Wiltshire College

 

History: Wiltshire College started life in 2000 as three separate colleges: the Technical Colleges at Chippenham and Trowbridge and the Agricultural College at Lackham. In January 2008, Salisbury College merged with Wiltshire College to form the Wiltshire College of today.

Address: Four main campuses. Chippenham, Lackham, Salisbury and Trowbridge.

Ambience: The Lackham campus is set in a picturesque 860-hectare estate bordering the River Avon on the outskirts of historic Lacock village. The campus at Chippenham is adjacent to open parkland and the Olympiad sports centre, close to the town centre and opposite the railway station. Trowbridge campus is situated in a largely residential area on the outskirts of town, a 25-minute drive from Bath. Salisbury campus is at the heart of the beautiful cathedral city, surrounded by excellent shopping, cafes, entertainment venues and nightlife.

Who's the boss? Diane Dale is principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 01249 766241, request/download one here and follow @WiltsColl.

UCAS code: W74

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Easy to get into? Entry requirements vary widely dependent on course. Some foundation degrees are available to study straight from GCSE, whereas others require a Level 3 qualification.

Foundation Degrees: Animal science and management; applied art and design; applied computing; humanistic counselling; rural environmental management; creative digital media; early childhood studies; motorsport engineering; education studies for teaching assistants.

Vital statistics: More than 3,300 full-time and 6,000 part-time students studying more than 900 courses. Foundation degree and degree courses are validated by University of Bath, Royal Agricultural College, Bath Spa University, UWE Bristol, the University of Greenwich and Bournemouth University.

Added value: Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) in digital and broadcast Media, and plumbing and related studies. The college has a strong relationship with the local business community through Wiltshire Enterprise, their training division. Its motorsport engineering courses are delivered at specialist facilities at the Castle Combe race circuit.

Teaching: A 2007 Ofsted inspection found the college to be 'satisfactory overall', with the quality of provision being deemed 'good'. The QAA earlier this year confirmed that confidence could be placed in the college's higher education provision.

Any accommodation? Yes. Last year, students over 18 paid between £93 and £125 per week. 16 to 18-year-olds were charged £116 per week (half board only). No on-site accommodation at Chippenham or Trowbridge but customer services can advise on local landlords.

Cheap to live there? The cost of sharing a house in Wiltshire starts at around £70 per person per week.

Transport links: Trains from Chippenham station take 80 minutes to London, while those from Trowbridge take two hours. Salisbury has excellent train links to London (90 minutes) and the South Coast. The A350 links Lackham and Chippenham to the M4 with the cities of Bath and Bristol only a half hour journey away. Buses and trains are frequent and reliable.

Fees: Vary for FE courses, with many students being exempt from paying. Since 2012, the college has been charging £4,500 per year for its HNCs and HNDs, £7,500 per year for its foundation degrees and degree programmes.

Bursaries: For students on a Wiltshire College HE course, £1,500 is available to those with a household income of up to £25,000 per year, or £750 to those with an income between £25,001 and £50,020. Students on university-franchised courses are able to apply for bursaries through these institutions.

THE FUN STUFF

Nightlife: Many students at Lackham live on site, which has its own bar, fitness facilities and special events organised throughout the year. Salisbury also has on-site city centre halls of residence and plenty of pubs, clubs and food options as well as music and comedy venues and a cinema. Chippenham and Trowbridge town centres have restaurants, bars, clubs and cinemas and Bath and Swindon are a short drive, train or bus ride away for even more.

Sporting reputation: Students have access to the college's fitness centres, each centre is well-equipped and both full and part-time learners can make use of the facilities free of charge. There are also sports hall, including volleyball, basketball, netball, short tennis, badminton, five-a-side football and indoor hockey.

Glittering alumni: Jazz musician Jamie Cullum; footballer Lewis Haldane; agricultural journalist Mick Roberts.

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