Why college is different from school

It is hard to decide what to do after you have finished your GCSEs.  Staying at school might seem like the easiest option but take time to explore other opportunities.  There is a whole new world out there waiting for you!

Treat like adult

Treated like an adult

You are treated like an adult at college, which will make you more independent and responsible.

"I like how you feel you are in an adult environment and are treated like an adult, not a child." 

Ethan Bond, Plumbing student

More choice

More choice

Colleges are bigger than schools and sixth forms so can offer you more courses and more classes within each course or subject area.

"I decided to study at New College Durham as it had a diverse range of courses that i choose form"

Melissa Clembintson, ICT Student

No more uniform

More independence

At college you are encouraged to become more independent and responsible for your own learning, which will prepare you for life after college.

"I liked the sense of independence that i had at New College Durham as it prepared me for my time at university.

Catherine Tasker, A-Level student

Specialist teaching staff

Specialist teaching staff

Most of our tutors are industry savvy and experts in the sector in which they teach.  They have lots of invaluable experience and knowledge to pass onto you.

"The best thing about my course was learning so much more about the industry from talented, experienced mentors."

Mark Nixon, Performing Arts student

More opportunities

More opportunities

You will have the opportunity to take part in lots of different activities.  As well as boosting your confidence they will help you to develop skills and personal qualities outside the classroom.

"The best part of my course was the extra enrichment activities that were available. I took part in several competitions, which was a brilliant experience and greatly increased my skills and confidence."
Gemma Chizary, Painting & Decorating student

Make new friends

Meet new friends

You will not only make new friends with your classmates, you will also meet students from other courses.  Our Students’ Union organise social events to help you meet other students and settle into college life.

"The best thing about college was meeting new people, especially when your friends aren't on the same course"

Darren Leighton-Winder, Sports student 


No more sir or miss

Your tutors are not called ‘sir’ or ‘miss’ at college, you call them by their first name. Your tutors will take time to get to know you and treat you as an individual.

"The tutors were nice - not too formal, but balanced between formal and informal."

Harriet Sorby, Business student

Real facilities

Real work facilities

Colleges can invest in specialist facilities to give you the skills and knowledge to prepare you for university or employment with real life working environments and industry standard equipment.

"The campus had all of the facilities needed to be able to complete my course. The workshop was fully equipped, which helped my learning, and the tools were readily available."

Zac Wright, Carpentry & Joinery student

Free time

Free time

Your lessons will not run from 9am until 3pm like at school and you do not have to come in on days when there are no timetabled lessons.  In your free time you can take part in our many sports activities, use it for study time, or get extra money and work experience with a part-time job.

"I enjoyed the freedom to do whatever you wanted outside of classes, either at or between lessons."

Luke Richardson, Business student

Enjoy it

Enjoy it

For the first time in your life you can choose the subject you want to study so make the most of it and enjoy it!

"The atomsphere was great, I really enjoyed coming to college."

Cameron Boyek, A-Level student