Short Courses

What are Short Courses?

At Northern College, our short courses offer those with few or no formal qualifications, an opportunity to return to study in a safe, supportive and manageable way. You can choose to study short courses for a variety of reasons: for personal interest and development; to gain qualifications; to improve your skills or to take the first steps back into education.

What are the entry requirements?

Northern College starts where you are, building on your life skills and experience. You don’t need a formal qualification to begin your studies with us.

What subjects can I study?

There are a wide range of subjects on offer. This includes courses to improve your literacy or numeracy, digital skills, history, literature, childcare, psychology, counselling, studying society, employability skills, improving your study skills, studying international development and a variety of courses for personal development. Longer courses are concentrated on mentoring, community developments and leadership & management. Other leisure based courses are also available in art and foreign languages.

To see the list of courses currently available, click here.

What about fees?

All short courses at Northern College can be studied residentially.  Most short courses cost £50.00 for the course fee plus £25.00 for a one night stay, including evening meal and breakfast.  Fees do vary depending on the length of the course, so please do check before applying. Some course and accommodation fees may be waived for those on certain benefits.


Most short courses are non-accredited although you may have to do some written work in some subjects. Some courses are accredited via Certa at Entry Level 3, Level 1 or Level 2. This is usually done by completing a short workbook.


Virtual Open Events

Not sure if Northern College is right for you?  Come along to one of our free Virtual Open Events, meet our friendly team, ask us your questions and take a virtual tour of the college and facilities.  Learn more here.


Study with us.

A quick step guide!

How to start:

At Northern College we have a number of ways in which you can apply to come and study with us.

  • You can come to campus to have a chat with one of our Student Support Services Team.
  • Visit our website and search for a course.
  • Contact us by email or telephone.

What next:

Choose a course – we have many courses available and we also have a number of methods of delivery to enable you to choose whether to come to campus or study at home.  You can speak to one of our Student Support Services Team or one of our tutors to help you decide which course is for you. After which you can then apply. You can also apply directly if you are sure which course you would like to study.


You can  apply online at , or complete an application over the phone. You will be able to tell us if you feel you may require additional learning support. It may be that you are eligible for full remission for course fees and also be eligible for financial support; this will be explained to you, along with how to access any additional learning support you may require.

Once we have received your application form you will receive an email or text to let you know we have received it and to tell you what happens next.

Interview selection:

Some of our longer courses (more than 25 hours) may require an interview and selection process. After your application has been processed you will receive information about what you will be expected to do; for example, an interview, a short task or personal statement. You may also be asked to complete a short assessment to check your maths and English skills. We will guide you through this process so you can be sure what is expected of you.

An offer:

Once you have attended your interview (long course) or submitted your application for a short course and have met the requirements for entry, we will send you an email confirming whether you have been offered a place on your chosen course. If you want to accept the place you must confirm this by email or by using the digital confirmation code.  If you are unable to do this, you can confirm by speaking to Student Support Services.

If you have not been accepted onto your first choice of course the Student Support Services Team will offer you an advice and guidance session so we can find you a suitable alternative or direct you to an education provider who may be able to meet your needs.

If you have indicated that you may need additional learning support, we carry out an assessment at this point so you can get the help you require to complete your course successfully.


For our longer courses we will offer a day for you to come to College to complete all your enrolment documents.  We will ask you to bring proof of identity and method of payment for the course or proof of benefit if you are entitled to course fee remission.

For our short courses you will enrol on the morning of your first day and again will need proof of identity and method of payment for the course or proof of benefit if you are entitled to course fee remission.

After you have enrolled you will be given a lanyard with your student identity card. You will be expected to wear this at all times when you are on College premises.  

Finally: Once you are enrolled you can start your chosen study path and we can welcome you as a student of Northern College.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the FAQ by following this link here

Know the course you want to apply for? Apply Online

*Please proceed to the apply online directly here*


For more information please see one of the options below:

Contact Student Services

Northern College, Wentworth Castle, Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 3ET.

Tel: 01226 776000