Askham Bryan College


History: The college has its origins in the formation of the Yorkshire Institute of Agriculture which first accepted students in 1948. It became Askham Bryan College of Agriculture and Horticulture 19 years later. It has since diversified widely to include equine management, animal management, countryside management, sustainable land management and veterinary nursing.

Address: The main campus is four miles west of York, although there are eight other sites across the region, the newest of which - the Newton Rigg campus in Penrith - opened in July 2011.

Ambience: Country living within reach of the city. An idyllic setting in 174 acres of breathtaking Yorkshire countryside gives the impression of a charming rural retreat, but there's a strong work and social ethic. Competitive sport, especially rugby, dominates.

Who's the boss? Liz Philip. She loves horses, keeps sheep, has a dog named Cat and likes to talk to students on her frequent strolls around the campus.

Prospectus: 01904 772 277; alternatively try and have a look here to build your own prospectus.

UCAS code: A70

what you need to know

Easy to get into? Extended foundation degrees are available for those without traditional A level qualifications. Foundation degrees require a minimum of 80 UCAS points. Entry requirements for honours courses range from 140 to 220 UCAS points.

Foundation degrees: Agriculture with land management; animal management; countryside management; equine management; arboriculture; horticulture; landscape and garden management; sport surface management; sustainable environmental technology; veterinary nursing.

Vital statistics: More than 4,000 students registered for further and higher education courses. 80 per cent are aged over 19. Degrees are validated by Harper Adams University College and York St John University. Sports facilities include a four-hole mini golf course, outdoor bowling green, tennis courts, pitches, squash court and sports hall.

Added value: Extensive grounds with woodlands, a horticultural unit, a farm and excellent outdoor sports facilities. Programme of continuous investment. Facilities include a new equestrian centre with indoor and outdoor schools, commercial farm, animal management centre and students' union building. A new £2.4m campus opens in Penrith in July, offering further education in conjunction with the University of Cumbria. New full-time foundation degree students receive £300 worth of free professional training. En suite residential accommodation was built in 2007.

Teaching: Commended in the industry-related research on animal management and agriculture programmes, as well as excellent industrial engagement and outstanding facilities for vocational learning in 2009 by the QAA.

Research: The college conducts rural research in the Yorkshire and Humberside, and North West Governmnet Office regions, mainly comissioned by Defra. Other clients include Yorkshire Forward, National Parks, English Nature and the Food Standards Agency.

Honours degrees: All foundation degrees can be converted into an honours degree via a one year 'top up' course, and the college offers a three year BSc in animal management and science.

Any accommodation? Yes. Halls on campus cost from £2,700 per year for self-catering, to £4,400 for a room with an en-suite, half-board.

Cheap to live there? There's a wide range of prices, but typical student lets average between £50 and £80 per week.

Fees: For overseas students, prices start at £5,500. UK and EU students can expect to pay £6,000 per annum. Part-time students will pay from £3,000 to £4,000 depending on the level of course.

Bursaries: There is a scholarship programme for students intending to study at the Newton Rigg campus, to the tune of £3,200. A mature student bursary of £220 is available to all students over 23 commencing full-time study. Part-time students with a household income of under £35,000 may be eligible for a bursary covering up to half the cost of a year's study.

Transport links: Regional and national rail links from York, which is two hours from London and 90 minutes from Manchester. The A1237 connects with York and is close to the A1, M1 and M62 motorways.

the fun stuff

Nightlife: The Romans were the first to party in York so there's a long tradition of having fun. Dozens of places to eat and drink, ranging from cosy tearooms to suave and trendy bars. The York Theatre Royal hosts festivals, musicals, pantomimes and gigs.

Glittering alumni: Lots of specialists in their fields, such as the late Geoffrey Smith, horticulturalist, writer and broadcaster.