Herefordshire and Ludlow College (formerly Herefordshire College of Technology)


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History: Now over 60 years old. Like many further education colleges, its roots were based in helping to develop practical skills sought by employers: it was the first college in the UK to undertake the training of farriers. Merged with specialist college Holme Lacy in 2007. Formally changed its name in August 2013 after partnering with Ludlow College.

Address: Two campuses - Hereford and Holme Lacy- are five miles apart and close to the Welsh border.

Ambience: Near the centre of a small but vibrant city. Hereford  is home to about 55,000 people with the famous River Wye running through it. The county is an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most sparsely populated in England - he Tourist Board regards it as one of England's best-kept secrets. The Hereford campus is shared with Hereford Sixth Form College and Herefordshire College of Art. Holme Lacy is just down the road.

Who's the boss? Ian Peake is principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 0800 032 1986 or request one online here.

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Courses are offered at a range of levels, and entry requirements vary accordingly.

Foundation Degrees: Counselling, learning support, management and leadership and ICT. HE qualifications are offered in conjunction with the University of Worcester, the University of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire College of Arts.

Vital statistics: The college has around 7,000 students, making it the largest education and training organisation in the county. HCT offers courses ranging from beauty therapy and blacksmithing, to animal care and outdoor pursuits, at a range of levels. Almost 70 per cent of students going into full-time employment found jobs directly related to their college course.

Added value: An impressive £32m refurbishment was recently completed, transforming the campus and providing state-of-the art facilities. There's provision for work-based learning and both short and recreational courses are laid on across the county. Largest blacksmith and farrier training centre in the country and an organic farm with cows and sheep. Holme Lacy has numerous specialist facilities including a purpose-built rural crafts centre.

Teaching: A recent Ofsted inspection resulted in a very complimentary report. Inspectors concluded that HCT was an improving college with good student achievements and standards. QAA recently classified the college's HE courses as ‘outstanding’, and many areas of ‘good’ practice were identified.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college but they do have an accommodation office to help students find a place to stay locally.

Cheap to live there? Yes - it's between £55 and £75 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Transport links: The Hereford campus is just a few minutes' walk from the city centre, where the main bus and rail station are situated. The Holme Lacy campus is a 10 minute drive from Hereford.

Fees: £6,000 per year for the average higher eduction programme.

Bursaries: Bursaries should be available via partner instiutions. If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits, financial support may be available from the college.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Clubs, pubs, cinemas, theatres and a leisure centre - all in the city centre. Pub crawls are popular with the students. Bigger cities nearby for the larger nights.

Sporting facilities: Outdoor pursuits aplenty led by the college, plus a sports academy including football teams that play at college league level.