Northop College (Formerly Welsh College of Horticulture)

 

History: Founded in 1954, as the Flintshire Institute of Horticulture. Merged with Deeside College and transferred Higher Education provision to Glyndwr University in 2009. Formerly known as the Welsh College of Horticulture.

Address: Close to the North Wales coast, just 12 miles west of Chester and three miles from Mold.

Ambience: The College has one campus just outside Northop. Dating back to the 1950s, the beige and red brick buildings nestle in 225 acres of picturesque grounds, overlooking the Dee Estuary.

Who's the boss? Principal David Jones

Prospectus: 01352 841 000; look at the prospectus here.

what you need to know

Easy to get into? Mature students will be considered without formal qualifications, but younger hopefuls should check the college’s website for more details on specific courses.

Vital statistics: Offers further and higher education courses and work-based learning, plus a wide range of professional short courses and leisure programmes. Student numbers have increased in recent years: there are currently approximately 3,500 full-time and 10,000 part-time students. Keen on sport: facilities include a bowling green, three-hole golf course rugby

Added value: Northop is proud of its commercial horticultural facilities, which it reckons are superior to any land-based college in the UK. Holds the title of Centre of Excellence for Floristry and Production Horticulture. The equine centre has stabling provision for 25 horses, an indoor arena with seating gallery, outdoor riding arena and a cross-country course. An innovative £1.8m Small Animal Care Centre opened in March 2012, boasting stunning viewing areas, an impressive aquarium and over 100 different species of animal, from monkeys to scorpions.

Teaching: A 2005 Estyn inspection awarded a Grade One for land-based studies and a Grade Two for caring and health.

Any accommodation? Please contact the accommodation staff at Glyndwr University.

Cheap to live there? Not bad at all at around £63 per week to live in a shared flat.

Transport links: Flint provides the nearest train station, four miles away. The college itself is just off the A55.

the fun stuff

Nightlife: With Chester some way away, most students retire to the pubs (not clubs) of Mold for a pint of real ale. There's an active students’ union that organises fundraising activities, quiz nights and student balls.

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