City of Bristol College

City of Bristol College
City of Bristol College
City of Bristol College Logo.jpg
Type Further education
Headteacher Keith Elliott, CBE
Location Ashley Down Road
St George's Road

Students Approx. 30,000
Ages 14–adult

City of Bristol College is one of the largest further education colleges in the UK. Based in Bristol, the College continues to gain national recognition for its work with adults, young people and employers.



  • LSIS Beacon status
  • Member of the 157 Group, which is shaping the future of further education[1]
  • AoC (Association of Colleges) Beacon award for widening participation
  • TQS (Training Quality Standard) status for meeting the needs of employers
  • The Matrix Standard for Information, Advice and Guidance
  • 2010 Ofsted report highlighted the College’s ‘outstanding’ ability to create benefits for learners through partnerships with schools, employers and others

College centres

College Green Centre.
Ashley Down Centre.

The College currently has five centres

  • Ashley Down Centre
  • College Green Centre
  • Parkway Transport Technology Centre
  • Soundwell Centre
  • South Bristol Skills Academy

Other College centres

  • Bridge Learning Campus
  • Orpen Park
  • Skills Centre South West

Vital statistics

City of Bristol College offers over 1,000 courses at all levels for school leavers, adult learners and international students, as well as training packages for employers. Currently catering for more than 30,000 students and employing over 2,000 staff, the College delivers the majority of post-16 education in greater Bristol. A recent Ofsted inspection highlighted its inclusive and welcoming environment.

Student population

School leavers
City of Bristol College offers the widest choice of courses in the area including, Diplomas, AS/A2 Level courses, Apprenticeships and NVQs. Moving on to College offers a bridge between school and university, or school and employment and allows students to gain confidence in a learning environment more akin to the workplace or university. Tuition is free for 16 to 19 year-old EU students.

Adult learners
The College offers numerous and varied part-time courses, ranging from Plumbing to Horticulture and First Aid to Media. There are also flexible courses which allow students to work at their own pace with the support of college tutors. Most part-time courses have a tuition charge (concessionary rates are available).

University level study
These include Foundation Degrees, HNCs and Access to HE in partnership with University of Plymouth, Bath Spa University, University of the West of England, University of Gloucestershire and University of Bristol. Students may study for a third year at university to turn their College qualification into a degree.

International students
Currently there are more than 400 international students from over 50 countries studying at the College. Services designed to help international students include: personal tutors; free immigration and visa support; English language support and advice about living and studying abroad.


City of Bristol College dates back to the merchant venturers in the sixteenth century and has since expanded through a series of mergers. It was formed by the merger of Brunel College with South Bristol College and subsequently also merged with Soundwell College and smaller establishments such as the College of Care and Early Years Education.


College v Casualty
The buildings of the Ashley Down Centre have in the past been used as the exterior set for the BBC television series Casualty, posing as the outside of the Accident & Emergency department of Holby City Hospital. The show used the College to act as Holby City Hospital from 1986 up until 2002, when the series relocated to another Bristol location more in keeping with the buildings used in the sister series Holby City.

Auditions for the first series of E4 drama, Skins, took place at City of Bristol College. Former performing arts student, Mike Bailey, nabbed the role of Sid Jenkins in series one and two.

Louise Brown, was famous even before studying at City of Bristol College as the world's first test-tube baby.


City of Bristol College, our students and ex-students have won many awards, some of which are mentioned below.

  • Ex-Students Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias win Gordon Ramsey’s “Best Restaurant” competition 2010. [2][3]
  • City of Bristol College students triumphed at 2009 Association of Hairdressing and Therapists South West area competition. [4]
  • The winner of the Habia Young Apprentice (YA) of the Year 2009 was Ellie Quirke, from City of Bristol College, who received her award from Patrick Cameron at an awards ceremony held at Hammersmith College, London on Tuesday 23 June 2009. [5]
  • City of Bristol College students triumphed at 2010 WorldSkills UK national final for Hairdressing. [6]
  • Soundwell College students triumphed at RTITB National Junior Mechanic Competition 1987 (and on three other occasions).


External links

Coordinates: 51°27′03″N 2°36′20″W / 51.45091°N 2.60553°W / 51.45091; -2.60553

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