, working with others. This also helps to build children’s self-esteem and confidence. 

Yes. All SERC Campuses are open; however, some teaching and learning will continue to be delivered online. Tutors will be able to update students on arrangements for particular classes and you can also contact us via email, info@serc.ac.uk, or by phone, 0345 600 7555.

Yes – for theatre events a bar service will be provided.   This bar service will be operational preshow and during any intervals.  There is no bar service available once events have finished.   We can also offer bespoke catering options on request.  Terms and Conditions apply.   

Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you with your UCAS application.  We can help with everything from choosing your courses and writing personal statements, to helping you prepare for university interviews.  
Invitation letters will be sent out at the beginning of July; if you do not receive one and are eligible to graduate, please contact marketing@serc.ac.uk 

Higher Education qualifications range from Level 4 to Level 7 (post-graduate) . You can find out about the different awarding bodies and the qualifications they offer here.

Degree - Level 6

Bachelors’ Degree

This usually takes three to five years to complete depending on whether you study full-time or part-time.

Foundation Degree – Level 5

This is a Higher Education qualification that combines academic study with work-based learning. A foundation degree can lead to a full degree, or employment.

Higher National Diploma (HND) - Level 5

HNDs are a work-related, vocational Higher Education qualification. While Degrees tend to focus on gaining knowledge, HNDs are designed to give you the skills to put that knowledge to effective use in a particular job. HNDs are highly valued by employers both in the UK and overseas, and can also count towards membership of professional bodies and other employer organisations.

 Progression opportunities include entry to enhanced level 6 Degree.

Higher National Certificate (HNC) – Level 4

HNCs are a vocational Higher Education qualification that are usually studied part-time over two years or full-time over one year. HNCs are popular with students who are already in employment as they enable you to put the skills you learn into practice in your current job. Progression opportunities to enter degree programmes can be available.

 

Professional Qualifications – Level 4 and 5

Qualifications which are accredited by professional industry bodies and demonstrate a student’s depth of knowledge and understanding of a subject and also a commitment to succeed within the industry.

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR came into effect on the 25th of May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Directive (DPD) and the UK Data Protection Act 1998.  Further to Brexit, the UK had adopted UK GDPR. The Data Protection Act (2018) refers to the practices, safeguards, and binding rules put in place to protect your personal information and ensure that you remain in control of it. In short, you should be able to decide whether you want to share some information, who has access to it, for how long, for what reason, and be able to modify some of this information, and more.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) provides the public with access to information held by public authorities.

The Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives the public the right of access to recorded information held by public authorities (subject to certain conditions and exemptions) including Further and Higher Education institutions. Compliance with legislation is demonstrated through implementation of the Code of Practice 2018.

This is conducted in two ways:

  • Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
  • Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

The main principle behind freedom of information legislation is that people have a right to know about the activities of public authorities, unless there is a good reason for them not to. This is sometimes described as a presumption or assumption in favour of disclosure. The Act is also sometimes described as purpose and applicant blind.

Yes – Free parking is available at the main SERC campus located directly across the road from Space and on street parking is also available.  
Yes, please contact the Careers team to book an appointment. Contact Us

To take part in the apprenticeships programme you need to: 

  • have reached the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland (16 years) 
  • be employed or be about to take up paid employment in Northern Ireland 
  • be working a minimum of 21 hours per week on a permanent contract 
  • meet all the entry requirements of your chosen apprenticeship (for example some apprenticeships will require you to have GCSEs) 

You may need to meet other eligibility considerations, for example you may not be eligible if you're a non-EU national, a public sector worker or already have a recognised vocational qualification. If you're 25 years and over, there are restrictions on the type of apprenticeship with funding available.

Level 6 – Bachelor Degree
                                   

Equivalent to: BA (Honours) Degree

                                   

Typical Entry Requirements:  Level 4/5 or Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).

                                   

Progression: Progress to a Master Degree or use your skills to start work.

                                   
                                   
Level 5 – Foundation Degree / HND / Higher Level Apprenticeship
                                   

Equivalent to: Second year of a Bachelor Degree

                                   

Typical Entry Requirements: Level 4 or Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).

                                   

Progression: Progress to a Degree course at College or University or use your skills to start work.

                                   
                                   
Level 4 - HNC / Higher Level Apprenticeship
                                   

Equivalent to: First year of a Bachelor Degree

                                   

Typical Entry Requirements: Relevant level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC, A-levels). See individual courses for details. Certain GCSE grades may also be required. Industrial or other experience may also be acceptable as part of APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning Process).

                                   

Progression: Progress to Higher Education at SERC/University or use your skills to start work.

                                   

*Please check specific entry requirements for specific courses

                               

Pearson

  • Level 4- Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Level 5- Higher National Diploma (HND)

Ulster University (UU)

  • Level 4- Certificate
  • Level 5- Foundation Degree 

The Open University (OU)

  • Level 5- Foundation Degree (FD)
  • Level 6- Top- Up Honours Degree 

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)

  • Level 6- Honours Degree  Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI)
  • Level 4- Certificate
  • Level 5- Diploma City and Guilds (C&G)
  • Level 4- Award/ Certificate
  • Level 5- Award
  • Level 6- Award
  • Level 7- Award

Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)

  • Level 4- Award/ Certificate
  • Level 5- Diploma

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

  • Level 5- Diploma
  • Level 7- Advanced Diploma

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

  • Level 5- Award/ Certificate/ Diploma
  • Level 7- Certificate Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB)
  • Level 4- Diploma

Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI)

  • Level 4- Award
  • Level 5- Certificate

Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE)

  • Level 5- Diploma Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT)
  • Level 4 Award/ Certificate/ Diploma
  • Level 5 Certificate/ Diploma
  • Contact employers directly by email, telephone or call in with your CV
  • Look for vacancies online (employer websites or job search website such as Job Centre Online
  • Have you previously done a school work placement? Contact them if aligned with your chosen industry
  • Contact SERC’s career service for free advice, CV support and interview skills at careers@serc.ac.uk
To book your tickets for graduation please complete the online booking form by Friday 28 July, 2023. Once we receive your completed online booking form, we will issue an invoice for your ticket payment to be processed via PayPal. Please note that your tickets are only confirmed once payment has been made.
Official communication will come through the SERC student intranet, SERC website, student email and SERC social media pages.

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) (2004) provides public access to environmental information held by public authorities, including Further and Higher Education institutions and impose several obligations on them. Therefore, similar to that of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (2000) as both are intended to promote openness and accountability amongst public authorities.

The table below illustrates examples of what EIR (2004) request could consist of:

TypeDescriptionExamples
ElementsAir, water, soil, and landscapesCondition of football pitches
Factors that effect on the environmentEnergy, noise, waster, and emissionsEnergy used at local theatre
Measures designed to affect the environment Policies, legislation, and plansHealth and safety plan
Reports on legislation  
AnalysesCost/benefit analyses related to measuresHealth and safety reports
State of human health & safety Sanitation, food, hygiene, and state of buildings Pool water testing information, hygiene reports for café
GDPR applies to any organisation that processes and holds personal data UK citizens is obliged to abide by the laws set out in UK GDPR. GDPR affects every individual that stores or uses European personal data in and outside of the EU.
                                   

Many students return to study with us who have been out of education for several years and have relevant experience at an appropriate level. If you are returning to study you may be eligible through the Accreditation of Prior Learning process (APL) :

                                   
                                           
  • Accredited Prior Certification Learning (ACL) – this is learning associated with a formal course of study that has been assessed either in Higher Education, by a professional body or achieved through staff development.
  •                                        
  • Accredited Prior Experience Learning (APL) – this is learning acquired through life, work experience and study not previously certified through formal education.
  •                                    
                                   

If you would like further information please discuss APL when you make your application, or contact Stuart Rankin (Head of Higher Education).

Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you explore your options and make informed choices about your next steps.  Please contact us to book a careers appointment.
No, all debt must be cleared or you will not be allowed to Graduate. If you are in any doubt, please contact our Finance Department at studentfinance@serc.ac.uk to check if any debt is outstanding.  

Student Support Services

Please find below details of some support services which may be useful. These relate to Counselling Support, Housing Support and Foodbanks.

COUNSELLING SUPPORT

Inspire Students - 0800 3895 362 - Inspire Students in an independent source of support and counselling for all students/trainees. They can be contacted for free, confidential and immediate support on the above number which is available 24/7. If necessary, they can call you back.

Lifeline - 0808 808 8000 - Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help. Calls to Lifeline are free and Lifeline counsellors are available 24/7 to listen and help in confidence. Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000.

HOUSING SUPPORT

MACS - provides a range of services for young people, including for those experiencing homelessness issues. They can be contacted on 028 4461 6551 (Downpatrick) or 028 9264 6329 (Lisburn), or visit their website www.macsni.org 

NIHE (Northern Ireland Housing Executive) provides information and advice on homelessness and can be contacted on 03448 920 908 or click here to visit their website. In an Emergency the Housing Executive can provide temporary emergency accommodation for young people at risk of exploitation or who are vulnerable in some way by contacting them on 03448 920 908. For further information visit here - www.nihe.gov.uk/Housing-Help/Homelessness 

Simon Community NI is a homeless charity, working to support people who have no home and can be contacted on 0800 1712222 or visit their website - www.simoncommunity.org/homelessness 

House Rights NI can provide mediation services with landlords and tenants, support through disputes and support tenants with cases. They can be contacted on 028 9024 5640 or click here www.housingadviceni.org to visit their webpage

Emergency accommodation. For a full list of emergency shelters and beds if someone has nowhere to stay, please click here - www.chni.org.uk/advice.html#accomm 

Women’s Aid provide support and information in relation to domestic abuse. Full contact details can be found here www.womensaidni.org 

FOODBANKS

SERC students and staff have been generously supporting local Food Banks which have been making a real difference to people’s lives. If you need to contact one of the Food Banks in your area, please email them on the details below and they will be in touch:

Bangor: info@bangorni.foodbank.org.uk 

Ards: info@newtownards.foodbank.org.uk 

Lisburn: team@lisburnfoodbank.org

Downpatrick: fountainfoodbank@gmail.com

For a further list of Food Banks operating throughout Northern Ireland please click here www.cabfoodbanksuu.wordpress.com/list-of-food-banks/

 

Any individual/organisation can submit a request for information relating to College business activities.

FOIA:

Section 8 of FOIA states the criteria for a valid request to be:

  1. In writing
  2. states the name of the individual and an address for correspondence
  3. describes the information requested.               

EIR:

Any individual can submit and EIR request to the College either verbally or in writing. The individual must provide:

  1. Contact Name
  2. Contact Details
  3. Description of the information they are requesting

Requests can be sent to the Records Manager at:

Records Manager

SERC, Bangor Campus

Castle Park Road

Bangor

BT20 4TD

informationrights@serc.ac.uk

 

No – Seats are allocated on a first come first serve basis.  If accessibility seating is required, please contact us directly prior to your event.
Under the GDPR, the College must observe six fundamental principles when processing personal data - including ensuring that their use of personal data is lawful, fair, and transparent. We must implement organisational and technical measures to protect it from misuse and exploitation.  Compliance also includes the maintenance of statutory documentation such as Data Protection Impact Assessments for high-risk processing and a Record of Processing Activities.
  1. Earn while you learn 
    You will receive at least the Apprenticeship Rate (Levels 2/3) or Minimum Wage (HLA) for the duration of your studies including College Day!
  2. Experienced Mentor
    Work with and learn from professionals with years of experience in your chosen industry
  3. Just 1 day per week in College
    2/3 Apprenticeship with just 1 day or evening per week in College (2 days per week where essential skills are required)
  4. Training Support Officer
    You will have a dedicated Training Support Officer to turn to for support and guidance throughout your course. They will also complete regular reviews with your employer to monitor progress.
  5. Fantastic career opportunities
    You have a job from day one which opens many opportunities for progression/promotion within your company
Yes, our Careers Advisors are on hand to help you compile and develop your CV.   We can also assist you with job applications and interview preparation.  Please contact us to book a careers appointment.
No, you do not need to state why you want the information you have requested.
Please contact us directly at space@serc.ac.uk.   A member of our team will respond as soon as possible. 
                                   

At SERC we welcome students from far and wide, from China to Poland and Belarus to Sudan.

                                   

Our International students have the opportunity to study in a safe environment for a wide range of courses in one of the world’s most advanced education systems. Our students benefit from a high standard of teaching provided by well qualified, committed staff, delivered through small class sizes for a more supportive environment.

                                   

We have an International Office, from where you can get advice about preparing to come to the UK to study, including advice on visa issues where relevant, finding accommodation, opening a bank account and other issues related to helping you settle into a new country.

                                   

For more information please visit our International Department

Yes! If you are feeling anxious or stressed or feel you need resources to help with additional needs, https://www.serc.ac.uk/contact/customer-enquiries.  Alternatively, if you need to speak to a counsellor, then Inspire Students are available 24/7 on 0800 389 5362 for structured counselling support. If you have any health queries and cannot speak to a GP, then please email our Youth Health Advice Clinic on serchealth@setrust.hscni.net.  If you have any welfare issues at all, please email learning-support@serc.ac.uk 

So, what exactly is personal data? Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. Known as the ‘data subject’.

In other words, any information that clearly about a particular person. But how broadly does this apply?

The GDPR states that this applies where an individual can be identified directly or indirectly. Some of the followings are examples that can make an individual identifiable:

  • Name;
  • Identification number;
  • Location data; and
  • An online identifier
  • Image

A name is perhaps the most common means of identifying someone. However, whether any potential identifier, including whether a name identifies an individual depends on the context.

By itself, the name ‘John Smith’ may not always be personal data because there are many individuals with that name. However, if the name is combined with other information (such as an address, a place of work, or a telephone number) this is often sufficient to clearly identify one individual.

Special Category Data

GDPR special category data is personal information of data subjects (individuals) that is especially sensitive. Special category data includes the following:

  • Race and ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Political opinions
  • Trade union memberships
  • Biometric data used to identify an individual
  • Genetic data
  • Health data
  • Data related to sexual orientation

Due to these data elements being particularly sensitive, the College must have a legitimate and lawful reason for collecting, storing, transmitting, or processing these data. 

Graduation ceremonies are a formal occasion.  The dress code consists of your gown, hood and formal dress. We recommend one of the following:  

  • A dark suit, white shirt and tie 
  • A dark dress  
  • A dark trouser or skirt suit, with a white shirt or blouse 

Other formal attire related to your cultural tradition or national costume. 

                                   

Find out more about our Higher Education courses, speak to our lecturing staff, see around our state of the art facilities and enrol on a Higher Education course at our annual open evening, or our enrolment days.

                                   

View Events

                                                                       

 

 

                                   

Wider employability skills are essential in securing employment after your studies. When you become a student at SERC you will be given the opportunity to develop these skills through our Employability Programme, that’s why you're better off at SERC.

SERC will give you as many opportunities as possible to help you gain better skills and get real life experience. You will have the opportunity to develop skills such as problem solving, good communication, critical thinking, people management and team working. This will make all the difference when you are applying for jobs or Higher Education courses in the future.

Studying at SERC will help you start the journey to your dream career as you will:

• Gain more qualifications

• Have the opportunity to set up a SERC Student Company

• Take part in industry projects

• Undertake work placements

• Get involved with volunteer programmes

We can give you advantages, skills and experience other young people take years to get. Students sitting where you are now have gone on to amazing careers with companies like Coca-Cola and NASA!

The College has 20 working days to respond to all FOI/EIR request. However, on some occasions the College may need to contact you to seek clarity on your request.  Where clarification is required the clock for 20 working days will be paused. Upon receiving clarification, the 20-working daytime frame will resume. There may be occasions where the College needs to extend the time for response within the perimeter of legislation. However, you will be notified if this arises.
Our theatre is accessible to everyone.  With lift access to all floors within the building and accessible toilets on all levels.  

Yes! You can speak to our Careers Staff on campus, or via telephone or MS Teams. Please contact us at careers@serc.ac.uk. SERC students - please keep checking your college email for your weekly Careers Bulletin which has all the latest information on UCAS, jobs and opportunities, plus much more.

 

Go through the main entrance and look for the ticketing desk – it will be signposted. SERC staff will be on hand to assist.  

The College will only collect and process data that is necessary and we are forbidden from processing data unlawfully.  Examples of reasons why we ask for your data can vary from the College performing its public task, fulfilments of legal obligations and where an individual requires protection from harm.  Legislation protects your data against being processed where there is no existing lawful basis to do so.

The College has many Privacy Notices for various Departments to help you understand, how and why we collect your information. Privacy Notice - SERC

Baby changing facilities are available on Level 2, directly across from the theatre. 

Yes, our Careers Advisors are impartial and can give you advice on your child’s career options.

We have a page on our website just for parents.

           

Fees are applicable for all HE courses. The rate of fees that you pay will depend upon where you live. Northern Ireland domiciled students can apply for a loan for tuition fees, a maintenance loan for living costs and a non-repayable maintenance grant (for lower income households). 

                                   

For further information please visit: www.studentfinanceni.co.uk

                                   

Students from England, Scotland and Wales will pay a higher rate of tuition fees and should contact the agencies below for further information on the support available:

                                   
                                           
  • Student Finance England (in England) www.gov.uk/student-finance
  •                                        
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland (in Scotland) www.saas.gov.uk
  •                                        
  • Student Finance Wales (in Wales) www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
  •                                    
                                   

For more information please visit our Fees & Finance section or view our Fees Policy

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) states that, UK GDPR provides the following rights for individuals, which the College is complaint with:

  • The Right to be informed;
  • The Right of access:
  • The Right to rectification;
  • The Right to erasure;
  • The Right to restrict processing;
  • The Right to data portability;
  • The Right to object;
  • Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling. 

SERC is now recruiting students for a new fully funded intensive programme. The Flexible Skills Fund has been established to help upskill and reskill individuals to meet the needs of the economy as we emerge from the pandemic and continue to grow the economy beyond it.

The 'SKILL UP' programme is accessible to all groups - those in employment and those unemployed. The programme seeks to encourage participants from various socio-economic, academic and non-academic backgrounds. Participants are able to avail of free courses and accredited qualifications, which will improve their skills, benefitting their employment opportunities and enhancing Northern Ireland’s continuously growing and diversifying economy.  

The eligibility criteria below applies to all potential applicants:  

  1. over 18 years of age;
  2. eligible to work in Northern Ireland;
  3. ‘settled’ in Northern Ireland, and has been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years;
  4. or is a person who has indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.

For full details and a list of courses please visit https://www.serc.ac.uk/skillup 

Graduands are invited to arrive at the Waterfront Hall from 12.30pm to collect their tickets and gown and participate in any pre-booked photography sessions. A rehearsal will take place at 3pm with all graduands and guests to be seated no later than 3.45pm. The ceremony begins at 4pm. 

FOI:  

Section 12 of FOIA allows the College to refuse a request if the cost of compliance would exceed the appropriate limit of £450. Compliance factors can include:

  • Complying in entirety, or
  • Confirm/deny if the information is held.  

The estimate must be always reasonable.

The limit of £450 is calculated at £25 per hour, regardless of the grade of staff member(s) who would be involved in the response. If the cost to determine the following 4 points exceeds £450, the Section 12 exemption is engaged.

  • Determining whether the information is held
  • Locating information, or a document containing it
  • Retrieving the information, or document containing it
  • Extracting the information from a document containing it

Where the cost exemption has been exceeded, the College may exercise its duty to ‘advise and assist’ to help the individual reformulate their request so that the maximum limit is not reached.

EIR:

Regulation 8 allows the College can charge a discretionary amount to make environmental information available. The charge must be reasonable and not exceed the cost of providing that information.

Where a charge is made, the College must provide a schedule of charges and provide the individual with details on how to make the payment in advance of the information being released.

A public authority shall not make any charge for allowing an applicant:

  1. to access any public registers or lists of environmental information held by the public authority; or
  2. To examine the information requested at the place which the public authority makes available for that examination.

The College must allow 60 working days for receipt of payment. While this process is underway, the time for response is paused until such payment is made.

Approximately 2 hours. 

The College is committed to transparency regarding its business activities however, the law does allow the College to withhold information if certain criteria are met e.g., where withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.  

Please note, ‘Public Interest’ is defined as information which will benefit the public and which they should be aware of.  

All requests will be carefully assessed before such a decision is made and where information is withheld, a Refusal Notice will be provided. 

Graduation is a formal event. If you choose to bring children to the ceremony, they must be able to stay still and seated for the duration of the ceremony which will last approximately 2 hours. If you wish to bring children as guests, a ticket must be purchased in order for them to enter the graduation auditorium. 
The College has one month to reply to all GDPR requests. For requests made on the weekend or on a holiday, organisations have the next working day to start the timer on their response. 

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is the Regulator for GDPR, Data Protection, Freedom of Information, and environmental Information legislation.  They provide advice and guidance to both the public and organisations in relation to the legislation.  

The College regularly communicates with the ICO and refers to their guidance to demonstrate a high standard of compliance with legislation.  

Click here for the ICO homepage Home | ICO

While individuals’ rights are paramount in GDPR the law does contain some provisions/exemptions where the College is not obliged to comply. Each request is assessed very carefully against legislation. Considering all surrounding factors if it is agreed that the College is unable to apply fully with your request, the College will provide reasoning for this, if possible. 
No. It is imperative that you sit in the seat allocated to you by the stewards on duty. You will be called in rows and in alphabetical order to receive your certificate on stage.  

If an individual is not happy with how the College has handled their request or exceptions applied to the response, they have the right to request an internal review. Appeals should be submitted within 2 weeks of receipt of their response (40 days for EIR) detailing reasons for dissatisfaction and should be addressed to:

Records Manager

SERC, Bangor Campus

Castle Park Road

Bangor

Co Down

BT20 4TD

The College will convene an independent panel of staff who will then examine the initial request/response, for appeal and review if there are areas for improvement and whether the College can reconsider releasing information originally withheld. If you remain unhappy with the outcome, you can contact the Information Commissioners Officer at:

ICO

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow, Cheshire

SK9 5AF

No, it is essential that you stay seated until the platform party leave the stage.  

If you are unhappy with the College’s response to your Subject Access Request, please let us know by emailing informationrights@serc.ac.uk or addressing a letter to the Records Manager.

If you remain unhappy with the College’s response to your Subject Access Request, please contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office  

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

If you have any concerns at all on how the College may be processing your data or if you believe the data, we hold on you is inaccurate, then please contact the Data Protection Officer, informationrights@serc.ac.uk
There will be a complimentary drinks reception for all guests. 

The College welcomes all means of support for our students however we must also comply with GDPR and the Data Protection Act (2018) which regulates how we process personal data, including any disclosures about our students.  This applies to all student information, even if they are under the age of 18.

The College is unable to discuss student information with anyone unless the student has provided this consent on their student account or where an individual has legal responsibility for a vulnerable adult.  During application and enrolment, the student is given opportunity to provide this consent and the name of the person to whom we can discuss their information with.

In an emergency e.g., where we have concerns about the life, health, and welfare of the student, we will make contact with the person identified as the ‘Emergency Contact’ on the student’s account.

While the College may not be able to discuss information with you, students can access their student profile from home, and this will contain their timetable, attendance register and various other aspects of their progress at the College.

Staff can answer any questions you may have about College processes e.g. EMA, Application process, Learning Support provision, and we have a suite of policies and procedures available on our website for your information.

Yes, please state any accessibility requirements when you’re processing your booking, so we can make arrangements in advance.  
At the ceremony you will receive a mock-up certificate. Actual certificates will be available from the College after 1 October. You will receive a text message when your certificate is available to collect.  

If your certificate is available for collection you will receive a communication from us to advise you. For any queries in the interim contact exams@serc.ac.uk. 

No – you must collect this from the College after 1st October.  
The Awarding Bodies will not have the certificates ready by this date – SERC has to wait until we receive them.  

Applications for travel passes are now online. Please apply at this link: https://www.eani.org.uk/financial-help/school-transport/further-education. For any queries please contact the Education Authority directly on 028 9056 6200.

All SERC students who are eligible for free school meals should contact the Education Authority (details can be found at www.eani.org.uk).

EMA is a means tested fund available for Full-Time students continuing in Further Education who meet the eligibility criteria. To access a downloadable application form, guidance notes and to find out if you are eligible please visit www.nidirect.gov.uk.

Hard copy application packs are available at campus receptions. Alternatively we can post a pack to you. Please email info@serc.ac.uk to request an EMA pack.

EMA applications for 2021/22 close on 31 March 2022.

The LRCs opening times are as follows:

Bangor and Newtownards:

  • Monday – Thursday:  9am – 5pm
  • Friday:  9am – 3:30pm

Lisburn and Downpatrick:

  • Monday – Thursday: 8:45am – 5pm
  • Friday: 8:45am – 3:30pm

All LRCs are closed outside term time.

We also provide a Virtual Library of E-Resources and E-Books

You can contact us at lrc@serc.ac.uk or use the web form Ask a Librarian

If you are studying a Further or Higher Education course on a Full-Time or Part-Time basis you may be eligible to receive assistance from the College Hardship Fund.  Check your student email account for the emails you will have received from the Student Finance Team about the Hardship Fund or email studentfinance@serc.ac.uk with a contact number and a Student Finance Advisor will give you a call to discuss eligibility for the Hardship Fund.
Our Student Finance team are all working remotely and are happy to assist with your questions. They can be contacted by email studentfinance@serc.ac.uk  The team can either reply to your enquiry by email or if you provide a contact the number one of the Student Finance Advisors will give you a call.  There is also information about various funding sources on the Fees and Finance section of our website: https://www.serc.ac.uk/fees-and-finance
Check out our Fees FAQ’s on our website  https://www.serc.ac.uk/college-information/faqs?g=5 or contact the Customer Services on 0345 600 7555