Brockenhurst College / Brockenhurst College


History: The college began life as a pupil teachers' centre in 1909, housed in a church. Over the years, the school became Brockenhurst County School and then Brockenhurst Grammar School. It became Brockenhurst College Sixth Form in 1972 and a tertiary college in 1985.

Address: In the village of Brockenhurst, Hampshire, mid way between Southampton and Bournemouth.

Ambience: A high-achieving college set in a traditional red brick building on a 27 acre site in the heart of the New Forest and surrounded by lovely countryside. A fairly recent building programme has left the campus with a modern feel.

Who's the boss? Di Roberts is principal.

Prospectus: 01590 625 555 or download one here.

UCAS code: B88

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Yes, providing the student demonstrates commitment. Students are assessed at interview, and their previous experience is taken into account. The college offers a very wide range of further education courses, Access to Higher Education and various programmes for adult learners, together with substantial training for employers. A foundation arts diploma, several higher national diplomas (HNDs), and a range of Level 5 professional diplomas are also options.

Vital statistics: More than 3,000 16-18 year olds and 8,000 part-time adult learners. The new Beacon Technology Centre costing £3.5m was completed in July 2006. This includes state-of-the-art facilities for IT, technology, media and photography. Recent additions include the business excellence centre, an extended learning resources centre and a two-storey social centre. International students come from as far afield as Canada, China, Poland, Spain and Zimbabwe, and the college offers an HND in international hospitality management for overseas students.

Added value: Achieved Beacon College status in 2004. The college has Matrix accreditation confirming the quality of the information, advice and in-depth careers guidance services provided and achieved a national Matrix Excellence award in 2007. Sports facilities include 25 acres of sports fields, a sports hall, a gym and an all-weather playing surface and, for outdoorsy types, the college is well placed in the New Forest.

Teaching: Grades awarded in the 2008 Ofsted inspection are the highest that can be achieved and the college’s outstanding status was confirmed by Ofsted in 2009.

Any accommodation? No on-site accommodation is offered, but an accommodation officer will help find you somewhere to stay that has been inspected by the college.

Cheap to live there? Living costs vary but a room in a shared flat will set you back around £80 per week.

Transport links: On the A337. Brockenhurst has a train station, and the college is a couple of minutes' walk away. There is an extensive college bus network as many students commute to the college, some from as far as Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight and Salisbury. The college subsidises rail and bus transport for students.

Fees: Vary between course and level of qualification; please contact the college directly for further information.

Bursaries: None offered by the college, but most under-19s are eligible for free tuition fees on FE courses and adult learners may be able to apply for government funding.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There are a couple of pubs in the village, but for a proper night on the tiles students tend to head further afield. Southampton and Bournemouth are only 20 minutes by train, and both offer good bars, clubs and restaurants.

Price of a pint: About £3 on average, but chain bars and pubs will offer cheap drinks and food deals.

Sporting reputation: No entry in the BUCS league but a sports centre open to all connected with the college hosts a solid range of facilities including a fitness centre, a large sports hall and 25-acre playing fields.

Glittering alumni: Tom Friend, cricketer; Ian Wooldridge, Daily Mail sports journalist; Patrick Harverson, PA to Prince Charles; Justin Young, frontman of popular rock-pop band The Vaccines.