Croydon College

History: Began as an art college in 1868, and was known by various names until 1978 when it became Croydon College. Partnered with the University of Sussex which awards its degrees.

Address: Central location, two minutes from East Croydon and West Croydon stations and five minutes from the town centre. Three main sites all close together.

Ambience: The college's impressive glass-fronted main building, completed in 2010, sits adjacent to the Fairfield Halls concert venue in the heart of Croydon and creates a landmark feature in the area. Sixth form courses are also offered at the College’s Davidson Road campus which is a 10 minutes walk from the town centre.

Who's the boss? Frances Wadsworth is principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 020 8760 5914, request a copy online here and follow the college on Twitter @CroydonCollege.

UCAS code: C92

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies; entry requirements range from 60 to 120 UCAS points for foundation degrees and BA (hons) degrees, but there are a variety of specific entry requirements for academic and vocational courses, including industrial experience.

Foundation degrees: A range, offered on a full or part-time basis across art design and media, education and health, community and care.

Vital statistics: One of the largest providers of further and higher education courses in the South-East and south London’s largest provider of apprenticeships, with a a student population of more than 13,000, studying on a range of full or part-time courses. It has been restructured to form three separate colleges: Croydon Sixth Form College, offering academic and vocational qualifications; Croydon Higher Education College, an associate of the University of Sussex; and Croydon skills & Enterprise College, which works closely with employers and businesses.

Added value: Emphasis on tutorial-based learning and small class sizes – the average class size for an HE course is just 15. Each college is supported by a 'skills for life' programme which ensures that language, literacy and numeracy skills are up to standard. The recently-completed Rotunda building is home to an industry standard recording studio, performance hall, library, specially designed social and study spaces, and meeting and conference facilities. There are over 50,000 resources in the library and students have access to over 2,000 PCs and Macs and free wireless on campus.

Teaching: A 2009 Ofsted report rated the college as good with many outstanding areas.

Accommodation: None offered by the college.

Cheap to live there: Not really. Average rent in Croydon is approximately £95 per week.

Transport links: Served by the local train links; just a two-minute walk away from East Croydon and West Croydon stations. From there it is only 12 minutes into central London. The tram link provides easy access around the town.

Fees: £6,000 per year.

Bursaries: A range of loans and funds are on offer to those in need of financial support - see here for further details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Croydon High Street is packed with themed bars and nightclubs while the town offers a range of cinemas, theatres, bars and cafes.

Sporting reputation: None of its own facilities but the college has teamed up with some in the area for students to use at cheaper rates.

Glittering alumni: Ray Davies, former Kinks singer; athlete Donna Fraser; Kirsty MacColl, singer; late sculptor Juan Munoz; John Rocha, designer; sports pundit and former footballer Gareth Southgate.

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