South Cheshire College
Sunday 01 May 2011
South Cheshire College
History: The college began in 1843 as the Mechanics' Institution, run by the London and North Western Railway Company. It moved to its current site in 1966, and after several name changes became South Cheshire College in 1982. Following a £74m rebuild, a new campus opened on the same site in September 2010.
Address: Situated on an attractive site in Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe.
Ambience: An award-winning college housed in a former industrial town which is famous for its railway history.
Vital statistics: The college is home to around 6,000 students, 3,000 of whom are full-time. It offers a full range of courses, ranging from A-levels and vocational qualifications to foundation degrees. The majority of students are aged between 16 and 19. University-level courses are in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Chester and Liverpool John Moores.
Added value: Magnificant new campus. There's a 300-seat theatre, six-court sports arena, restaurant, hair and beauty salons, fitness academy, shop, nursery and travel centre. Students use facilities to train during their courses. The college has also developed strong links with many local businesses through its employer engagement programme, which organises student visits, talks by employers and also work placements. In October 2004 the college was awarded Beacon status, and has been named in the Sunday Times' 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
Easy to get into? Varies dependent on course and qualification. Foundation degrees ask for at least one A-level or equivalent. Mature students will be accepted with significant work experience.
Transport links: The college is on most local bus routes and is only a five minute walk from Crewe railway station, where you can hop on trains to pretty much anywhere in the UK. Transport for full-time students under the age of 19 is subsidised.
Who's the boss? Peter Swift, who has worked in further education for over 25 years studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at South Cheshire College in the late 1970s.
Teaching: In 2008 the college received an excellent Ofsted report, gaining outstanding grades in all five areas that were inspected.
Foundation degrees: Graphics and digital medial; business and management; coaching and sports development; complementary therapeutic practice for health and wellbeing; construction and surveying; engineering; enterprise computing; film production and management; hospitality management; public and community services; supporting teaching and learning; travel and tourism management.
Nightlife: There are lots of pubs and bars offering cheap nights out, and the many delights of Manchester aren't far by train.
Any accommodation? None provided by the college, although a student adviser may be able to assist students in looking for private accommodation.
Cheap to live there? Quite. You can grab a room in a shared student house in Crewe for between £60 and £80 per week.
Fees: £1,875 per year for home students studying full-time HE courses starting in 2011. Part-time courses are charged by the module. The college plans to charge £5,000 per year as of 2012.
Bursaries: None offered by the college.
Prospectus: 01270 654 654; www.s-cheshire.ac.uk
UCAS code: S41
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