Rotherham College of Arts and Technology


History: The college has been the main provider of technical education in Rotherham since the 1930s. In 1981, three individual colleges of arts, technology and adult education were merged into one. The college has recently expanded, merging with Rother Valley College in August 2004.

Address: Two sites in south Yorkshire – the Town Centre Campus in Rotherham and the Rother Valley Campus in Dinnington. The college also has various community venues elsewhere in the Rotherham area.

Ambience: Thousands of students pass through Rotherham College of Arts and Technology each year. However, the emphasis is still on providing for the local community's educational needs and it remains primarily a further education college, offering vocational qualifications in a wide range of subjects. A good sense of community spirit, with involvement in local charitable projects.

Who's the boss? Gill Alton is principal.

Prospectus: 0808 0722 777 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: R52

What you need to know

Easy to get into? With such a massive number of courses at various levels, entry requirements differ depending on the course. See their website for more details.

Foundation degrees: Drama; music; graphic design; integrated engineering.

Vital statistics: Almost 15,000 students studying 2,312 courses. Rotherham is an associate college of Sheffield Hallam University and Huddersfield University and has a diverse HE portfolio which includes HNDs, HNCs and Level 4 professional qualifications.

Added value: Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status in four areas. Cisco and Microsoft ICT Academies. Partnership with local radio station Hallam FM, which has endorsed the radio development course. The £7m Wentworth Building at the Town Centre campus was opened by the Duke of York in March 2012.

Teaching: A 2012 Ofsted report deemed the college's overall provision to be 'satisfactory'. In the same inspection engineering and visual and performing arts were graded 'good'. No recent inspections by the QAA. In 2009 the QAA said it had confidence in the college's provision, and identified good practice in the way "the extensive involvement of external practitioners in the design and delivery of higher education programmes significantly aids students' career development".

Any accommodation? None provided by the college.

Cheap to live there? Yes - a room in a shared flat will cost you between £60 and £80 per week.

Transport links: Sheffield is on the doorstep. The Rotherham interchange near the Town Centre Campus combines bus station, taxi rank and multi-story car park, with easy links to the Rother Valley Campus.

Fees: Range up to £5,990 per year depending on the course taken.

Bursaries: No specific bursaries but the college does have a fund to assist students in hardship already in receipt of government finance.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Rotherham has a good selection of clubs and pubs with the added bonus of Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley not being too far away for a change of scene. Rotherham has one other claim to fame – Pulp played their first gig in Rotherham's Arts Centre way back in July 1980.

Sporting facilities: None on-site but local gyms in the area.

Glittering alumni: Sean Bean, actor; Peter Elliot, athlete.

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