History: Birmingham Metropolitan College was formed on 1 September 2009 from two colleges (Matthew Boulton College, opened in 1895, and Sutton Coldfield College, whose origins go back to 1896). On the 1 June 2013, it also merged with Stourbridge College to increase its provision further.
Address: Various campuses across the West Midlands including Matthew Boulton in Birmingham City Centre, Sutton Coldfield, Great Barr, Erdington, Kidderminster and more recently Stourbridge. They also have specialist horticulture courses with Birmingham Botanical Gardens and offer courses to smaller community groups and employers. See a list of all the campuses on their website
Ambience: Each of the campuses has a distinct feel to them. Matthew Boulton campus is a thriving urban college proud of its £40m premises which opened in 2005 - the biggest FE development the region has seen. The college maintains strong links with the community and is also known for its fantastic links with business and industry including Samsung, Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Network Rail and others.
Who's the boss? Dr Dame Christine Braddock, Principal and Chief Executive since 1998.
Prospectus: 0845 155 0101, alternatively have a look at their prospectus here.
UCAS code: B30
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Easy to get into? Applications are made directly to the college and with over 500 courses there is something for everybody and at all levels.
Foundation degrees: Offering a wide range of foundations to choose from, there are also university level programmes available in art and design, media, business, construction, engineering, sustainable technologies, fitness and sport, health and social care, law, computing, dental technology, pharmaceutical technology, early years, teaching, podiatry.
Vital statistics: The college enrols around 50,000 learners each year across the many campuses including adult learners, and pupils at its secondary school; Harborne Academy.
Added value: Performing well in media and graphics, business and professional services, and vocational medical sciences, the College also specialises in the delivery of high level technology and advanced manufacturing training which includes digital, environmental and low carbon technology along with medical provision in pharmaceutical, dental nursing and podiatry. They have just launched the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy with seven key employers from the professional services sector.
Teaching: The 2003 Ofsted report rated the College as good with outstanding features. Teaching was rated good in science, teacher training and visual and performing arts.
Any accommodation? None provided by the college, but Birmingham has a wide range of student housing.
Cheap to live there? As a major city, Birmingham has lots of options. As the campuses are spread across the city, you can choose a location that suits your taste and pocket; rent can be anything from £70 to £100 per week depending where you live.
Transport links: Birmingham is easy to get to, from and around. Matthew Boulton is in the City Centre, less than ten minutes' walk from New Street station. The other campuses are served by buses and trains across the region.
Bursaries: Financial support is available to students aged 19+ and there is also the 24+ loan for Adult Learners on some courses, find out more here.
THE FUN STUFF
Nightlife: As the country’s second city, Birmingham has a lively entertainment scene, a spice rack of curry houses and food festivals, a huge outdoor Christmas market and cultural delights including the Birmingham Rep, the Hippodrome, Symphony Hall, the LG Arena (formerly NEC) and the National Indoor Arena (NIA) that draw big stars.
Glittering alumni: Former F1 maestro Nigel Mansell and DJ/musician Mike Skinner of The Streets.