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Welcome to Plumpton College

Welcome to Plumpton College, we are a specialist Land-based College offering courses to school students and to those who have finished their GCSE's. The College was established in 1926 and now offers a wide range of land-based courses in various areas including:

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Machinery
  • Forestry
  • Animal care
  • Equine
  • Game
  • Fisheries
  • Countryside
  • Outdoor Education

About us

Plumpton College have been successfully delivering a range of land-based vocational programmes across Sussex through our main site in Plumpton, as well as our Ivyland centre in Netherfield, Stanmer Park site in Brighton and the Woodland centre in Flimwell.

We offer vocational courses for 14-16 years old as a day release from school, post school (Further Education 16+) courses from Entry to Level 3,  apprenticeships in various subject areas, which give you the opportunity to learn on the job with an employer, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money at the same time and post College (18+) Higher Education Degree programmes. We also have programmes for young people who have had difficulty in learning at school.

The vocational courses are only part of what makes Plumpton College such a great place to study. We are a relatively small, friendly College where you will make new friends, learn new skills and have lots of fun, whilst receiving all the help and support you may need – from financial advice to the guidance of a Course Leader, and, should you need it, additional support from the Learning Support team. Your Course Leader is there to ensure that you make a good transition from school to College and that you get all the help you need to make a success of your course.

The College is situated in the centre of a 900 hectare estate which offers excellent teaching facilties including:

The Commercial Farm:

The farm carries 300 dairy cattle, 600 ewes, 130 sows, 35 beef cattle and a wide range of crops and grassland.

The College manages a further 50 hectares across Sussex. A brand new dairy unit and associated processing facilities complements your studies.

Equine yards:

Two well-equipped equine yards with two indoor riding schools, an outdoor ménage, horse walker, mechanical horse, a cross-country course and extensive riding facilities on the College estate give an ideal range of resources for your studies.

Animal care and veterinary nursing unit:

The unit houses a wide range of animals and a specific veterinary nursing teaching facility.

Outdoor training resources:

The College estate and surrounding area offers excellent facilities and a wide range of activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, hill-walking and climbing. The College’s Outdoor Centre in the heart of Snowdonia provides excellent opportunities to develop your outdoor studies. 

Forestry and woodland:

There is extensive woodland both on the College’s estate and close to the College to provide an excellent resource base for those studying in this area.

Countryside and Environment:

A very wide range of habitats and conservation areas on the College’s estate is complemented by being in the heart of the new South Downs National Park.

Specialist workshops:

There are specialist workshops for blacksmithing, forestry, hard landscaping and countryside skills.

Student resource centre:

The new resource centre provides study areas, a library and extensive computer facilities.

Library, Computing and Media Services:

The Resources Centre at Plumpton provides general work areas, quiet study areas and a library. Books, journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, computers, a scanner and photocopier are available.

Facilities available


College Bus - The College has an extensive bus network that covers most of East Sussex and a lot of West Sussex.

Public Bus - the 166 public bus service which departs from various stops in Lewes and Haywards Heath. For a timetable, please visit

Train - regular trains run to Lewes and Haywards Heath where a connecting College bus can be caught. There are not many services to Plumpton station outside of rush hour times and there are only Bus services via our College Bus service.


The College has funds available to help assist students, depending on their circumstances. 

We offer a Guaranteed bursary

You are eligible for a payment of up to £1200 each year if you are between 16 and 18 and are:

  • in care
  • a care leaver
  • on income support in your own name
  • receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance in your own name.

A Travel Bursary: Subsidised bus tickets are available for those from households with an income of below £22,000.

Meal Tickets:  Subsidised meal tickets are available for those who were entitled to free school meals whilst at school.

Residential Support Funds: For those students who wish to be resident at college there might be some assistance available for residential costs.

Other financial support: Some support is available for helping with college trips and the necessary kit for your course. 

Application for this assisstnace is enclosed with your Offer letter following interview.

The Government also offers:

Care to Learn - If you are aged under 20 when you commence your course and are a parent you could be eligible for assistance with your child care costs. The Care to Learn scheme will pay up to £160 per week for child care with an Ofsted registered child care provider whilst you are at College, together with any registration fees (up to £80) or deposit (up to £250) to secure a place. Payments are made direct to the Child Care Provider. There is also help available for additional travel costs incurred whilst travelling to and from Child Care Provider and the College, which will be reimbursed to you via the College.

Further information is available via the website, following the link Money to Learn.

Free Childcare for Training and Learning to Work - If you are aged over 20 and have a partner who is working, with an income of less than £20,000 per annum, you may be eligible to receive assistance with child care costs under this scheme. For more information contact your local Job Centre Plus or look at website.

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The College has residential facilities for 200 students. Residency is open to everyone but is prioritised for those whose courses involve routines and those for whom daily travel would be difficult. Financial assistance may be available.

Additional support

Disability support

Through the College’s Learner Support Department we offer an easily accessible service ensuring that no students are disadvantaged throughout their learning.

Support is available in the following areas:

  • Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia
  • Mobility difficulties
  • Hearing impairments
  • Visual impairments
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Other disabilities and long-term medical conditions

If you have a disability (such as dyslexia) or a medical condition which may have implications for your time at College, it is vital that you discuss this with your Tutor so we can ensure that reasonable adjustments can be made on your behalf.

Student Support

Each student at Plumpton is allocated a Tutor whose role is to guide and support you through your course. Full-time students can expect to receive at least one individual tutorial per term and part-time students one individual tutorial per year. In these tutorials, your academic progress will be discussed and a written record kept. This is used as a means of tracking your progress. Welfare and financial issues can also be discussed. Sometimes help from the Tutor can make all the difference to the outcome of your studies. You don’t need to wait for your Tutor to ask to see you for your tutorial; you are welcome to drop in at any time if you have any concerns at all about your course.

Student Services Team

The Student Services Office is situated in the main corridor, next to the Common Room and is open 24 hrs a day. This office provides the main source of student welfare support and staff are here to help with any problem.

  • Lost Property
  • First aid. If necessary they will rush you to A&E!
  • Informal support & Advice
  • Access to the counselling service
  • Site Security
  • Room allocation in the hostel accommodation on site. Over the summer period they also organise listings of local accommodation and lodgings and can offer advice to people seeking accommodation in the area.
  • Social events at the College. 

College Chaplain

There are many problems associated with student life to which religion can make a positive contribution and the Chaplain is available to help in whatever way he can. This is an ecumenical service which can provide care and support for any denomination or faith. Furthermore, the Chaplain can provide this service for those with no religious beliefs if requested.


Counselling is provided for the times when college life, for whatever reason, becomes difficult. All of us experience problems at some times in our lives. We may feel confused, stressed and alone. Difficulties come in many forms: sometimes they can emerge from a personal crisis; sometimes from a stage of development in our lives. Often our problems can affect our work or studies.

Many people are unsure about what is bothering them when they come for counselling. For instance, there may be a feeling of depression, of being overwhelmed, or of things generally not feeling quite right. The counsellor will try to help you identify the cause of the feelings, and if you wish, to work through the difficulties and if possible, resolve them.

The main thing to realise is that you are not alone with your worries. We have a Counselling Service for students, and counsellors are available at all the main sites. Our free confidential service is often quicker to respond than a referral from your G.P.

How to apply

You can apply for courses at Plumpton College through UCAS Progress. Add courses to your favourites to apply to this provider.

Last updated date: 05 February 2015
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Key information


  • A: Plumpton
    • Address:
    • Ditchling Road
    • Plumpton
    • Lewes
    • BN7 3AE
    • Telephone number:
    • Course enquiries: 01273892082
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • The main Plumpton College site is located at the foot of the picturesque South Downs National Park. Six miles from Lewes, the County Town of East Sussex.

      The College specialises in providing a wide range of land-based courses in partnership with schools, for those in further education and for those in higher education. The College degree courses are validated by the University of Brighton.

      The range of courses cover all land-based provision including Agriculture, Horticulture, Floristry, Equine, Agricultural and Horticultural Machinery, Metalsmithing, Animal Care, Countryside Management, Forestry and Arboriculture, Sports (Outdoor Adventure) and Wine and Viticulture.

  • B: Netherfield
    • Address:
    • Ivylands Farm
    • Netherfield Road
    • Netherfield
    • Battle
    • TN33 9QB
    • Telephone number:
    • Course enquiries: 01273892082
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • Plumpton College at Netherfield is situated in the east of the County of East Sussex and provides a range of courses and experience to students from the Hastings and Rother areas.

      Provision is based on a small farm called Ivyland Farm and ranges from Entry level courses through to Level 2 and apprentices.  Many students attending Ivyland Farm progress to the main site to further their studies.

      Entry 1 level provision enables 19+ students with learning disabilities the opportunity to grow vegetables and plants which are sold at open days and are also used in the onsite café. Students also look after goats, chickens, ducks and rare breeds of pigs.

      Entry 2 to Level 2 provision enables students to study either through day release from schools or full time in a range of subjects including agriculture, conservation, small animals and horticulture.

  • C: Stanmer Park
    • Address:
    • Lewes Road
    • Brighton
    • BN1 9QA
    • Telephone number:
    • Main: 01273679363
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • The facilities are within the grounds of the park and include classrooms with access to a library, glasshouses, polythene tunnels, an extensive range of demonstration plots, specialist features including lawns, ponds, decorative areas and vegetable plots.

      A planted  Palm House, which was originally part of Brighton Parks resource provides a superb site for a range of half hardy plant material and  associated plant identification.

      A laboratory and tissue culture facility is also available where the micropropagation of a  range of plants is carried out thus showing and allowing students to participate in the raising of difficult  to grow plants.

      Courses cater for both full-time and part time provision with a range of both vocational and amateur programmes available.

      An increasing range of land based  courses is available at the centre with increased provision for 16-18yr olds and school groups.

      Free Taster course are available on three occasions throughout the year aimed at yrs 9, 10 and 11 students offering a range of practical skills in an exciting day for those wishing to see what horticulture can offer as a vocation.