Paignton and Dartmouth Railway

March 29, 2016

Ex BR Class 03, number D2192

PetrocIs a further education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) college in Devon, England, with a catchment area covering more than 1, 500 square miles (3, 900 km2). The college serves up to 20, 000 students each year, on a wide range of full and part time courses (from entry level to higher education in partnership with Plymouth University), including distance learning and work-based training.

The college undertakes research and development projects, often alongside European partners, and works with a wide range of employers to deliver apprenticeships, short courses and industry-specific training.

Many of the college’s premises are open to the public, including restaurants, hair, beauty and complementary therapy salons and entertainment venues.


The North Devon Campus (formally North Devon College) is a large site, located at the top of Sticklepath Hill in Barnstaple, overlooking the town with a view across the estuary of the River Taw.

The college has invested heavily in its estate, and since 2012 has opened a state-of-the-art Engineering Centre of Excellence to meet growing local demand for engineering training and assessment and the Liberty Centre to teach supported learning students vital life and employability skills. In 2016, the college will open the doors to the multimillion pound Lifestyle and Tourism Centre, which houses all the college’s public-facing facilities, including the restaurant and hair and beauty salons.

Other facilities at the campus include a theatre, lecture theatre, art studios, dark room, animal centre, dog grooming studio, fitness studio, gym, science laboratories, construction workshops, motor vehicle workshops and numerous food outlets.


The Brannams Campus is located on the outskirts of Barnstaple, and houses the college’s University Centre, trowel occupations workshop, Goodwin Gallery and art studios. It is also home to The Factory live music venue, and students on music-related courses benefit from the latest recording and performance equipment located at the campus.

Mid Devon[edit]

Like the North Devon Campus, it too has benefitted from significant investment. In 2014 the college opened the Future Technologies Centre; a bespoke training facility for students on a wide range of plumbing, electrical, motor vehicle, gas and sustainable resource management courses. And, in 2015 the Exe Café welcomed its first customers. The café is run by students on several supported learning programmes, and teaches them vital life and employability skills.

Other facilities at the campus include a lecture theatre, art studios, dark room, science laboratories, construction workshops, restaurant, refectory and nursery.


Petroc was formerly North Devon College and East Devon College. The institutions merged on August 1, 2008, and were renamed as Petroc. The college is named after St Petroc, the patron saint of the Devon flag. The name was chosen by the governing body, from a shortlist of names that emerged from a branding consultation. It was selected for sounding both ancient and modern and its strong connections to Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Petroc Students' Union[edit]

The Petroc Students' Union is constitutionally one Student Union, but both sites' Unions operate independently.

North and Mid Devon both have a Students' Union executive team. These are made up of part-time officers who are students at the college. Each executive team's officers are elected bi-annually by secret ballot, and are responsible for organising a number of student events throughout the year. Both Students' Union Sites are affiliated to NUS UK and the officers from each Students' Union site take their campaign ideas from NUS UK campaigns.

All students who attend the college automatically become a member of the Students' Union. This entitles them to attend Students' Union events and much more.

The Students' Union also hosts a Learner Voice Forum, where every tutor group sends their own representative to a bi-monthly forum where they put their ideas and concerns to both the Students' Union and also managers from Petroc's senior management team.

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