Plymouth College of Art / flickr: Thomas190


History: In 1855, Mr George Jago, master of Plymouth Public Free School, and secretary to the Committee of Plymouth Drawing School wrote to the secretary of the Department of Practical Art in London "in order to initiate the opening of the Plymouth Drawing School".

Address: The college is located on Tavistock Place, right in the heart of the city, near the university, library, and transport links. The Regent Building and Studio 11 are based across the road on Regent Street.

Ambience: Close to the coast, a picturesque fishing town surrounded by the Cornish landscape. Young and buzzing. Students have greatly benefited from the rebuilding that has taken place. The college likes to see itself as possessing a special kind of environment that is very conducive to the work of artists, designers and makers.

Who's the boss? Professor Andrew Brewerton took up his role as principal in August 2010.

Prospectus: 01752 203 434, order it online here and follow @plymouthart.

UCAS code: P65

What you need to know

Easy to get into? The strength of your portfolio is paramount. Expect to be interviewed and asked to demonstrate your 'creative abilities'. Applicants for foundation degrees should have a BTEC national diploma or advanced VCE in a related subject, a National Diploma in foundation studies or several relevant A-level passes. Applicants for BA (Hons) final year degrees should already have obtained a foundation degree or higher national diploma, or have completed the second year of a degree in a related area.

Foundation degrees: Photography; illustration; graphic design; fine art practices; film arts; fashion; design for games; contemporary crafts; animation arts. Courses are approved by the Open University.

Vital statistics: There are roughly 1,500 students, the majority of whom are full-time. They study a very wide range of courses that includes all types of design, graphics, photography, painting, fine art and fashion.

Added value: Artists will feel inspired by the stunning coastline around Plymouth, and several beaches are within easy reach of town in the event of a heat wave.

Transport links: Good as the college is so central. By road there are direct links to London and Central England via the M5 and A38 Devon Expressway.

Teaching: The College is a member of the National Arts Learning Network. This is a creative arts network which brings together the country's leading art colleges with the aim of increasing the range of courses and progression opportunities for students.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college but there are a large amount of rental properties available in the city, many of which are within walking distance of the college.

Cheap to live there? Yes - private rents in Plymouth were around £70 to £80 per week last year.

Fees: £9,000 per year for full-time home and overseas undergrads.

Bursaries: A college bursary of up to £2,906 per year is available to students in receipt of a maintenance grant.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Plymouth has a student population of around 30,000, so the nightlife is pretty good. The college also has an active students' union, which organises a variety of social activities, enabling students from different programmes to get to know each other. Regular gigs at Plymouth Pavilion and great pubs on the waterfront.

Sporting reputation: Known for art, not sport, but if you like both there's a range of sports teams to join.

Glittering alumni: Charles Dance, actor; Stephana Attard, BBC producer and Bafta winner; Candice Farmer, underwater photographer; Zowie Broach, fashion designer and co-founder of Boudicca fashion label; Jim Bott, comic illustrator and design manager for Marvel Comics; Harry Borden, photographer.