South and City college / Ell Brown


History: South and City was established in 2012, after a merger between South Birmingham college and City.

Address: There are four main sites in the southern area of Birmingham - Bordesley Green, Digbeth, Hall Green, Balsall Heath - with each specialising in specific courses.

Ambience: With over 25,000 enrolments each year, the colllege is the largest in Birmingham with nine different campuses. It puts on an increasing variety of professional, vocational and academic courses. Many of its buildings are new or have been recently refurbished.

Who's the boss? Mike Hopkins, Principal.

Prospectus: 0121 694 5000; have a look at the courses they now offer here.

UCAS code: S29

what you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies between courses. For a foundation degree, you'll need at least 80 UCAS points (one A-level pass or equivalent). HND in media communication and production asks for 120 UCAS points. Students applying for any of the music courses will be required to undertake an audition. Mature candidates should have some appropriate work experience.

Foundation Degrees: Early years and information communication technology. HNDs are offered in media communication and production, popular music practice and business management.

Vital statistics: You can study full-time or part-time, during the day, in the evenings or at weekends. More than 450 students are on higher education courses.

Added value: Higher Education courses are offered in conjunction with the Birmingham City University. Students studying at the college will be recognised as members of the university and will have access to all its facilities. The college also has close links with local employers and has recently achieved the new National Training Quality Standard for childcare, care and construction, and was the first college in Birmingham to achieve the Goverment's Customer Excellence Award.

Teaching: The vast majority of all students who enrolled at the College last year finished their courses and gained their chosen qualifications. With the highest overall success range of any college in the city in 2010 you can be assured that you will be in good hands.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college.

Cheap to live there? Not too bad. Rents go from £65 to £80 for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: All of the college sites are situated on regular bus routes making it easy to travel across Birmingham and between college sites.

Fees: For full-time students the cost of a course is £4,500.

the fun stuff

Nightlife: When you're not studying, there is plenty in Birmingham to keep you occupied. The city centre is host to numerous cinemas and theatres - from the recently-refurbished Hippodrome (home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet) to the Crescent (smaller shows, including amateur productions). If you fancy some live music, you'll find venues of every size catering to every musical taste. The NEC (National Exhibition Centre) regularly hosts rock and pop concerts featuring internationally-known artists, while the more intimate Carling Academy often showcases emerging talents.

Sporting reputation: With the merger the college is now so large there are plenty of options for the active-minded among you. The college's partnership with Birmingham City University means that students also have access to its £8 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre.

Glittering alumni: Joanne Malin, local newsreader.