Read about student experiences

Whether you’re on the road to university, or transitioning to a new career, or simply expanding your skills, South Tyneside College gives you the teaching, support, facilities and campus life that helps you make your future happen.

Here’s what some of our adult students say about studying at STC.

A smiling blonde woman looks at a notebook which an older black woman is writing in. They are seated at a table with other students behind them.

A day in the life of an Adult Student

“On my current course, I alternate between training in the kitchen and front of house. I start my day at 8.45am where we run through hygiene and safety policies including washing your hands, wearing a hair net and ensuring you have the correct uniform on. In the kitchen, our tutor Wayne provides me with a recipe to go alongside my assignment. We then go away and prepare the food with the support of Wayne and higher-level students if required.

In front of house, it’s a little bit different. We are told how many customers we need to set up for and start the day by cleaning and sanitising tables, chairs and windows, making sure we set up more tables than required in case we have walk-in customers. 2 hours a week is set aside for theory, allowing us to catch up on written assignments and assessment plans, using photo evidence of recipes we have created throughout the week.

Not only has the course helped me gain confidence in the kitchen and improve my social skills, but it has also given me confidence to get out the house, make new friends and step out of my comfort zone especially due to lockdown in 2020 as it played a big impact on my anxiety and mental health.

I would recommend this course for anyone who not only wants to improve their cooking skills, but those who wants to work within the industry. Working in a commercial kitchen with paying customers allows you to experience what it would be like in the real world. I would also recommend dining at Bistro 150. It gives us students and customers the opportunity to sample high quality food for a low price which you probably wouldn’t get anywhere else.”

Crystal Burns, Hospitality and Catering student

Stories from our Adult Students

India Purcell

Vocalist, Level 3 Music

“Ever since I was 12 years old, I used to idolise singers in the music industry and they have inspired me to pursue my own path in music and develop my own individuality. When I was looking for a college course, South Tyneside College was one of few colleges that offered a music course for over 19s.The course has provided me with the opportunity to experience what it is like to be part of a band and work with other talented musicians. The teaching staff are great and supportive and create an atmosphere that is safe and friendly.”

Rachel Kane

Level 4 Hospitality Management

“I enjoy my course that I’m currently studying, you get the support you need and it’s a really good atmosphere. After completing my level 1 and level 2 qualification, I secured a job as a waiter and bar staff. I would definitely recommend this course, it gives you the hands-on experience you need and the staff are really friendly and helpful.”

Samantha Raw

Level 4 Hospitality Management

“I chose to study this course as I’ve heard great things about it from my sister. When I got here, the environment was very friendly, and I received a lot of support from my tutor. I feel like this course will help me secure my dream job as a Restaurant Manager as you get lots of opportunities catered towards your career goal. I’m able to delegate tasks in the on-site commercial restaurant, support other students in their roles and making sure things run smoothly. I’ve definitely gained more confidence in speaking up and taking part in team building exercises.”

Hayley Sweeney

Access to HE Diploma Humanities, Level 3

“I studied a childcare qualification 10 years ago at the college and really enjoyed studying here, so when I decided to get back in to education, I knew this was the right college for me. I came back to study the access course to not only study maths and English, but I knew it would give me the UCAS points I needed to study a social work degree towards a career in child protection; I’ve now secured a place at the University of Sunderland. Everyone on my course has a really close bond, the tutors are extremely approachable, friendly and I love the course. As a mature student, I think it’s helped that everyone on this course is here for the same reason and willing to learn and work towards our dream careers.“

Abbie Cameron

Access to HE Diploma Humanities, Level 3

“I’ve always wanted to work with children and their families, so this course is haven me the opportunity to be prepared for university. Lessons are well taught, informative, the atmosphere is relaxed, and you never feel like you couldn’t speak up if you were struggling or didn’t understand something. I’ve secured my place at Northumbria University, and I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support from my tutors, they’ve really went above and beyond with the application process, they’re always welcoming and supportive even when it comes to personal issues.”

Barry Jones

Access to HE Diploma Humanities, Level 3

“Due to Covid, I lost my job so I decided to come study the pre-access and access course  to better my chances of a career and to show our children it’s never too late to better yourself. Originally I was looking to become a social worker but after studying the criminology unit, I am now looking to become a social worker liaison officer and have already applied for the undergraduate criminology course at the college. The teaching is really tailored to everybody’s needs and tutors are always happy to help. Previously, I fell behind due to personal reasons and they put an action plan in place straight away. The communication is fantastic and I have now caught up to where I need to be – I can’t thank them enough!”

Mikhaela Brown

Pre-Access Certificate, Level 2

“I’ve worked in beauty for over 10 years, I’ve had children and I wanted to come back to college and further my education to become a counsellor or a criminal psychologist. Coming back was a bit daunting at first, especially as a mature student, but everyone is so welcoming. We’ve got a close-knit group of students who are all in the same position wanting to come back for a second chance. Lecturers are so welcoming and understanding of personal situations such as juggling jobs and children. I’ve really found my own feet and I’m really enjoying the subjects and coming to college, the tutors are relaxed and can approach them with anything!”

Nicola Whitfield

Pre-Access Certificate, Level 2

“I’ve previously studied at the college about 15 years ago, so I knew it’s a really good college to study at. I knew the pre-access course would help me progress to the level 3 access course to help me become a probation officer – I definitely think the course is giving me the skills and knowledge I need to push towards my dream career. I’ve really enjoyed going back into education, I love the relationships I’ve built with other students and how flexible the course can be to juggle home life. The tutors are really helpful and understanding but also push you to where you need to be.”

Kerry Holmes

Pre-Access Certificate, Level 2

“I came on to this level 2 course because I wanted to do nursing but I didn’t have the maths and English qualifications I needed for the level 3 course. I’m over the moon I came in at this level because I’ve learned so much about referencing and how to write academic essays. I was quite apprehensive about starting college as I hadn’t been in a classroom for over 20 years, but tutors have made me feel so welcome, they’ve guided me massively and made it easy for me to balance home life – they’ve made it work for me! I would definitely recommend this course is you’re an adult learner and want to start a new career oath, it’s only 30 weeks of your life, but it can make a massive impact on your future.”

Hope Stevens

Level 3 Diploma Motor Vehicle Accident Repair (Paint)

“I love my course because it’s a combination of art and hands-on experience in a fantastic environment, the workshops are really high-quality! I currently have a work placement through the college and I feel like it’s definitely giving me the head start I need to get a job in the future – I don’t think I could go straight into employment without this experience opportunity.”

Georgia Jolley

Level 2 Professional Cookery

“I would definitely recommend this course if you have an interest in cooking. I enjoy cooking at home so wanted to learn new skills. I’ve learned so much including how to make dishes that I didn’t know existed – you learn something new everyday! Staff are really helpful and supportive and are there for you if you ever need them.“


There’s no time like the present, so get your journey started with South Tyneside College today. If you want to discuss anything, our dedicated Student Services team is on hand to help.


From learning new things to life on campus, there’s a reason why thousands of students choose STC.

Virtual tour

Get a feel for what everyday life will look like at STC.

See more
Life on Campus

Find out what’s happening outside the classroom.

See more

We’ve made sure we can offer you the very best of what you need to succeed.

See more
Success Stories

Read more stories from those who’ve achieved their ambitions with STC.

Read more

Get in touch

Our team is always ready to help. So if you have questions on courses, your career, or anything else, complete this contact form and we’ll be in touch.