Discover Supported Studies (SEND) courses

Who do you want to be?

Discover your future with our Supported Studies programmes

A day in the life a Supported Studies student

What does Supported studies provide?

Supported studies is for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, aged 16-24, who require discrete special educational needs (SEND) provision and additional support. Though we offer a diverse range of discrete courses, they all have in common a focus on helping you become more confident, independent and able to progress onto higher-level courses or into work. To access a supported studies course, you’re likely to have an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) and would usually be referred to us by your school or Youth Connexions (YC).

We aim to prepare students for adulthood by equipping them with a range of independent living and employability skills in order to access supported and open employment. Our dedicated, specialist staff tailor our extensive curriculum offer to meet each learner’s individual needs.

After completing a supported studies course, you’ll be able to progress to a higher-level supported studies course, a vocational course at NHC, a community-based programme, employment or a Supported Internship.

We're Outstanding!

In their November 2017 inspection report, Ofsted confirmed that our supported studies students benefit from Outstanding provision from NHC meaning a very high proportion of our supported studies students excel and gain highly effective independent living skills.

Ofsted said: “Leaders, managers and teachers ensure that each element of a learner’s programme meets their often individual, diverse and complex requirements. Most learners make excellent progress towards realising their independence and achievement of relevant qualifications and skills.”

Among the many highlights, the Ofsted report confirmed that our supported studies students benefit from well-planned and meaningful work experience, our courses help our students gain confidence in every day, real-life situations within their local community and in the workplace plus our incredible supported studies tutors help our students gain confidence and tailor courses to meet each student’s individual, diverse and often complex needs.


Take a look around our facilities for Multi Skills in our 360 degrees tours to see the specially designed spaces which provide a safe environment to study, progress and discover who you want to be.

Take the Multi Skills tour

ECC Campus: Fulton Close, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AF. Telephone: 01462 424242.



Award winning provider

We have been shortlisted for the prestigious Tes Specialist Provider of the year award 2020. Read more.

For three years running, we have been awarded commended status for the RCU Beacon Award for Support for Students in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.




You can download a digital copy of our latest Supported Studies prospectus which gives an insight into college life and an overview of the curriculum department. Full details of each course are available above.

View prospectus

How to apply

If you decide you would like to join a supported studies course, you would usually be referred to us by your school or YC (Youth Connexions). Please call us on 01462 424242 and ask for the supported studies department or email your enquiry to CCondon@nhc.ac.uk.

Once you’ve been referred to us, you and your parents or carers will be invited to visit our Stevenage Campus to take a look around and have a chat with us. We’ll always make sure that we place you on an appropriate and relevant course. For that reason, we’ll invite you to join a taster day, where you’ll get to sample one or more of our courses, meet other members of the team and current students.

When we’ve agreed on the best course for you, we’ll work with you, your parents or carers and YC to complete your application form. After you’ve made your application, you may be invited to join additional taster days so that you can get used to coming to College before starting your full-time course in September.

Your referral to Supported Studies can be made via YC, any other agency involved with you or by your parents or carers. To join us, you’ll need a successful funding application from your local authority.


“Our daughter has really enjoyed her course, she always talks about her fantastic tutors who have made education a fun and exciting experience. The supported studies team have supported us all year and have remained in excellent contact with us throughout.”

Parent of supported studies student

Hertfordshire Local Offer

Hertfordshire County Council have put together a local offer containing information and resources for people with special educational needs and disabilities in Hertfordshire. Please click here to find it.

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