Here are some of our frequently asked questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here please get in touch on 023 9387 9999 or email customerservices@hsdc.ac.uk.


A. You can find out about term dates here. The hours and days you are required at College will vary depending on your course, so you will need to contact your course leader. If you don’t know who your course leader is, our admissions team should be able to help you (customerservices@hsdc.ac.uk).

A. You can find out more about a course you’re interested in by using our course finder. Each course should have information on entry requirements, course structure, how the course is taught, the campus and progression opportunities.

Alternatively, you can attend one of our open events where you’ll have the opportunity to speak to lecturers and ask any questions you may have.

A. If you know the subject you want to study but aren’t certain about which level is best suited you can still make an application to study with us. Our helpful Admissions team review each application so can advise you on the course that is best for you. Alternatively, if you want to check before making an application you can email admissions@hsdc.ac.uk with information on the qualifications you currently have and which course you’re interested in. You can also check out our Qualifications Explained page for more information.

A. Our interviews are really just a chat! You get to ask any questions you have about College life and the course you have applied to. We’ll talk to you about why you applied to the course, what you’ve done so far and what your aspirations are. Interviews are our way of making sure the course is right for you, so you can get the most out of your time at HSDC. Take a look at our interview top tips.

A. This all depends on your age, circumstances and what type of course you’re applying to. In general, if you are under 19 you will not have to pay for your course. The College is able to offer some financial assistance to certain students over 19, more information on this can be found here.

The prices for our Part Time and Higher Education courses can be found using our course finder.


A. If you’re torn between two courses or have applied to multiple Colleges, it’s easy to lose track of what course you’ve applied to! Just email admissions@hsdc.ac.uk with your name, date of birth and details of the courses you think you may have applied to.

A. If you previously studied at South Downs College, Alton College, Havant College or are a current HSDC student, you can email

exams.southdowns@hsdc.ac.uk  (South Downs Campus)

exams.havant@hsdc.ac.uk (Havant Campus)

exams.alton@hsdc.ac.uk (Alton Campus)

If you simply forgot to collect your certificate(s), they may still have them on file or they can contact the exam board to get hold of them.
If possible please include your full name, the year you sat the exam, the name of the qualification and the exam board in your email.

A. You can find details of our latest part time and full time open evenings in our events calendar.

A. Absolutely! We offer college tours throughout the year at all three campuses. All you need to do is email tours@hsdc.ac.uk, letting us know who you are and when you’d like a tour.

A. We’re always keen to work closely with local employers. If you’re looking for an apprentice, visit our apprenticeships page. If you have a part time job opportunity for current students or are looking to recruit a student who has recently finished College, please email careers@hsdc.ac.uk

A. Synergy Salon is open from Monday to Friday, 8.45am – 5pm during term time. Please note, our term dates are different from schools. You can find our term dates here.

A. Our restaurant is open for lunch between Tuesday-Friday from 12pm, to 12.45pm (last orders). The restaurant dinner service is on a Wednesday from 6-6.45pm (last orders).

For information on prices and how to book please visit the restaurant page.


Alton Campus

The gym is open to staff and students only from Monday to Thursday 7.30am-5.30pm and Fridays 8.30am-4pm. Unlike South Downs Campus, the Alton Campus gym is not open to the public, therefore is not open at weekends.

South Downs Campus

Our fitness centre is open to the general public from Monday-Thursday 5.15-8.45pm, Friday 5.15-8.15pm and Saturday 9am-12pm. To find out more about prices and other fitness classes offered please visit the sports and fitness page. As a student or staff member, you can use the gym for free!

A. A Levels are academic-based learning: you pick three subjects, study these subjects over two years and you will be assessed by exams at the end of the second year. If you choose to study a Vocational course, you will pick one subject area and learn about that subject in depth; lessons are very practical and hands-on and you will mainly be assessed via coursework and observations, as opposed to exams.

A. The EPQ is open to all A Level and Vocational Level 3 students in their second year who are predicted to achieve a certain grade. The EPQ can be: 

  • An extended essay of 5,000 words 
  • An artefact (e.g., piece of art or music) 
  • A Performance
  • A Multimedia item (e,g., short film) 

You will have discussions with your tutor and lecturers to ascertain if the EPQ would be appropriate for you to take.

A. We have a huge variety of enrichment activities for you and we hope you will find what you are looking for! This includes clubs and societies as well as sporting activities and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

Enrichment also includes educational talks from external professionals and residential trips related to your study programme. These can be great for experiencing the real world and putting theories you study into practice. Past trips have included New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Auschwitz plus many more.

A. HSDC is committed to supporting you in achieving your academic and personal aspirations. 

If you received additional learning support at school or think that you might benefit from extra help, our Academic & Learning Support team would like to hear from you. We are able to provide specialist support and guidance to develop your study skills. Our highly qualified staff can assist you in completing assignments, time management and revision planning. We can also help prepare you for future employment and further education. There are many support resources and specialist staff available for learners, these include: 

  • Study Centres on all three Campuses that are open to students who need a quieter and smaller working area 
  • Access to assistive technology, software and equipment that can aid learning 
  • A team of highly qualified specialist teachers 
  • A dedicated team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) 
  • An Access Arrangements Team 

You will also have a dedicated tutor who will teach you and support your transition from school to College. They will guide you through your A Level or Vocational course and provide advice and guidance on applying to university, apprenticeship schemes or employment.

A. You can study four A Levels, although it is a lot of hard work, so GCSE grades would have to be very good (mainly grades 8-9). We recommend you select three subjects and, with your spare time, take a programme like the Extended Project Qualification, which is an independent research project that allows you to gain UCAS points to support your application to uni (EPQ is equivalent to 1⁄2 an A Level).

A. The number of students in a class will vary depending on which study programme you are taking. On average class sizes are between 15-20 students.

A. Interviews will happen at College, on your chosen Campus. On completion of your application form you will be invited in to have a chat to one of our Student Recruitment Advisors, who will discuss your application and the programme you are wanting to study. The meeting will be informal and parents or guardians are welcome to join you at the interview.

A. As an HSDC Alton student, you can study both A Levels and non-A Level/Vocational courses at the same time. You can choose a mixed programme of exam and coursework-based subjects to suit your particular learning style. We know that some of you thrive with timed formal exams, in which case A Levels are perfect for you. Others find success with assignment-based courses in which case Vocational courses are ideal. Many students, however, benefit from a mixture – some A Levels with end of course exams, some more practical and/or coursework-based Vocational subjects – the choice is yours at HSDC Alton. 

For example, some HSDC Alton students choose to study two A Levels with 100% assessment in exams at the end of the second year, such as mathematics or the sciences, as part of a mixed programme. For their third subject, they select a course with continual assessment throughout and minimal exams such as CTEC Business, BTEC Engineering or Criminology. This means their workload is more evenly distributed throughout the two years and there is less pressure in the build-up towards final exams in the second year. You don’t have to study two A Levels and one Vocational course, you could even study two Vocational courses and one A Level or three Vocational subjects.

As an HSDC Havant or South Downs student, you cannot mix the two due to the workload on each course; we would advise you to concentrate fully on one main programme of study. We do however have some Subsidiary Diplomas that can be taken alongside an A Level programme on the Havant Campus. These are highlighted in our prospectus

A. Yes, you can gain entry to university with a Level 3 or Level 3 Extended diploma. You would be advised by the Careers Team to do some research into what universities accept. You can do this by looking at ucas.com or by visiting university websites.

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