New College Durham


History: A merger between Neville's Cross College of Education and Durham Technical College in 1977 saw the formation of New College Durham. Its origins are as mining college.

Address: Framwellgate Moor on the edge of Durham, right up north.

Ambience: Set in the historic city of Durham with its cathedral and castle, a £35m revamp of the campus was completed in 2005 and  officially opened by Tony Blair.

Who's the boss? The principal and chief executive is John Widdowson CBE.

Prospectus: 0191 375 4000 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: N28

What you need to know

Easy to get into? A minimum of 40 UCAS points for foundation degrees. However, they welcome applications from those with non- standard entry qualifications.

Foundation Degrees: Complementary health care, assistant practitioner in podiatry, counselling, business, internet computing for business, housing, public sector administration, computing and networking, applied health and social care, sport and exercise studies, supported learning, public and community services, travel and tourism management. There are also a number of BAs and BScs through a 'top-up' year. HE courses are validated by Leeds Metropoiltan University, Sunderland University and Teesside University. In August 2011, the New Durham College was the first college in County Durham, and only one of two in the country, to be given the power to award its own foundation degrees by the Privy Council.

Vital statistics: A large college with around 3,500 full-time students. Around 11,000 students in total are enrolled, including part-time students and apprentices.

Added value: The £35 million redevelopment has transformed NCD into one of the most state-of-the-art colleges in the UK. There's a main building with a specialist sixth form centre, a sports and music building and the Neville Building, which houses the HE provision and has a 120- seat lecture theatre, large seminar rooms and tutorial suites. Centre of Vocational Excellence for multi-skilled systems maintenance engineering, travel and tourism and construction.

Teaching: The QAA gave the higher education provision the highest rating for academic standards and quality of learning opportunities in its latest inspection. Ofsted rated the college as outstanding in its 2009 inspection.

Any accommodation? No halls of residence but there are plenty of private properties available for rent.

Cheap to live there? Not bad - fees are set at an affordable level and the college offers a generous bursary to most full-time students. Local rents are approximately £70 to £90 per week.

Transport links: Only one mile from Durham Railway Station, which is on the East Coast Line. Alternatively, there are many coach services linking Durham to major British cities. Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley Airports are both under one hour from Durham.

Fees: Varies by course but the college charges up to £6,000 per year for most HE degrees.

Bursaries: The college offers a generous bursary for each year of study depending on programme eligibility. Students will receive the bursary whatever their level of family income. For full details see the website.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Durham is not renowned for its wild nightlife but as a university town there is a fair amount going on and there are numerous pubs, bars and clubs. The new Walkergate development near the riverside provides even more high quality entertainment venues. Its only a 15 minute train ride to enjoy the nightlife of Newcastle.

Sporting facilities: Steps2Fitness sports complex with fitness classes during lunch and after lessons.

Glittering alumni: Natalie Wheen, hotel general manager for Swallow Group; Gavin Nicholson, winner of The Chartered Institute of Builders' Roy Irving Award and Stephen Hughes, MEP for Durham.

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