Starting in September?

Do you know what you need to prepare for college? Got your money sorted? Worried about making friends?

Welcome to
Merrist Wood College

Got your offer and thinking about what to do next? Whether you are waiting for your results to come through, or just want to get ahead with your planning, we can help you get organised for starting college! Below, we’ve compiled a list of questions you might have and the different ways in which you can get yourself ready for starting with us in September.

Complete your enrolment

The most important thing is to make sure you complete your enrolment. You will receive an email containing a link to your enrolment form and once you have completed your form, uploaded your grades and any other supporting evidence required, you will receive confirmation that your enrolment has been successful. More information about the enrolment process can be found on our How to enrol page.

Get some help

If you’ve had a look at all the information below and still have some questions, our Student Support and Advice and Admissions teams are still available over the summer by phone and email, if you want to speak to someone directly.


What do I do on my first day?

Once you have received your enrolment confirmation email from us, you are a confirmed student with Activate Learning.

Within 72 hours of receiving your confirmation of enrolment, you will receive a welcome email from IT with information about how to log in to your college systems including ALO (Activate Learning Online, which will be available to you from 2 August), and to confirm your college email address.  Your timetable will be shared with you on your first day.

For more information about what to expect and where to go on your first day, download this handy My First Day Guide.

During the first two weeks of term, you’ll be asked to provide the following pieces of information:

  • A valid proof of identity (passport, birth certificate, proof of age card, or national insurance letter)
  • Right to study evidence for students who are not UK citizens (Passport, visa or immigration documentation)
  • Any outstanding payment

You’ll also receive your college ID card and lanyard, which you must always wear whilst on college grounds.

If you need help or support before the first day of term, give us a call on 0800 612 6008.

We realise there's a lot to take in when you first start college. A lot of new people to meet, including your classmates, tutors and other staff.

But remember - others will be in the same situation as you and probably thinking the exact same thing - how am I going to meet people and make new friends?

Our campuses are vibrant and diverse and you will always be able to find people you can identify and make new friendships with. There will be opportunities to meet new people within your tutor group and classes, as well as the various societies we run at college.

We also offer a fantastic Student's Union at all campuses, which runs a range of activities and provides a platform for anyone who wants to get involved and represent their friends and classmates across college.

If you're still feeling shy or anxious, you can always speak to one of our Student Support team who would be more than happy to help you settle into life at college.

If you have money concerns before you start, we have an array of bursaries available for eligible students. Check out our funding page for more info. Also, be sure to speak to our Advice and Admissions team when you come to collect your lanyard.

We also offer a variety of student support and learning support services. So, if you have any problems or concerns at all, just let us know. We are there to support your experience at college every step of the way.

As part of our guarantee to enable new students to work efficiently, whether on campus or remotely, we have set up a buy your own device scheme to enable all students to buy a laptop or tablet. We want everyone to have access to the right equipment even if they aren’t physically at college. So, we’ve teamed up with two companies, Academia and Dell, who can support you with buying a new device.

There is a choice of devices available for you to choose from and the option to pay via a payment plan, so you can spread the cost. The devices are sold as bundles which includes a case and a warranty and the option to add insurance should you wish to do so.

Visit our online store with Academia

View our online store with Dell

For those of you who already have your own devices, you will be encouraged to bring them into college to help reduce the demand for computers in the Learning Environments. However, if you would prefer not to bring your own device from home, please don't worry, as you will still be able to book time in Learning Environments as needed. This equipment will be cleaned regularly as part of our cleaning process.

We’re really looking forward to you starting college with us in September and want to make this transition as easy as possible for you. If you have any questions about the device scheme or anything else, please contact us.

Then what are you waiting for? It’s not too late to apply!   

The usual application process closes on Friday 30 July, so if you are applying before this date, you can apply online by selecting ‘Apply Now’ on the course you are interested in. Find out more information on our How to Apply page

After Friday 30 July, if you want to apply for a course starting in September, you will need to book an appointment through our FE College Clearing system. Find out more information on our FE College Clearing page.


At Activate Learning, your happiness and success is our priority. We offer the following dedicated services to ensure your life while studying with us is positive and fulfilling, both academically and personally.

Keep in touch with us on social media!

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date while you wait to join us in September 2021! We’ll be in contact via email mainly but do expect a few phone calls too! 

To keep in the loop, why not follow Activate Learning on social media (find the links at the top or the bottom of this page)? We’ll be saying hi and starting conversations with new students via the #WelcometoAL hashtag 

We can't wait to meet you! Remember, we’re on hand to answer any questions you may have in the meantime – so don’t be a stranger!