Gower College Swansea


History: The original Swansea College was built in 1825 and was situated near the Swansea Dock area. This building also housed the guildhall, law courts and juvenile centre after being rebuilt in 1848. From 1960, the building was solely used as a college of further education, housing 700 students. After rapid expansion, the college relocated to a new site in Tycoch in 1971. In August 2010, Swansea College merged with Gorseinon College, just north of the city to form Gower College Swansea.

Address: Nine sites across Swansea and the Gower peninsular but the two main campuses are at Belgrave Road, Gorseinon and Tycoch Road, Swansea.

Ambience: One of the largest further education colleges in Wales. It brings together two successful institutions, characterised by consistently high standards of teaching and learning.

Who's the boss? Nick Bennett retired in July 2013 and will be replaced by Mark Jones, the current principal of Bridgend College.

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Requirements vary depending on course and qualification. All HE courses ask for one A-level pass or equivalent.

Vital statistics: Approximately 4,500 full-time and another 4,500 part-time students, with 350 students studying at university level. Wide portfolio of courses, excellent links with industry and the community and highly qualified staff. At HE level, the college offers three HNDs and one degree in partnership with both the city's universities. The only FE college in the area to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate qualification.

Added value: The college is keen on widening participation, lifelong learning, and equal opportunities. Close links with employers and strong provision of community education. Holistic therapy facility on the Tycoch campus for chilling out after a week of hard work.

Transport links: Regular buses to the city centre from both main sites. Close to the M4. Trains from Swansea to London take three hours and travel via Cardiff and Bristol.

Teaching: Being such a new college it is yet to be inspected. However, an Estyn report of Swansea College in 2006 awarded grades of 'good' or 'very good' to most of the learning areas inspected.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college. Homestay accommodation can be arranged at £119 per week with breakfast and an evening meal included.

Cheap to live there? You’ll be looking at around £70 to £90 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Fees: £7,500 per year for full-time students on all undergrad courses. MA degrees start from £2,950 per year.

Bursaries: None offered by the college. Students are advised to approach their local branch of Student Finance. Scholarships are available for high achieving students.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Swansea has plenty of pubs and clubs and a lively student scene.

Sporting reputation: Squash courts, gym equipment and a sports hall at Tycoch but no entry in the BUCS league.

Glittering alumni: Kelly Goss, who studied fashion at Swansea College, has since worked on a Kate Moss for Topshop collection and launched her own label, Rock 'n' Needle. Henri Oguike, who runs his own dance company in London, also studied at Swansea College.

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