Depends how serious you are about film making and how much you are willing to spend and whether the computers you will be doing will be up to the task! If it's just to use sparingly then a standard definition camera with mic jack will do (FS200 etc.) If you want HD (make sure you're computers at college can handle it), I've just bought a HF S100 and love it. If you want to get a little more prosumer, the Sony PD170 is very good for standard def and has proper mic inputs. For business I use a Sony HVR-Z7 but that will probably be overkill for an a level course!
Having said all that- Im sure the college will have some camcorders to play with so have a go at what they have and then decide.
I got he impression when he mentioned "camcorders" that he was going to be teaching it. I would have thought the college had at lease 1 camcorder that could be played with. If the kids are going to be using them then the fs200 is cheap and produces a very good image.