The voice of specialist further education

Queen Alexandra College

Queen Alexandra College supports people with a diverse range of abilities and needs including visual impairment and autism.
A group of QAC students pose for a photo together
Queen Alexandra College logo


Queen Alexandra College
Court Oak Road
B17 9TG


  • Umberslade Campus
    Umberslade Road
    Selly Oak
    B29 7SQ
  • Pinewood Campus
    Bell Heath Way
    Woodgate Business Park
    B32 3BZ
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25


General Description

Queen Alexandra College (QAC) is a national residential College and community charity that supports a diverse range of student abilities and needs. 

Based in Birmingham, the College has been at its current location since 1903 and offers an innovative, holistic approach to learning and support. We welcome students who come to our College from all over the country – as well as many who are local to us.

In addition to supporting people who have a visual impairment, we offer support and guidance for students with autistic spectrum conditions, those with moderate to severe learning difficulties, students with physical and other disabilities.  

Ultimately, we have a great mix of students which adds to the wonderful atmosphere here in College. Class sizes are small and support levels high.

The College has a team of specialists on site who are able to support students, including Speech and Language Therapists, a Visual Impairment Training Officer, Educational and Clinical Psychologists, Counsellors, Mentors, a Braille Tutor, Assistive Technology Specialist, Occupational Therapy and Sensory Support, Dyslexia Support, BSL Interpreters, Rehabilitation and Travel Trainers and Healthcare Professionals including a Physiotherapist. 

Whatever a learner’s level of independence, socialising and having fun and building friendships is a big part of life at QAC. There’s always a wide range of sports, music and leisure activities on offer that help to promote this. 

Catchment Area

We are a national provider, accepting learners from across England and Wales. 


At QAC your learning is planned around your individual needs, interests and ambitions. Our curriculum is designed to maximise adult life opportunities, develop independence and work skills. English, maths, employment skills and PSHE are embedded across all areas of study.   

Our Preparation for Life (PFL) programme is very popular and provides you with an opportunity to develop the skills that you would need to participate within your community and, where possible, the workplace. This programme is designed for students who are working at Pre-Entry to Entry level and offers a great deal of variety.

The LEAP programme (Learning, Employment and Progression) is a stepping stone for students from PFL into a more work focused environment. A supported internship study programme could also be followed which involves spending the majority of time with an employer in a real job role.

A range of vocational qualifications to level 3 can also be accessed. Subject areas include Art and Design, Creative Media, Health and Social Care, IT, Performing Arts and Sport. The Powerchair Football Academy, working in partnership with The Albion Foundation, is the first collaborative ‘study programme’ of its kind in the whole country. Ideal for students aspiring to be sports coaches or play for the national team.

A supported internship study programme at our Pinewood Campus could also be followed which involves spending the majority of time with an employer in a real job role. 

If you need a phased transition back into education following previous difficult experiences, our Access to College programme provides bespoke specialist support initially away from campus.

Enrichment programmes enhance the curriculum and help you to develop your self-esteem, confidence and independence. Our residential curriculum develops essential skills for personal development such as independent living and social skills.

Preparing students for their next steps away from College is essential. QAC uses an external party to offer truly impartial information, advice and guidance. We hold careers weeks, transition out events and our dedicated transitions team work with our curriculum department and families to support students moving on make positive plans based around their needs and aspirations. 


Specialist Facilities

The College is well-resourced with its own fitness centre, library, excellent ICT facilities, performing arts studio, a vibrant catering area, onsite travel training area, sensory room and healthcare centre, playing fields and a state-of-the-art sports hall featuring an indoor climbing wall. This facility enables accessible sports to be played by students and the wider community. In addition, some students can also participate and experience fully inclusive sports through strong external links developed with external providers, such as our collaboration with the University of Worcester and partnership work with The Albion Foundation.

As QAC has grown, we now have new educational and learning sites in addition to our main campus – Pinewood Campus (dedicated to employment progression) and Umberslade Campus (dedicated to horticulture and outdoor learning). Whichever location you may attend, you will receive the same high-quality experience and specialist support from staff. 

Other Information

Some students choose to move onto our ‘Independence Plus’ supported living programme. Clients on this programme still need support and the aim is to deliver a service that provides you with the means to live independently/semi independently into the future. Many clients are in education, voluntary work or paid employment not linked to QAC directly. Funding is usually provided through a Direct Payment Personal Budget in conjunction with housing benefit for accommodation.  

QAC is developing a new range of services for young people with disabilities in the community. These include support services to enable people to access community activities including a PA/support worker service, social and/or peer groups delivered from our Community Services Hub and leisure activities.

QAC Enterprises consists of a range of businesses that raise money for the College. All Formats Transcription Services provide a specialist service transcribing documents into a number of alternative formats suitable for people with a visual impairment. 

QAC is the UK distributor of Revolution Advantage Carbon Fibre canes and organiser of Sight Village – the premier event for blind and partially sighted people, bringing together leading providers of products and services all under one roof. 

> Our expertise

> Our curriculum

> Our specialist services


A group of QAC students pose for a photo together
QAC student uses their long cane to cross the road with a Rehabilitation & Travel Trainer
A QAC staff member and student chatting in a PFL classroom

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