South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
Higher, Professional, Technical.
Outstanding by standing out

International

International Students

Moving to the UK to study while experiencing a new country and a new culture is both exciting and daunting. SGS College provides a safe, welcoming, supportive environment for international students. We’ll help you to settle in to your new life, with support and guidance throughout your time at college, a wide variety of qualifications for you to choose from and an excellent reputation for success.

International

Our supportive Learner Services team are here to help you integrate successfully into the college, and your new life in the UK.

EU and EEA or Swiss Nationals should contact admissions@sgscol.ac.uk for information about enrolling at SGS College.

Students who are from countries outside the EU and EEA or are not Swiss Nationals will need to apply for a student visa.

We strongly recommend that you research how the visa application works well in advance of starting your course. You should also read about other issues that may affect you such as preparing to come to the UK and Culture Shock.

Why SGS College

SGS College has four main campuses Berkeley, Filton, Stroud and WISE as well as many local community venues, and we welcome around 15,500 full-time and part-time students of all ages every year, including nearly 100 international students from around the world. We also have venues in the centre of Bristol, at the West of England Academy of Art and at the Bristol Zoo & Gardens.

Our campuses are based in state-of-the-art buildings in great locations – Filton and WISE are within easy reach of the centre of Bristol. Berkeley is a small town located between Bristol and Gloucestershire and Stroud is based in the beautiful five valleys. Both Berkeley and Stroud are in the county of Gloucestershire on the edge of the Cotswolds.

We offer a vast range of courses in an even wider range of subjects – from business to sport, and from engineering to media – so whatever you want to study, there’s bound to be something for you.

A strong partnership with the University of Gloucestershire means excellent opportunities for students who choose to go on to higher education.

SGS Berkeley Green
Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park
Berkeley, GL13 9PA

SGS Filton Campus
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
Filton Avenue, Bristol, BS34 7AT

SGS Stroud Campus
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
Stratford Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4AH

SGS WISE Campus
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
New Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol, BS34 8LP

Telephone Number: + 44 (0)1453 761119
Email: learnerservices@sgscol.ac.uk

Our students benefit from high quality teaching, a dynamic and exciting atmosphere, and excellent modern facilities, including:

  • A library and learning resource centre with state-of-the-art IT facilities
  • Free internet and email access
  • A new £3 million A Level centre
  • Bristol Academy of Sport, developed for students who want to combine studying with playing sport
  • New commercial hairdressing and beauty salons
  • Unrivalled indoor and outdoor sports facilities at our £30 million WISE campus
  • Superb teaching spaces for art and design
  • A 250-seat theatre for performing arts and events

Learner Services & Support

All students benefit from the support of their own personal tutor, who will help you achieve your academic goals during your time at college. You will meet with your tutor each week, in both group and one-to-one sessions.

If you have a problem during your time at college, and you would like to talk to someone in complete confidence, you can speak to one of our trained and experienced counsellors, learning mentor or our college chaplain.

Students’ Union

All SGS students have the chance to be a part of our thriving Students’ Union. The SU also organise social activities throughout the year for all students to enjoy. If you wish to take part you can talk to one of the SU Representatives to take part.

Contact our SU Representatives at SU@sgscol.ac.uk

What can I study?

International students at SGS College can choose from a wide range of courses at various levels. Each course has its own specific entry requirements, and your level of English needs to be at least upper-intermediate level (IELTS 4.5). If you are not sure which course is right for you, email learnerservices@sgscol.ac.uk.

  • A Levels: Level 3 (one or two years)
    If you’re thinking about applying to a British university, you’ll need at least two passes at A Level. We offer A Levels in 24 subjects.
  • Vocational courses: Levels 2 and 3 (one or two years)
    These include BTEC diplomas, NVQs and CACHE courses, and are the ideal choice if you already know what career path you want to follow. Vocational course can prepare you for work or progression to higher education, and all Level 3 qualifications can help you gain entry to university.
  • Access courses: Level 3 (one year)
    These courses are for adults who’ve had a break from education and want to progress to higher education, but who have few academic qualifications.
  • Higher education courses: Level 4 (two years)
    Foundation degrees can give you the knowledge and skills you need for a head start in your chosen career. To ensure that international students have the linguistic capability to study our degrees, we ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.0 in writing sub-skill and 5.5 in all other sub-skills.
  • Foundation degrees are the equivalent of your first two years of your degree and many students progress onto a third year to complete their full degree. We also offer some 3 year BA (Hons) degrees and a BSc Sports Coaching 2 year fast-track degree. Our degrees are validated or franchised from the University of Gloucestershire. This means your degree you will also have the opportunity to attend the Graduation Ceremony at the University.
  • Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are vocational qualifications at Level 4 and Level 5 that provide practical and theoretical skills and knowledge in your chosen subject. As well as being highly valued by employers, some HNDs allow direct entry to the third year of a degree course. We offer a variety of HND and HNC's both full time and part time options are available.

Tuition Fees 2018 / 2019

  • Undergraduate - Levels 2 and 3 £7,250
  • Postgraduate - Level 4 and above £11,250 (SGS College) | £11,750 (Gloucestershire University)

The College will not increase the tuition fee you are charged during the course of an academic year. If you are studying on a course of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years are likely to increase each year.

How to Apply

Applying to SGS College is easy and free! Our dedicated staff will help you every step of the way.

If you are ready to apply now, please download the application form, fill it out and email it to learnerservices@sgscol.ac.uk

Prospectuses

Download Applications forms (PDF)

If you are not ready to apply or have a few questions simply email learnerservices@sgscol.ac.uk and a member of the Learner Services team will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our working hours are Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00 GMT.

What next?

If your application is accepted, we will send you a conditional or unconditional offer letter along with information about how to pay your deposit. Once you have paid your deposit and met any conditions, we will issue you with an Acceptance Letter and a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) required by the UKVI.

For students applying under Tier 4 of the Points Based System, you are required to prove that the correct level of funding is available to you in full for your first year in order to secure your visa. This funding plus any remaining tuition fees needs to be held in your personal bank account for at least 28 consecutive days.

Some students may also be required to attend an interview to obtain their study visa. You will need to make sure that you know about the College, your course and future ambitions. Please remember to apply well in advance of the course to allow time to secure your Visa.

Please visit the gov.uk website for more information.

Moving on

Once you have the necessary qualifications and English language skills, you can progress to a range of courses at other colleges or universities – either in the UK or in your own country – or into employment in your chosen field.

Our careers team can help you decide what to do after you finish your course. They can provide careers guidance and information on further study, help you with job applications, and guide you through your UCAS application if you want to go to university.

Useful Information

Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK for study in further or higher education.

Prepare for Success

Useful Links

Frequently Asked Questions - Visas and Immigration


Before You Apply

Q1. Do I need a Visa?

You can check whether you need a Visa to study by answering a few simple questions on this UK Government website: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Q2. What kind of Visa do I need?

If your course is due to last more than six months, then you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa. You can find more information about the Tier 4 visa on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa.

Q3. What is the NHS charge?

As part of your immigration / Tier 4 visa application you may be required to pay towards the cost of Health Services. You can find out if you are required to pay this charge and how to make a payment at the government NHS charges page: http://www.immigration-health-surcharge.services.gov.uk/payment/start

Your application

Q1. How do I apply for a Short Term Study Visa?

This can be a useful alternative to a Tier 4 (General) student visa. The Short Term Study visa is designed for those:

  • Studying on a short course/term for six months or less
  • Studying up to 11 months on an English Language course
  • Required to come and do short periods of research/summer schools as part of an distance learning programme or come back for resits

For more information check the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa.

Q2. How do I apply for a Tier 4 Visa?

The online application form is available at the gov.uk website. You should only apply once you have received your Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). The online application form is available from the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/apply.

Q3. What is a CAS number and how do I get one?

When you have met the conditions of your offer and have accepted your unconditional offer, the College will automatically supply you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS). This will be sent to you via email no sooner than 5 months before the start of your course.

Q4. What if there is incorrect information on my CAS?

Please check all the details on the CAS carefully as soon as you receive it. Incorrect information on the CAS could lead to a refusal; it is your responsibility to let the College know if there are any errors before you submit your application for your visa.

If there are any corrections required, you can email us at learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk. If you need to let us know about corrections that need to be made to the CAS information before you apply for your visa.

Following any amendments, you will not to be issued with a new CAS, however we will send you an updated version of the CAS with the added sponsor note.

Q5. When should I apply for my Visa?

We advise that you to make your visa application three months before you intend to travel to the UK. This will allow enough time for the application process.

Q6. What if my application is refused?

If your visa application is refused, you must send us a copy of the refusal notice by emailing learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk as soon as possible after receiving the notice. You will need a new CAS from the College in order to make another application; you cannot use the same CAS again.

Before we look at issuing you with a new CAS you may need to provide us with further evidence, for example:

  • Refused for financial reasons - You will need to provide a new bank statement to learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk showing that you have held the correct amount of money for a period of 28 consecutive days. This must be a new bank statement; it cannot be any that have been used in a previous application.
  • Refused for not providing documents - You will need to show the University that you have the required document by sending a scan to learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk.

Please note that should you have been refused based upon credibility the College will not be able to issue you with a new CAS.

Q7. Will I need to have a credibility interview?

As part of the visa application process, you may have to take a short 'credibility interview'. This is either done via video link (Skype) or in person. The Home Office staff will ask you some questions to determine that:

  • You genuinely plan to attend the course of study for which you are applying for a visa.
  • Your proficiency in English language is acceptable.

The questions will not be difficult, so there is nothing to worry about. For example, you may be asked why you have chosen a particular course, or how you intend to pay your fees and support yourself. You will be required to answer the questions in English.

Q8. Do I need a health screening?

Depending on your nationality, you may need to get a certificate to show that you are free from infectious tuberculosis (TB). For more information check the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa.

Q9. Do I need to get any vaccinations?

You are recommended to ensure that all your usual routine vaccinations are up to date before you leave home, in particular Measles, Mumps and Rubella and Meningitis C. If possible, please bring your vaccination record with you to Lancaster.

Nationals of certain countries are required to obtain a certificate confirming that they are free from infectious Tuberculosis (TB) before applying for a visa. If you have been in the UK and are returning home to do a new visa application please note that you would not need to get another TB certificate unless you spend more than six months in a country on the list provided by the Home Office once you have your Visa

Q10. Do I have to register with the Police?

Some people need to register with the police after arriving in the UK with a visa, or after getting permission to stay for longer in the UK.

You will usually need to register if all of the following apply:

  • you’re 16 or older
  • your visa (or permission to stay in the UK) is for longer than 6 months
  • your nationality means you must register
  • you’re not exempt

Information on registering with the police, including the documents required, is available on the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police.

Q11. Do I need to bring anything with me for enrolment?

You will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • CAS Document
  • Passport
  • BRP Card (or BRP Card Letter if you have not yet collected your BRP card)
  • Any documents that have been used to obtain your offer as stated on your CAS (including your English Language Certificates)

All of these documents must be original versions.

Q12. What are my responsibilities after my Visa has been approved?

You are fully responsible for your Tier 4 Student Visa. The Home Office require you to follow the rules and regulations as outlined in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (UKVI https://www.gov.uk/change-circumstances-visa-brp). Should you not follow the guidelines you may be reported to the Home Office by the College resulting in your visa being curtailed and you having to return to your home country.

Inform us immediately if you think you have breached the terms of your Visa.

Q13. What are the College Responsibilities?

SGS College has been issued with Tier 4 Sponsor Licence.

As a Tier 4 Sponsor we must:

  • Ensure that you have the correct Visa to study at SGS College on your chosen course.
  • Not allow you to enrol if you do not have the correct documentation to study here.
  • Keep copies of your visa documentation and passport (including when you extend your visa).
  • Keep up to date contact details for you.
  • Report to the UKVI if you do not enrol on your course.
  • Monitor your attendance and progression and report to the UKVI if you do not attend or progress from one part of your course to the next.
  • Notify the UKVI of any changes to your status. For example if you suspend your studies or withdraw from your course, if you change course, or finish your course earlier than expected.
  • Report to the UKVI if we have reason to believe that you have contravened the terms and conditions of your visa.
  • We reserve the right to decline to issue a CAS if we suspect that you will be unable to make a valid visa application, in accordance with the immigration rules.

Q14. What happens if I withdraw from my course?

If you decide to withdraw from your programme of studies, the College will report this to the UK Visa and Immigration Office (UKVI). They will curtail (cancel) your current visa and you will be sent a curtailment notice.

They can send these curtailment notices either by email or by letter. You must ensure at all times that your contact details are correct with the UKVI; please contact them if you have changed them https://www.gov.uk/change-circumstances-visa-brp.

Q15. What if I suspend my duties?

If you suspend your studies (known as intercalation), we are required to inform the UK Visas and Immigration Office (UKVI) under the Tier 4 rules. This means that your visa will be cancelled and you will be required to leave the UK as soon as possible. You should provide us with evidence that you have left the UK by emailing learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk.

If you then meet the criteria for returning to your studies you must ask us for a new CAS and apply for a new visa. You must not attempt to re-enter the UK on your cancelled visa.

Q16. When can I enrol?

The main enrolment sessions take place at the start of each academic year in September. You can find details of when and where to enrol on our website: http://www.sgscol.ac.uk/.

Visa Support

Q1. How do I get visa support and advice?

Email the Learner Services team at learner.services@sgscol.ac.uk.

Q2. UKV&I Visa Application Centre’s

UKV&I Visa Application Centres offer a variety of chargeable value added services in addition to ordinary application services. You should check the availability of any such services at the Visa Application Centre you intend to apply at as this may enable quicker processing of their application.

An alphabetical list of the Visa Application Centres outside the UK and their contact details can be found on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre.

Q3. What should I do if I lose my passport or visa?

Applying for a replacement passport in the UK - If you either lose or have your passport stolen, you will need to report this to the police and make an application for a replacement passport.

You should contact your country's embassy, consulate, or high commission in the UK for information on how to obtain a replacement passport. It is possible that there may be a considerable wait to obtain a replacement passport or travel document. This is not something which the UKV&I or the University can influence.

Q4. Students who lose their BRP Cards in the UK

You should report the loss or theft of their BRP to the police and obtain a police report/lost property report and then email the Home Office and report your lost or stolen BRP. https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged.

The Home Office should contact you within 1 working day to tell you what to do next.

You should then apply for a replacement BRP card. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-a-replacement-biometric-residence-permit-brprc.

Working with a Visa

Q1. Working During your Studies

Your work conditions, including the maximum hours you can work during term-time, are normally printed on your Visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and will depend mainly on the date of application of your most recent immigration application.

There are some kinds of work you must not do:

  • self-employment and business activity
  • work as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • entertainer
  • a permanent full-time job
  • doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme

Immigration rules do change frequently and you are advised to check the gov.uk website about working during your studies https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration.

Q2. Can I take work placements?

Tier 4 students can take work placements as long as they do not constitute more than 50 percent of the duration of a course at level NQF 6 or above, or not more than 33 percent of a course below NQF level 6.

Q3. Where can I get further information about working during my studies?

You can find helpful advice about working during your studies at the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Study-work--more/Working-during-your-studies/.

Money

Essential financial information, including how to open a bank account and pay your fees.

Q1. How do I pay my tuition fees?

Please only send the full invoice amount or, if you are intending to arrange to pay in instalments at registration, the first instalment amount. Instalment options, where available, are explained in further detail in your offer letter.

Maintenance and any other extra payments must not be sent to the College’s bank account.

Q2. When do I pay my tuition fees?

A deposit must be paid to secure your place on the course. Your place is not confirmed until the College receives your deposit. The balance must be paid on the enrolment date, or an instalment schedule agreed.

You must have sufficient funds to pay fees for the subsequent years of the course, if applicable.

Please note that all tuition fees are compulsory and must either be paid in full or paid in instalments.

Q3. Paying your fees in advance

You can transfer money directly into the College’s bank account. You need to contact your own bank to do this for you. The details of our bank are:

Lloyds TSB
City Centre, Cannons Way Bristol, BS1, England

Account Name: S.G&S. College
Sort Code: 30-00-01
Account Number: 00413200
IBAN No: GB84LOYD30000100413200
BIC / SWIFT: LOYDGB21017
Payment Currency: GBP
Email: sales.ledger@sgscol.ac.uk

When transferring money from your bank to our bank account, please include the following information preferably in this order:

  • Full name
  • SGS Student Number

Q4. Fees in subsequent years of study

The College will not increase the tuition fee you are charged during the course of an academic year. If you are studying on a course of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years are likely to increase each year.

Q5. Which bank should I choose?

We advise that you open an account at a branch of one of the main British banks. The services and type of accounts offered are different at each bank so we advise that you research these and find the right one for you.

Q6. How do I open an account?

Once you have chosen the account you’d like to open, you will need to gather the following documents:

  • Your signed passport
  • A letter from SGS College confirming acceptance onto a course of study at this College
  • Proof of your address in the UK.

Once you arrive you can request a bank letter from the Head of Department.

Opening a bank account in the UK may take up to a week to complete. It is therefore important that you have access to money (e.g. travellers’ cheques) for your immediate needs such as food, transport and personal expenses.

The banks cannot open an account with a cheque that is not in GB Pounds (sterling). If your cheque is in your home currency, e.g. American dollars, the bank will have to return it to the issuing bank, which can take several weeks. The banks advise that you open your account in traveller’s cheques or by banker’s draft rather than a large amount of cash.

We strongly recommend that you do not opt for paper-free banking options. If you are required to extend your visa you will need original bank statements for your application and it can be difficult to acquire these in the correct format if you only have online banking.

Q7. Insurance

You may want to consider purchasing additional insurance for valuable items, and/or medical insurance to protect yourself.

http://www.endsleigh.co.uk/.

Q8. Television License

You need to be covered by a valid TV License if you watch or record TV as it is being broadcast (including via devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder).

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/

Q9. Council Tax

This is a UK Government tax on property. Full-time students are not required to pay this tax, whether living on or off-campus. However, if a student is living in a property with a non-student spouse (i.e. husband or wife), the spouse will be liable to pay Council Tax unless he or she is subject to immigration control, in which case, they will be exempt from payment.