Starting in September?

Do you know what you need to prepare? Got your money sorted? Wondering how you'll make new friends?

Congratulations on your offer to study at Merrist Wood College! 

Are you clear on what the next step is? 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 advice on what you can do to prepare for September. 

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


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.

Unless you are given a specific uniform for your course, we encourage you to express yourself freely with your wardrobe!
We only ask that you wear no offensive clothing, e.g t-shirts with swearing on it.

Your course lead will direct you to anything specific you may need. But for your first day, the only essentials are
a notepad, pen, and a willingness to learn!

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 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.

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

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 Leadership team 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.

In your first week, we want to make your start to be as smooth as possible.
We want to make you feel safe, confident and supported as soon as you start.
Your first week is designed to provide you with opportunities to build relationships with others on your course and your teachers, and to help you establish positive routines. It will include engaging activities and induction settings to ensure you get the most out of college.

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 have money concerns before you start, we have an array of bursaries available for eligible students. Check out our financial support and bursaries 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.

All of our campuses have Recharge cafes on site, offering a variety of food options.
This includes hot meals, sandwiches, tea, coffee, etc.
Alternatively, feel free to bring in your own lunch or travel off campus for lunch (if you have time to!)

Travel information to the college can be found here.

We do hold freshers fairs, giving you the opportunity to get to know college clubs and support available to you.
This includes our Student Leadership Team and how they can help you.
There will also be the opportunity to speak with representatives from local businesses and local charities, to discover opportunities outside of college, including part-time jobs.

Your first day

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

Find out where you need to be and when on your first day below. Timetables will be available to download from 1 Aug 2024.

Download First Day Timetable PDF

Keep in touch with us on social media!

Before you join us in September, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date via email and the occasional phone call 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!