Ravensbourne (formerly the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication) is a university sector college in the field of digital media and design, with a vocationally focused portfolio of courses, spanning fashion, television and broadcasting, interactive product design, architecture and environment design, graphic design, animation, moving image, music production for media and sound design.
Ravensbourne, which was formerly Bromley Technical College, was opened in 1959 by the amalgamation of the Bromley School of Art and the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art. It was originally located at Bromley Common and Chislehurst in outer London before moving to a new purpose-built campus in inner London on the Greenwich Peninsula in September 2010.
The Bromley School of Art opened in 1878 in Tweedy Road, Bromley. It became Bromley College of Art after the second world war. In 1959 it merged with the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art and in 1965 moved to purpose-built accommodation on Rookery Lane, Bromley Common. The site had originally housed the Rookery, an 18th-century house that had been burnt out while in military occupation in 1946. As the college expanded it was unable to develop the Rookery Lane site any further, as it was part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. Limitations to space had already resulted in Foundation courses being housed in temporary buildings in the grounds around the main building.
It has offered higher level courses in design since the 1960s. In 1985 the Broadcasting department joined, replacing Fine Arts. It was amongst the earliest of institutions to be approved by the then CNAA to convert the traditional Diploma programmes in Art and Design into honours degrees during the 1970s. Following the demise of the CNAA in 1992, Ravensbourne entered into a validating partnership with the Royal College of Art, which agreed exceptionally to take this responsibility because of the institution’s strong reputation and longstanding links with the RCA. This validation ceased when the Royal College of Art withdrew from offering collaborative provision. In April 2010, following a re-branding programme and in anticipation of the college’s relocation, it shortened its name from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to simply ‘Ravensbourne’.
Ravensbourne was recognised previously as an affiliate College of the University of Sussex in 1996 and was re-recognised in 2002. Between 2009 and 2012 the institution’s undergraduate and postgraduate provision was validated by City University, London. This relationship was maintained until May 2012, when both parties agreed to withdraw from the validating partnership in order to pursue their respective academic strategies. In June 2013, the new validation partner, University of the Arts London was confirmed.
Ravensbourne offers Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Further Education programmes taught in a single faculty with two main clusters of courses, Design and Production.
At undergraduate level, there are Foundation degrees, honours degree level top-up years (for those having completed foundation degrees or equivalent), and Bachelor’s degrees. A number of these bachelor’s degrees also offer a “Level 0” programme. The available postgraduate provision consists of 14 Master’s level courses, each of which can be studied to MA, MDes or MSc (dependent on subject). A range of subject areas are offered within the main disciplines of fashion, design and broadcasting.
Ravensbourne students have achieved success in national competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts Design Awards (RSA), British Design in Art Direction Awards (D&AD), New Designers Awards, Graduate Fashion Week Awards and Promax Awards.
Within the area of Further Education, Ravensbourne offers the Diploma in Foundation Studies for both Art & Design and Media, as well as the BTEC National Certificate in Art and Design.
Ravensbourne enjoys strong relationships with the creative industries to which it relates. The College’s students are over-represented in its success rate for national prizes, competitions and awards and its graduates are highly employable. Many undergraduate students also progress to postgraduate courses at highly reputable institutions such as Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art.
Entry Standards vary from course to course at Ravensbourne.
International students must have a certain level of proficiency in the English language.
Ravensbourne prides itself on its industry connections which give students access to real-world experiences and partnerships. Its location, next to the O2 Arena, also makes it ideally placed for access to media creatives and locations.
Furthermore, several of the staff themselves have come from working for some of the biggest names in the media, including Walt Disney Studios and the BBC.
95.3% of graduates from Ravensbourne are employed within six months of graduation. There is an industry project and events programme which is designed to encourage collaboration between students, industry partners and potential employers. For example, Marks and Spencer’s sets a project for the 2nd year BA (Hons) Design Products students – the winner of the project wins a six month paid placement at M&S.
Ravensbourne specialises in media and production qualifications, and has been ranked very highly for Art and Design in the UK, Europe and the World.
Many of the staff at Ravensbourne are still professionally involved in their respective industries.
The Careers and Industry Liason Team at Ravensbourne offer students both past and present careers advice.
Ravensbourne’s excellent industry links also present the opportunity for students to organise work placements.
After graduation, the “incubation” service can offer business support to develop their own start-up company.