History: The college was first established in the centre of Hereford in the 1850s, as a small art school meeting local needs. Since then it has grown and diversified, opening its doors to a wide range of students both locally, regionally and internationally.
Address: Half a mile from the centre of the city of Hereford in the West Midlands, right on the Welsh border, between Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.
Ambience: One of an increasingly rare breed - a specialist art college, offering practice-based creative courses. It's an informal, friendly place where students have plenty of contact with staff.
Who's the boss? Richard Heatly is principal.
Prospectus: 01432 273 359 or request one online here.
UCAS code: H18
What you need to know
Easy to get into? Not very. Every applicant is interviewed and students must come prepared with a portfolio of work.
Foundation degrees: Commercial photography and film and photography.
Vital statistics: 400 undergraduate students. A range of short courses, FE courses, foundation degrees, BA (Hons) degrees and BA (Hons) top-ups. The college specialises in crafts-based courses (contemporary applied arts, jewellery design and artist blacksmithing) Undergraduates can also study graphic design, illustration, film, animation and photography. A new MA programme is being introduced for 2013. Degrees are validated by the University of Wales.
Added value: The college is now the only specialist art and design college in the Midlands. Many lecturers are also active practitioners and students and staff exhibit nationally. For studio-based courses, the majority of students have their own individual workspace.
Teaching: Inspections over the years have repeatedly identified teaching as a key strength.
Any accommodation? Access to a small number of halls very close-by to the campus. On top of that, dedicated student housing is located in the city offering good value and quality accommodation solely for the College use.
Cheap to live there? Not too bad. Average rent prices for 2013 are approximately £75 to£85 per week for a room in a shared house, utility bills included.
Transport links: The college is within walking distance from the rail and bus stations. Birmingham is an hour away, to reach London takes three, and Bristol and Cardiff are within easy reach.
Fees: All courses will cost £8,000 per year for 2013 entrants.
Bursaries: There are 14 National Scholarship Programme awards available to students from families with an annual income below £25,000. Recipients will receive a fee waiver of £3,000 for their first year of study. All other students from low-income households will be eligible for a first year fee waiver of £1,500. Financial support is offered in exceptional cases through the college’s Access to Learning Fund.
The fun stuff
Nightlife: Hereford's geographical isolation has led to an original and lively scene developing, especially for music and comedy. Fans of both alternative and dance music will find plenty to do. This diverse yet focused nightlife is generally appreciated by art students looking for something out of the ordinary - similarly, Hay Literature Festival and The Big Chill Festival and Nozstock take place within easy reach of the city.
Price of a pint: Fairly pricey in the big cities, but student nights in all the main clubbing locations should allow you to enjoy a good few nights out!
Sporting reputation: An arty rather than sporty bunch here. Not entered into the BUCS league.
Glittering alumni: Plenty of successful and practising artists, but none widely known outside the art world.