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Welcome to Sussex Downs College

We are delighted that you're thinking about joining us at Sussex Downs College. We are here to help you with your choices about your future, and you will find some useful information here to start you off on the right track.

It is important that you think carefully about what you want to do after college; that you consider your own abilities and interests and that you come to a decision about a course that is right for you. And there's a lot to choose from! We have the widest range of subjects and courses in the local area.

Our academic studies provide real stretch and challenge, and prepare our students for the best universities in the country. Our vocational courses have an enviable record of helping people to find good jobs and to continue their studies at higher levels.

We are in the top 10% of colleges nationally for qualification success rates and have a great track record for helping our students to achieve their full potential.

Many of our former students keep in touch and tell us about how they have progressed in their chosen careers; their stories are amazing! Why not create your own story by starting out with Sussex Downs College? We look forward to seeing you at one of our many open days, events and tasters.

About us

With campuses in Eastbourne, Lewes and Newhaven, Sussex Downs College in East Sussex provides high quality education and training for almost half of the county’s young people.

The College offers a broad mix of qualifications catering to people from 14 years-old into adulthood. These include traditional A-Levels, vocational and higher education courses, Apprenticeships and programmes for 14-16 year-olds. The International College also offers an extensive range of subjects for students from abroad.

Sussex Downs College is actively involved with the community. As well as our links with voluntary organisations in the area, we work with around 3,000 local employers, offering bespoke training programmes and support for Apprentices.

The College’s links into the business community at both local and national level were praised by Ofsted and have been recognised by business leaders and politicians.

Today, Sussex Downs College offers more courses, to more students, than any other in East Sussex.  Students leave the College with high quality qualifications that gain them entry to university, to further study and to employment.  Almost a quarter of students who progress to Higher Education gain admission to the prestigious ‘Russell Group’ universities, which include Oxford and Cambridge.

What do our students say?

"I absolutely love Sussex Downs College. All of the teachers are great, the other students are there to work, but also to enjoy college life. Support is in place in case I need it and all of my courses are working out very well for me."

"Sussex Downs is a really good college and I have made lots of good friends. The teachers really make me want to be here."

"I am happy at this college and I'm glad I chose to come here rather than following my friends. The courses I've taken are great and I have fantastic teachers. It's helped build my confidence."

"Choosing to go to Sussex Downs College was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

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Open Events

Our Open Events will prepare you for life after Year 11 and give you a real flavour of life here at Sussex Downs College. Explore the campus freely, see our learning resources, classrooms, IT facilities, workshops and studios, as well as our great social spaces where you can eat, drink and catch up with friends. Look out for displays across the College in the subject areas you’re interested in. Some even include ‘have a go’ activities to give you a taster of College life.

Facilities available

The Eastbourne Campus of Sussex Downs College is located against the beautiful backdrop of the South Downs and features 10 specialist and general teaching buildings. Learning facilities include realistic industry-standard vocational workshops, studios and kitchens, and a restaurant and hair and beauty salons which are open to the public, where students can gain first-hand experience with clients. The Campus also boasts well-resourced Learning Centres, a 400m athletic track and a custom-built sports hall.

Recent building improvement includes the installation of a high-spec laboratory with full disabled access and an extension to the Construction Centre, where carpentry, plumbing, painting and decorating and brickwork courses are taught - to name just a few.

The Lewes Campus of Sussex Downs College features four well-equipped teaching buildings and a hall of residence for international students. The Campus is located close to the public sports centre and the local railway station, and as with the Eastbourne Campus, is located against the backdrop of the beautiful South Downs. The Campus has a recently-built Performing Arts Centre, hair and beauty salons, high spec labs and a well-resourced Learning Centre, as well as a variety of catering options.

Additional support

All of our students enjoy a high level of support, whether for their studies or as part of College life in general. Our friendly Admissions team are at the heart of the College’s support system and can provide you with any information, advice and guidance you may need throughout your time with us.

You can talk to them about admission to full and part time services; find out what’s on offer and what’s right for you; financial information and support available including childcare; careers education, higher education and Apprenticeships; and student associations you can become a part of, such as the Student Union and Student Council.

If you are worried about affording your course, there are many sources of financial help that you could be eligible for including bursaries, travel grants and discounts, grants and discretionary learner support. To find out how we can help, contact Admissions on tel: 030 300 39551 or visit

Study Programme Tutor sessions are a chance for you to talk to a member of staff who is not your course teacher about any queries you may have, such as applying to university or how to get a student loan.

Study Programme Tutors help you set and meet achievable targets and discuss ways in which you can manage you workload. They will also let you know about important College messages about curriculum, exam timetables, guidance or anything else you need to know.

Skills that are not covered in your chosen subjects, such as applying for jobs or university, citizenship and personal health awareness are covered in tutorials, as well as general College information. This helps each student to feel a part of the wider college community.

Sussex Downs College provides an excellent support service, which encourages knowledge, independent learning and progression to further study, employment or independent living.

Every year, some students need extra help with their literacy, numeracy or study skills and learning support is provided in a variety of ways, agreed between the student, personal tutor and the College’s learning support team. Support is offered where appropriate to help you access courses, develop your skills, achieve your qualifications and progress.

Learner success

The high standards at Sussex Downs College are founded on the expertise, experience and talents of our staff and the many achievements of our students.

Three quarters of our A-Level subjects achieve 100% pass rates and we have the best overall college A-Level pass rates in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove.

For the sixth year running, we have maintained strong student success rates on our long courses, which represent the majority of our curriculum activity. This places us above the national benchmarks for Colleges of a similar type.

As well as helping students to achieve their qualifications, our committed and highly skilled staff have inspired students to achieve national awards, gain sporting recognition and win medals in regional competitions.

How to apply

You can apply for courses at Sussex Downs College through UCAS Progress. Add courses to your favourites to apply to this provider.

Last updated date: 17 July 2017
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