Writtle University College (near Chelmsford, Essex) is one of the largest land based university colleges in the UK; it is also one of the oldest. Set in the Essex countryside on a 220 hectare estate, Writtle, previously known as Writtle College provides FE and HE programmes. It also offers apprenticeships and short courses. Writtle was awarded University College status in May 2016.
The University College is very specialist and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as high quality research for a number of subject areas. Writtle was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in March 2015 and will offer its own degrees, instead of University of Essex, from September 2017.
The University College has diversified to meet the changing demands of new students. There has been major investment in IT and science facilities, with free university college network access for every student resident on campus.
The University College has a focus on quality and continues to increase in UCAS tariff points required for entry. It is popular with the local population, staging community events such as NGS Charity garden open days and offering taster days to schools and colleges.
In 2011, QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) identified the University College’s overarching commitment to student support as a notable feature of best practice, commending its “comprehensive student support system and the demonstrable commitment of staff to the support and enhancement of student learning.” Enhancement was also separately commended as a feature of best practice in its own right, the review observing that: “The University College’s approach to quality enhancement is characterised by a strategic commitment to improve the quality of students’ learning opportunities linked to the University College’s own values and vision.”
The University College is also committed to improving the quality and currency of its programmes by using a significant proportion of teaching staff who are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice. The report of the 2011 QAA audit again identified this aspect of Writtle provision for praise, noting as best practice “the way in which the curriculum is designed, developed and delivered to take advantage of staff research and professional practice.”
Writtle University College was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) by the Privy Council in March 2015. This is a significant milestone in the University College’s history as it has ambitious plans to grow as an institution.
The Guardian University League Tables ranked Writtle College 14th out of 69 for Sports Science in 2015.
The courses that they offer are:
- Animal Sciences and Animal Management
- Art and Design
- Bioveterinary Science
- Global ecosystem Management
- Landscape Architecture and Garden Design
- Sports Cycling and Aerial Performance
- Veterinary Physiotherapy
As entry criteria will vary from course to course, the students are advised to check the specific requirements for the course of their choice. Further details can be viewed on both their website under the course pages and on the UCAS website.
Writtle University College recognises a broad range of academic qualifications including for example, GCE A Levels, Access to HE Diploma, Irish Higher Certificate, Scottish Highers, International and European Baccalaureate, BTEC Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma. They are committed to giving full and fair consideration to all entry qualifications presented. They also consider additional non-academic achievements alongside their personal statement in deciding whether to make an offer.
Academics are leaders in their fields, giving the student the opportunity to contribute to world-class research.
Past students are award winning and staff have a wealth of contacts in their industries.
9 out of 10 graduates go onto employment or further study, according to the latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey*.
Their lecturers work closely with industry to create courses that are relevant to today’s world and meet the modern demands of a fast-paced and changing environment. Their students are more than just a number to them and they take great pride in providing an academic experience that allows them students to flourish and achieve their career ambitions.
Writtle University College’s careers service helps support students to plan for the time after the completion of their course.
Courses at Writtle are designed and delivered with their future employment in mind. Writtle work closely with employers from a range of relevant industrial sectors, achieving accreditation where appropriate; to ensure that what the student learn will have real currency in the workplace.
Career development is built into the academic curriculum for all students, enabling them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to find a rewarding career.
A number of national organisations attended their annual Graduate Careers Fair, which is designed to connect their upcoming graduates with future employers.