Gloucestershire College

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Gloucestershire College
Type College of further and higher education
Principal Matthew Burgess
Chair Graham Ripley
Location Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean
United Kingdom
Students 14,000 full and part-time
Gender Mixed
Ages 16–99
Website Gloucestershire College
Gloucestershire College, from the docks

Gloucestershire College abbreviated GC or Gloscol is a college of further and higher education in the county of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.[1]

It offers a range of education and training programmes, which include:

  • GCSEs
  • Vocational qualifications
  • Apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships
  • Basic skills courses
  • Higher education
  • Short courses for businesses
  • Part-time and evening courses
  • English for overseas students

The College is the leading provider of apprenticeships in Gloucestershire and was awarded the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year in 2012.

Provision for A levels was removed for new entrants in 2017, due to low application levels.

The latest OFSTED inspection in 2013 rated Gloucestershire College "good" with "outstanding" features. Its Visual Arts department was also graded "outstanding".


In 1969, the two branches of Gloucestershire College of Art in Cheltenham and Stroud amalgamated with the Gloucester City College of Art to form the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design (GCAD).

Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology was formed in 1980 from the merger of four county (Local Education Authority) colleges, Gloucestershire College of Education, Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Gloucester City College of Technology, and North Gloucestershire College of Technology.[2] In 1990 GlosCAT divided its provision forming a separate Higher Education Trust to go forward with a separate merger to become Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education and then the University of Gloucestershire.[2][3] It maintained the remaining part as a Local Authority institution, which became a Further Education Corporation.

In early 2011 Gloucestershire College merged with the former Royal Forest of Dean College and thus acquired the sites of the college to safeguard the provision of further education in the region.[4]

A 10-year Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the University of Gloucestershire's Vice Chancellor and the Principals of Gloucestershire College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College to support access to higher education locally in Gloucestershire.[5]


Gloucestershire College has three main campuses at large purpose-built facilities in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean. Its dedicated GC Business Hub, which works exclusively to bring skills, people and businesses together, is based at Alexandra Warehouse in Gloucester.

Cheltenham Campus[edit]

Cheltenham Campus, situated on Princess Elizabeth Way, is home to Cheltenham Fashion Academy; the commercial Food Central Cheltenham Restaurant and GC Gym; a Starbucks coffee shop; Tinies nursery; a new library; new purpose-built construction and building services workshops; and the international student hub.

Courses available in Cheltenham include Apprenticeships; Catering and Hospitality; Construction and Building Services; Counselling; ESOL, EFL and CELTA; Fashion; Independent Living; Early Years; IT and Computing; Languages; Sport; and Teacher Training.

Gloucester Campus[edit]

Gloucester Campus relocated to a brownfield site within Gloucester Docks in 2007 and the new building, situated on Llanthony Road, won the Civic Trust Award for Best Climate Friendly Scheme in July 2008.

The campus is home to a purpose-built Construction Street; Taylor Theatre; a commercial salon and spa; a Starbucks coffee shop; Tinies nursery; dance, TV, photography and recording studios; an Enterprise Lab; purpose-built flight room; sports hall; modern library; and large workshops for engineering, construction and motor vehicle.

Courses available in Gloucester include Apprenticeships; Arts, Media, Music and Performing Arts; Business, Administration, Management and Finance; Construction and Building Services; Counselling; Engineering; ESOL; Hairdressing, Beauty and Holistic Therapies; Health, Care and Early Years; IT and Computing; Motor Vehicle; Sport and Public Services; Teacher Training and Education; and Travel and Tourism.

Royal Forest of Dean Campus[edit]

The Royal Forest of Dean Campus is set in a rural location at Five Acres in Coleford and is home to new purpose-built Construction and Building Services workshops; Little Stars Nursery; a modern library; a bistro and dining room; the commercial Beechwood Restaurant; Forest Theatre; fitness centre; the Outdoor Education Academy and recording studios.

Courses available include Apprenticeships; Arts, Media, Music and Performing Arts; Catering and Hospitality; Construction and Building Services; Counselling; Finance; Independent Living; Hairdressing, Beauty and Holistic Therapies; Health, Care and Early Years; IT and Computing; Sport and Outdoor Education; and Teacher Training and Education.


The college caters mainly for the 16–18 age group.[6] It also offers higher education up to and including HND, HNC and Foundation Degree levels, NVQ Level 4 and higher apprenticeships.

There are approximately 4,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students enrolled at Gloucestershire College.


Gloucestershire College has formed strategic partnerships with the University of Gloucestershire, the University of the West of England and Birmingham City University to offer a range of foundation degrees, including Early Years Studies; Health and Complementary Therapies; Public Services; Salon Management; Therapeutic Counselling; Electronic and Computer Engineering; and Health and Social Care.


  1. ^ Gloscol web site
  2. ^ a b Timeline of educational development over two centuries from University of Gloucestershire web site
  3. ^ University of Gloucestershire, 'Service of Thanksgiving' publication on attainment of University title, 30 April 2002, held in Gloucester Cathedral, pages 5-7
  4. ^ "Statutory Instrument". UK Government. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "New deal ignites a revolution in higher education" Gloucestershire Echo and ThisisGloucestershire, 8 February 2013
  6. ^ Statement from the Chair of the Board Of Governors