Norton Radstock College


History: Initially formed as an institution in the 1940s to cater for the needs of the local mining community. Today the college has evolved into a key training provider in the area with sites in Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Keynsham and Peasedown St John.

Address: The main site is in South Hill Park in Radstock.

Ambience: Semi-rural with a friendly atmosphere and distinct character at all sites.

Who's the boss? Shirley Arayan is principal and chief executive, with a background in industry and local government.

Prospectus: 01761 433 161 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: N81

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Most courses require an interview, and many will require entry qualifications: see their website for more details.

Foundation degrees: Education studies for teaching assistants; health and social care management; management and management systems. Awarded in partnership with Bath Spa University.

Vital statistics: Approximately 1,000 full-time students and 5,000 part-time students.

Added value: Offers a diverse range of vocational courses at all levels. Every year students are involved in overseas trips, fundraising, competitions and local events. Good enrichment programme for full-time students. Work has recently begun on a new £2m teaching blog to replace the outdated North Building.

Teaching: Rated 'satisfactory' over in its most recent Ofsted inspection. Specialises in vocational courses.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college.

Cheap to live there? Not particularly at around £85 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Transport links: The college provides a free bus service from the surrounding area for full-time students. Good access to local bus services and ample free parking at most sites.

Fees: FE fees vary and most students are exempt from paying. Full details are available from the college but only adults aged over 19 can expect to pay around £1,500 for their courses.

Bursaries: Bath Spa University offers up to £1,200 per year to those studying foundation degrees.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There are a few pubs in Radstock but Bath, with its numerous bars, restaurants and clubs, is the closest town just eight miles away. The world-famous Glastonbury Festival takes place just 13 miles down the road in the village of Pilton.

Sporting facilities: Football academy run in partnership with Odd Down FC.

Glittering alumni: None yet, but give it time.