Sparsholt College Hampshire


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History: In 1899 the country farm school for Hampshire was founded and moved to the current site in 1914. Over the past century or so the College has developed to become one of the country's leading institutions for  rural and land-based education and training, from introductory to degree level. In 2009 Sparsholt College became an associate college of the University of Portsmouth.

Address: A beautiful rural campus in central Hampshire, on the outskirts of Winchester.

Ambience: The original college building is in a purpose-built 1920s style and this now acts as the administration centre. Other modern buildings are spread around the parkland campus, which includes a 450-acre farm, an Equine Centre, Animal Management and Veterinary Nursing Centres, Garden Design Studios, sawmill and timber processing facilities, the National Aquatics Training Centre and a Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre - all invaluable practical and research resources for students.

Who's the boss? Tim Jackson is principal.

Prospectus: 01962 797 280 or view the prospectus online here.

UCAS code: S34

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Not bad. A Level 3 qualification adding up to approximately 140 to 180 UCAS points is required for a foundation degree. Bachelors' degrees ask for between 240 and 280 UCAS points. Candidates are invited to viewing days to discuss their course.

Foundation degrees: Animal management and applied science; arboriculture and tree care; conservation and wildlife management; equine studies; garden design; lowland woodland management; marine ecology and conservation; sport fisheries and aquaculturel; veterinary health studies; veterinary nursing science; zoo resource management.

Vital statistics: Around 1,750 full-time students, 450 of whom are studying at HE level. The college incorporates Andover College, a community college in North Hampshire and is partnered with four other land-based colleges to form Cultiva, the leading national provider of training, education and related services for rural and land-based industries. Courses are validated by the University of Portsmouth.

Added value: With a national reputation in specialist areas the College is renowned for its expertise and industry associations. Sparsholt’s Animal Management and Veterinary Nursing Centre, Fishery Management Department and Conservation and Wildlife Management provision are all renowned centres of vocational excellence and the college has achieved certification in the Training Quality Standard with excellence in Environmental and Land Based Training.

Teaching: A 2009 QAA review had 'confidence' in the College's HE provision.

BSc Degrees: Animal Management, Aquaculture and Fishery Management; Conservation and Wildlife Management; Garden Design, Horticulture and Landscape Practice.

Any accommodation? A partnership with the University of Winchester enables the College’s Higher Education students use of a brand new en-suite residential facility at the University of Winchester. Rents range from approximately £4,900 per year.

Cheap to live there? It depends. Rents can vary between £60 and £100 per week for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: Sophisticated bus transport system from all over Hampshire into the campus. Rail links to nearby Winchester with regular local bus into the campus.

Fees: Vary by course and qualification. £7,800 per year for science-based and field-based programmes and £7,500 for garden design.

Bursaries: Through the National Scholarship Programme, Sparsholt College will make available 20 non-repayable awards, each worth £3,000, to students from England with a declared household income of £25,000 or less and who also satisfy other eligibility criteria. For students who are on household incomes of less than £25,000 but not in receipt of National Scholarship Programme support, a new Sparsholt College Bursary has been introduced to offering a fee waiver of £1,000 and a grant of £500 towards accommodation and/or transport.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Some social activity takes place on the Sparsholt campus, but most students join the NUS at the University of Winchester or the University of Portsmouth and use the facilities and clubs there.  Southampton is also close and accessible for a night out.

Glittering alumni: Horticultural legend Charlie Dimmock; all-time cricket great Wally Hammond. Also home to the BBC Gardeners’ Question Time Potting Shed, the College is renowned for its medal winning achievements at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.