South East Essex Technical College, later South East Essex Technical College and School of Art, opened at Longbridge Road, Dagenham in 1936 as one of the four regional technical colleges of Essex. Occupying nearly six acres of the 17 acre site, the College was originally comprised six departments: Industrial and Fine Arts, Commerce, Domestic Science, Engineering, Building and Allied Subjects and Science. A secondary technical school was also opened at the site, providing pupils with a less academic education than was usually offered in a secondary grammar school.
During the Second World War, the college was commandeered for the training of military personnel, with the school being evacuated to Somerset. Following the 1944 Education Act, the secondary school developed as a separate organisation although it still used the Longbridge Road buildings. The school eventually moved to its own premises around 1960, becoming the South East Essex County Technical High School in 1962. It would later merge with Bifrons Secondary Modern School to become Mayesbrooke Comprehensive School in 1970.
In 1938 a large block, comprising an indoor heated swimming pool, two gymnasia, a squash court and a sports pavilion was added. In October 1951 a large one storey block was opened as a building centre; in 1953 a two storey building printing block was added and in 1955 the one storey science block was extended. The site was then 22 acres.
In 1962 the College was designated a Regional College of Technology and reverted back to its original name of South East Essex College of Technology, the name being changed again in 1965 when it was called the Barking Regional College of Technology. At the same time control passed from the Essex County Council to the new London Borough of Barking. In 1966 a four storey engineering block was erected and two new departments were formed: Business & Management and Education.
In 1970 the North East London Polytechnic was formed, incorporating the College together with West Ham College of Technology and Waltham Forest Technical College and School of Art. The Longbridge buildings became the Polytechnic's, later the University of East London's Barking Campus.
By the end of 2006, all of the departments of the University of East London were located at either the Docklands or Stratford Campus. The buildings of the Barking Campus were developed into luxury flats.