Coleg Sir Gâr (Carmarthenshire)


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The Independent Online

History: Previously Carmarthen College of Technology and Art. Now a limited company of the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David Group following a formal merge.

Address: The college is spread over five campuses, two in Carmarthen, one in Llanelli, the Gelli Aur campus in Llandeilo, and one in Ammanford. All campuses are within an hour's reach of the south-west Wales coastal areas, while the rugged west Wales countryside is a dream for outdoors types.

Ambience: Depends on the campus. All campuses have a friendly learning environment, within easy reach of the various towns they're situated in, however as an agricultural college, Gelli Aur campus is based in a more rural setting. Evenings out and activities are therefore organised for farming students.

Who's the boss? Barry Liles is principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 01554 748 000 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: C22

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Generally speaking, HND courses require a completed HNC or 40 UCAS points; for BA courses 160 UCAS points; and for an MSc you need a diploma in a relevant subject and managerial experience.

Foundation Degrees: Care studies; counselling; business management; construction; sports coaching and performance; childhood studies.

Vital statistics: One of the largest providers of further education in Wales with over 12,000 students. Around 1,000 students on higher education programmes across eight different subject areas. The first accredited college of the University of Glamorgan, and the majority of courses are franchised from the university, while art and design courses are awarded by Trinity St David. Agriculture is franchised from the University of Aberystwyth. Part of the West Wales Business School, a partnership between the University of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire College.

Added value: Extensive facilities in the various campuses include an art gallery and an indoor equine centre. The college runs its own dairy development centre and a working farm. A new artificial training pitch at the Graig Campus has been constructed to international hockey specifications in conjunction with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Llanelli Athletics Association. The college’s West Wales School of the Arts boasts the unique iron cast foundry.

Teaching: In a recent inspection, the college received mostly grades one and two, the highest.

Any accommodation? Accommodation officers are available and offer an approved list of various rented accommodation.

Cheap to live there? Yes, it's around £50 to 60 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Transport links: All full-time students have access to a free bus service covering rural Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Llanelli and Carmarthen campuses are also accessible by rail and bus, and Swansea is only half an hour away.

Fees: Charges £8,500 per year for full-time students on foundation degrees.

Bursaries: Non-means-tested bursaries are available to all full-time home HE students who stick at their courses, with specific bursaries for students who take certain progression routes through the college. For more details, visit the website.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Carmarthen, Ammanford and Llanelli offer pubs, bars and theatres. For those after something more lively, Swansea's famous Wind Street is only a bus or train ride away.

Sporting facilities: Sports pitches and a dance studio.

Glittering alumni: None as yet.