Students fear a £3million redevelopment of Chesterfield College is being put before their education.
But college chiefs have hit back at the claims saying they still offer students more than most colleges across the country.
The campus, on Infirmary Road, is undergoing a facelift to improve the entrance and social space.
Adult learners say money would be better spent on vital courses which are set to be cut and will have a negative impact on future students.
Charlotte Dalrymple, 27 and Emily Roper, 26, are studying humanities Access to higher education course.
The course offers pathways within five areas which can lead on to further studies and careers in a wide range of fields.
But from next year the course will only offer two pathways.
Charlotte, who hopes to study event management at university, said: “If we were doing the humanities course next year we’d have to do subjects such child development which I don’t feel would be relevant to me.”
Emily, who is planning to study English at university, added: “The courses on offer next year would have put me off. I’d have gone elsewhere. Everyone on our course feel the same.”
The students said they understood the college was facing financial cutbacks but felt the Access courses had not been properly promoted.
Charlotte added: “They seem to have forgotten the real issues. They are investing in property development rather than investing in education of the students.”
Trevor Clay, acting principal at Chesterfield College, said the five pathways were not financially viable.
He added: “A decision was taken to reconsider how we could protect our Access provision in the light of government funding changes.
“At a time when many colleges are closing their Access provision completely these much needed changes allow us to protect provision rather than remove it.”