Chesterfield College


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The Independent Online

History: Started life in 1841 as the Chesterfield and Brampton Mechanics' Institute, and went through various incarnations, including the merger in 1984 of Chesterfield Art College and Chesterfield College of Technology, before becoming Chesterfield College.

Address: The main campus is near the centre of Chesterfield, the largest town in Derbyshire, but many of the HE courses are based at the nearby Tapton House campus. A state-of-the-art campus opened at Clowne, five miles North-East of Chesterfield, in autumn 2005.

Ambience: Chesterfield is famous for having a church with a crooked spire. It has the feel of a bustling market town, and the main campus is within walking distance of the town centre, shops and bars. The Clowne campus is more rural and relaxed, with ample sporting facilities.

Who's the boss? Trevor Clay has been principal since 2012. He began his career at Ashfield District Council and spent the next 16 years in a variety of local government roles.

Prospectus: 01246 500 562 or order/download one here.

UCAS code: C56

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Most HE courses require at least one A-level from school leavers, or equivalent level 3 qualifications, although requirements may differ for mature students.

Foundation Degrees: Full-time foundation degrees in creative practice, games and interactive technologies, health-related exercise and fitness, and sports coaching (performance and participation). Part-time foundation degrees are offered in mechanical and manufacturing engineering, internet and business technologies, early years, education and learning support, health-related exercise and fitness, complimentary therapies, sports coaching (performance and participation), logistics and supply-chain management and leadership and management. There are also options to complete 'top-up' honours degrees in business and management studies and health-related exercise and fitness.

Vital statistics: Chesterfield College is the main adult education provider in Derbyshire, accounting for over one third of over 18s in further education in the region, with over 9,000 students taking hundreds of different courses. There are around 4,000 full-time students and the number is increasing.

Added value: The college maintains a reputation for high quality vocational and academic provision which meets the training demands of industry. Performance review the LSC rated the college as 'Excellent', placing it within the top 10 per cent of colleges and further education providers in the country. The college is also highly regarded for work-based learning, offering training in partnership with 150 local companies. There are good sports facilities as well as a fully operational restaurant run by catering students. The new Clowne campus has full-size football pitches, a sports hall and fitness suite, and purpose-built, professional standard hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.

Teaching: A 2008 Ofsted report rated the college as 'good' in all areas. With the introduction of foundation degrees and other programmes with greater flexibility, learners throughout the East Midlands find studying with Chesterfield College favourable to many local training providers. The college's higher education (HE) and Access to HE courses have a good reputation both locally and nationally, with many students progressing to complete a degree at Sheffield Hallam or the University of Derby.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college but various catering facilities at each site.

Cheap to live there? Not bad. A room in a shared flat will set you back around £75 per week.

Transport links: Good. Chesterfield railway station is right next door, and the college is 12 miles south of the regional hub of Sheffield. The college also operates an extensive free bus service to all full time students, which covers much of the surrounding area.

Fees: Full-time HE fees for 2013 entry are £5,500.

Bursaries: There are some available for those in financial hardship - see the college's bursaries and fees guide here for more information.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Students can hit the bars and clubs of Chesterfield, while the nightspots of Sheffield are only 12 miles up the road.

Sporting reputation: Good sporting facilities, including a sports hall and gym.

Glittering alumni: William Snape, actor who has appeared in the Full Monty.