History: There has been an educational establishment on the Cranford Avenue site since 1862. Weymouth Grammar School became a teacher-training college in 1946, then the Dorset Institute of Higher Education 20 years later. In 1985 the site was taken over by South Dorset Technical College and renamed Weymouth College.

Address: The recently re-developed site at Cranford Avenue is a stone's throw from the beach and 10 minutes walk from high street shops, banks, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs.

Ambience: Weymouth Bay is one of the finest landscapes on the south coast. The Jurassic coastline, Hardy country, stone masonry, conservation areas, the marine environment, and the newly established sailing academy are all close by.

Who's the boss? Sue Moore is principal.

Prospectus: 01305 761 100 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: Applications are made through their partner institutions: University of Plymouth (P60); Bournemouth University (B50); University of Bath (B16).

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Yes - keen on widening participation.

Foundation degrees: Forensic science; commercial video with multimedia; applied architectural stonework and conservation; early years; public services; actor training for theatre and media performance; sport (health and fitness).

Vital statistics: More than 7,000 students. The college has fostered close links with local employers and is a leading influence in the working community. A partner of the University of Bath, Bournemouth University and the University of Plymouth.

Added value: Facilities have been enhanced with investment in state-of-the-art facilities. The college has an ICT centre, HE centre (with common room, computers and study area), a professional theatre and art studio, music and media centres and extensive sports facilities. A professional masonry centre was built after the college was awarded CoVE status for its stonemasonry courses.

Teaching: Acheived an overall rating of 'satisfactory' in a 2010 inspection by Ofsted. Engineering, hairdressing and beauty therapy, visual arts and media, and literacy and numeracy were all graded as 'good'.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college but they will help you find somewhere to stay nearby, be it a self-catered flat or a room in a family home.

Cheap to live there? Not bad - a room in a shared flat in Weymouth will set you back around £75 to £85 per week.

Transport links: Ferry links make France close enough for day visits and Bournemouth International Airport provides routes to many UK and European cities. London is less than three hours by train.

Fees: Depending on the course chosen, foundation degrees cost £1,500 to £3,000 per year.

Bursaries: May be available through partner universities.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Entertainment galore as you may expect from a seaside resort. There's a theatre; a multi-screen cinema; nightclubs; wine bars and pubs, many with live entertainment.

Sporting facilities: Two fitness suites, outdoor pitches and a sports hall. Hosted the sailing events for the 2012 Olympics.

Glittering alumni: Mark Hix, chef and columnist for The Independent.