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Welcome to Weston College
There are just over 800 students in higher education at Weston College, making this a good choice for those looking for a friendly, less-crowded university experience. The college is made up of four sites (three campuses and the Equine and Animal Centre), and offers qualifications in further education and higher education.
The degree-level courses offered by Weston College - in partnership with Bath Spa University and University of West of England (UWE) - provide vocational qualifications with a strong element of work-based learning. 22% of Weston College students graduate with First Class Honours, significantly above the national average.
In line with its commitment to vocational learning the University Centre has close links with employers and states that 93% of students secure employment or further training within six months of completing their degree.
It’s based in Weston-super-Mare, a well-connected, traditional seaside town, with the long, sandy beach a big attraction. Students living here enjoy the convenience of living in a compact town, where everything is close-at-hand. The town has good transport connections with direct trains to London Paddington, Bristol, Bath, Taunton and Cardiff. It is also only 15 miles from Bristol Airport, from where a number of low-cost airlines fly.
Courses and fees
Weston College courses and fees
Weston College specialises in offering a select number of vocational foundation degrees and Higher Nationals (HNs). There are 24 foundation degrees and two HNC/Ds on offer, all of which include a section of work experience or live projects. The foundation degrees typically last two years but students then have the option of an additional year of study, either at Weston College or at either of the partner universities, to ‘top-up’ to a full Honours degree. HNs are typically studied on a part-time basis with employer support, and can take up to four years to complete.
The entry requirements vary depending on the course that you are looking to study. For each course there will be a specific UCAS points tariff or grade profile required, for some courses there may be additional requirements such as a portfolio of work for graphic design. Depending on the course applicants may also be invited to interview and required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application. International students are required to have an English Language qualification equivalent to an IELTS at level 6.0.
Specific details about course entry requirements can be found on the Weston College site.
Costs for foundation degrees, HNs and Honours top-ups degrees vary between £6,000 - £7,500 per year for UK and EU undergraduate students. Specific costs can be found on Weston College’s course page.
Fees for international students vary depending on the course being taken and who the university partner is for the course. International students are recommended to contact the admissions team at Weston College to confirm the fees for an individual course.
Bursaries and scholarships
Bursaries are available from Weston College's partner universities, through the regular Student Finance application process for those that have applied for the maintenance loan. These applications are assessed based on household income. For more information take a look at the Student Finance Zone on The Student Room.
Scholarships are also available to:
- Local students
- Students that have completed a Level 3 course at Weston College
- Students that have achieved ABB in their A Levels or DDM in their BTEC Extended Diploma
- Part-time students
Recognising excellence is also important, and Weston College award awards one first year student each year the Principal's scholarship, which recognises outstanding achievement.
Helping to protect students, there is also a system in place for emergency loans should students find themselves in financial difficulty. These typically come into play if there has been a problem or delay with a student’s loan. An amount of up to £250 is available. If you are eligible it will be provided on a short-term, interest-free basis.
Weston College facilities
The college has invested a substantial amount, more than £40 million in fact, into developing their facilities across their three campuses, the University Campus, University Centre at Knightstone Campus and engineering centre at South West Skills Campus, to provide modern, high-quality facilities for their students.
Weston College’s Higher Education team HEART provides a support service for all degree-level students. It is available Monday to Friday at both the Knightstone Campus and the University Campus. The staff can help and advise students on issues related to finance, accommodation, disability support and careers but the HE team is also there as a first port-of-call for any other issues, support or just a chat.
The Knightstone Campus
You'll find the Knightstone campus perfectly located; on the seafront and in the town centre. The impressively modern facilities here include computer suites, open-access work areas, teaching and social areas.
Those at Knightstone will also get the added value of the fitness suite, hair and beauty salons as well as use of the Bistro and Grove restaurant.
The University Campus
Based 15 minutes from the town centre by bus, and only 10 minutes walk to the beach, University Campus hosts students on particularly creative courses, including those studying art, design, media and music degrees.
Not only does the campus have specialist studios for you to work in, it also houses Bath Spa University Gallery, which shows off student's work alongside local and national artists.
South West Skills Campus
The South West Skills Campus, situated on Locking Road is home to our brand new engineering facilities, including extensive workshops, composite technology, CAD/CAM suites and 3D prototyping, hydraulics, pneumatics and PLC labs, and materials science labs. This campus is a short bus ride from the town centre, and only a 5 minute walk from Weston Milton train station, which is on the main line from Bristol.
Library, study & IT facilities
There are three libraries at Weston College, one on each campus. The millions of pounds invested in the facilities have created modern, colourful places to settle down to work. Students have access to more than 40,000 books, journals and multimedia resources as well as a free-of-charge database of more than 700 journal titles.
Wireless internet is also readily available across the two campuses, with over 1,400 PCs and Apple Macs for you to make the most of, which include all the specialist software you'll need for your course. There is also a selection of equipment that can be loaned out including digital cameras, video cameras, audio recorders, Kindles, laptops and iPads.
Students are encouraged to use the libraries as stimulating, creative places to think and discuss. For times when some peace and quiet is needed, there are individual and group study rooms available.
The opening times are as follows: University Campus Library – Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, Knightstone Campus Library – Mon-Thu, 9am – 8pm, Fri, 9am-5pm.
There is a virtual tour of the University Campus library here.
In 2014 Weston College won the ‘Best National Practice Award’ for its TechGenius service (The Council for Learning Services in College (ColRiC)). This service enables computing students to gain practical work experience whilst helping others. Learning mentors are also in place to provide students with extra support either individually, in small groups or even with an entire class where appropriate. Further support is available through its 24/7 virtual learning tool.
Art and design students are spoilt, with studios that provide each butting artist with their own individual work station and display area, to be used throughout the whole year. As well as this, you'll have access to three darkrooms and digital facilities, meaning everything you need to get those creative ideas turned into reality, can be found here.
Wessex Academy of Performing Arts
Opened in 2012 by renowned actor Steven Berkoff, the College’s Performing Arts Centre has recently undergone a £1 million refurbishment providing students with state-of-the-art rehearsal and performance rooms, dance studios with fully-sprung floor, contextual studies classroom and a common room. Students wishing to perform (or direct) for live crowds frequently make use of the town's Blakehay Theatre, a working theatre open to the public.
As a music student, you'll be exposed to professional recordings, concerts, gigs and live streamed performances within the music wing at University Campus. These studios and rehearsal rooms give the opportunity to be involved in both the professional and commercial aspects of music.
Welfare and financial aid
Students with a disability or learning difficulty may be eligible for a Disabled Student Allowance. Funding is provided for support tools or resources that can help a student living with a disability. The HE team is also available to help source additional support that students with a disability or learning support needs may require. For students on the autism spectrum there is an Autism Specialist Support Instructor in place who can help with issues relating to the transition to University and help arrange study support. There is also a dedicated HE Mental Health and Wellbeing support instructor who is available to all students.
Weston College provides guaranteed accommodation all year round for students who have formerly been in care. The college also provides extra personal and financial support for care leavers and has received the Buttle UK Quality Mark for its support to ‘Looked After Children and Care Leavers in Further and Higher Education’.
A counselling service can be accessed by all students. The team of counsellors are there to provide a safe and confidential place where students can talk through any issues affecting them, which can include anxiety and stress, grief, addictions, relationship issues or worries related to studies. Appointments can be booked directly at reception on each of the campuses.
All students have access to careers advice during their time at Weston College. The HE team provides the careers advice service supported by qualified careers advisors from the National Careers Service.
Workshops and events are organised by the HE team throughout the year, including a dedicated Employability Week with guest speakers and drop-in sessions. The team provide students with help on the practical aspects of job hunting such as interview techniques and CV writing. The college states that 93% of students secured graduate employment within six months of completing their degrees. The HE team also provides information on graduate schemes, internships and part-time jobs.
The fitness centre is free to all degree students at Weston College, so there really is no excuse not to make the most of the cardio machines, weights and sports hall for indoor sports. If you're not scared of heights, you can also make the most of the indoor climbing wall.
Students at Weston College are advised to register with a local GP at the beginning of their studies. The HE welfare team on site has healthcare assistants who can help students locate the services needed including GP practices, NHS dentists, travel clinics, family planning centres and local pharmacies. The Weston General Hospital is located in the Uphill area of town and includes an A&E department.
There are a small number of international students at Weston College. To help with the period of transition and cultural adjustments, international students are invited to join familiarisation tours of the local area. The HE team is on hand to help with any queries from international students such as issues relating to visas, or finances. International students are given priority for student accommodation.
Places to eat
The Bistros on Knightstone campus and South West Skills Campus and Loxton's Refectory on the University campus provide food, drinks and a place to take a break, Monday to Friday during term time. Knightstone Campus is also home to the stylish restaurant, The Grove, which serves the public with food served by Weston College's hospitality students.
You'll also find a handy Costa Coffee at all campuses, great for a social catch up or if you need a little extra caffeine for that upcoming deadline!
Weston College accommodation
Student accommodation at Weston College comes in the form of houses and flats. There are 83 rooms available which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to students from outside Weston-super-Mare who have Weston College as their first choice, as well as those with disabilities needing a specific room or property type. Care leavers can also move into a property earlier than the usual tenancy, if needed.
The HE team on campus is responsible for allocating student accommodation. It can help students who prefer to privately rent, as well as second and third year students looking for accommodation.
The university houses and flats are centrally located within walking distance of Knightstone Campus. You will need to jump on a bus to reach the University Campus and South West Skills Campus. The majority of the university accommodation is made up of standard rooms with shared kitchen and bathrooms, although there are 26 en suite rooms available. The rooms are fully furnished and cost between £96-£131/week, this includes utility bills and internet. The HE team also facilitates termly house meetings for university accommodation to chat through any issues that might have cropped up.
You can take a look at your options through 360 tours on the Weston College website.
Birnbeck is more like a traditional hall of residence with 27 rooms available. The hall provides students with a communal lounge and games room as well as shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, although there are also some en suite rooms here. There is a bus stop directly outside to get to and from the University Campus and it is only a 15-minute walk from the Knightstone Campus and the town centre. Birnbeck is great for parties and socialising due to its size, although it does sit within a quiet residential area. Making sure that doors are closed to keep the noise in, both students and local residents will get on fine.
Madeira Cove is centrally located only five minutes from town and the closest accommodation to the Knightstone Campus, only five minutes away. There is a bus to the University Campus with a five minute walk at the other end. Madeira Cove is over the road from the beach, so you get fantastic sunsets and it’s great for hanging out in the summer. There are four shared bathrooms, three kitchens and a communal lounge. There are also four parking spaces.
This hall of residence is for those who want a slightly quieter uni experience. The hall is made up of six flats, each with two or three double bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen. Typically this accommodation is prioritised for students living with certain disabilities which means there are second and third year students as well as first years living here. It’s right on the seafront, so students get some lovely sea views into the bargain. It is a 10-minute walk to the centre of town and to the Knightstone Campus and students can easily reach the University Campus from a nearby bus stop. There are a few parking spaces.
Walliscote Road is a recently refurbished 14 bedroom house close to the seafront, within walking distance of the Knightstone Campus and on the main bus route to University Campus. It has shared kitchens, two living rooms and a variety of bedrooms, some of which are ensuite.
Weston College open days
Weston College holds a number of open evenings and days throughout the year, some of which are dedicated to degree-level only prospective students. Prospective students get the opportunity to meet with course coordinators and can sometimes attend an interactive session, giving a feel for what to expect from the course. Student ambassadors are also on hand to explain what student life is like at Weston. Prospective students that would like to see the student accommodation should attend a full open day where accommodation tours are also on offer.
As well as open days, you can also get a feel for doing a degree at an Annual Taster Day which happens towards the end of October. This is a great opportunity to try subjects out, building a portfolio and another great addition to your UCAS application.
Once you've made your applications, there are also a number of post-application orientation days in the spring, helping students make a decision on their offers.
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