City and Islington College

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Introduction to City and Islington College

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"Our college offers courses from entry level to foundation degrees and work –based training qualifications for learners of all ages."


City and Islington College is one of the country's most successful colleges. Following an inspection in 2008, we became the only college in London to be judged by Ofsted as outstanding on every measure. We have also been awarded Beacon status in recognition of our high quality teaching and learning. In 2011, the College gained New Engineering Foundation STEM Assured status and has also been accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English.

Over 12,000 students are welcomed to City and Islington College from a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups. Some are working towards university, while others are improving basic skills. There are adults gaining qualifications to support their career development and a growing number of our students are involved in Foundation degrees and work-based training. With an excellent range of full-time, part-time and short courses for students of all ages, we are confident we can help you achieve your goals.

What's on offer
A huge variety of courses from entry level to foundation degree are available to learners across our five Centres (Applied Sciences; Business, Arts and Technology; Health, Social and Child Care; Lifelong Learning; and our Sixth Form College).

The Centre for Applied Sciences houses the College's award-winning optics department and a range of courses in environment and land based studies, forensic, health, medical and sports sciences, offering excellent progression routes to employment and higher education, with strong links to City University.

The Centre for Business, Arts and Technology provides a range of vocational courses from basic skills to Foundation degrees. Subject areas include: art, design, fashion, photography, business and management, computing, media, dance and performing arts.

The Centre for Health, Social and Child Care offers courses in child care, health and social care, counselling, advice and guidance as well as beauty therapy and complementary health. Our outstanding child care provision helped us gain status as a Centre for Vocational Excellence, and with strong employer links, this Centre offers excellent career opportunities in the caring professions.

The focus of our Centre for Lifelong Learning is on adult students. Programmes include ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), basic skills, IT, access to higher education, teacher training, ceramics and many more.

The Sixth Form College offers over 40 A-levels for school leavers, supported by a formal Partnership for Excellence with University College London. The International Baccalaureate (IB) was introduced in 2010 and language courses are also available in the evenings for adults.

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Subject Strengths

The College offers courses in the following areas:

  • Applied Sciences
  • Creative Industries
  • Business, Arts and Technology
  • Health, Social and Child Care
  • ESOL

Student life

As well as studying hard, we hope you'll have a lot of fun with us. We want your time at City and Islington College to be exciting and life enhancing.

There are lots of things you can do alongside your studies, such as taking part in an activity that you already enjoy or developing a new interest. Here are some of the things you could do:


There are a wide range of sports available. Last year's programme included netball, basketball, badminton, table tennis, boxercise, football, tai chi and capoeira. Some sports run competitive teams, and for example we hosted a CANDI Olympics game.

Performances and Shows

Some of the College's centres put on annual shows, so if you want to perform on stage, here's your chance. For example, the Sixth Form College staged a spectacular 'We Will Rock You' performance to sell-out audiences. The Centre for Business, Arts and Technology (CBAT) ran four performances featuring dance, theatre, music and fashion, and students also participated in running their own radio station, Candi Radio. Other performances included a talent contest at the Centre for Applied Sciences, a poetry and spoken word evening, and a fashion show.


In the summer term, exhibitions are held across the College to celebrate students' artistic achievements. This could be the work produced by the enrichment classes or work that comes out of the visual art and design courses. There are also opportunities to visit exhibitions in London's magnificent galleries such as Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The College has excellent film and media facilities and students' work is showcased at special screenings in cinemas such as the Vue at the Angel. We also celebrate Black History Month and Refugee Week with a variety of student-led activities, discussions and displays.

University links

One of the benefits of coming to City and Islington College is that we have some fantastic links with universities. The College has a partnership with University College London (UCL) - ranked as one of the best universities in the world. This means that there are lots of opportunities to visit UCL and work with their students and academics. Some of this happens at UCL itself. Other work takes place on our own sites including UCL professors giving lectures to our students, and UCL undergraduates working with our classes. Last year, we also arranged for visits to a wide range of other universities, including Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Lady Margaret Hall Oxford, Lincoln, Sussex and Oxford Brookes.


If you are interested in volunteering, we will help you find opportunities to develop your work helping people and communities. For example 21 City and Islington College students travelled to India for an adventure they will never forget. As part of an expedition organised by international youth charity Raleigh, the students spent four weeks contributing to a community project in the poverty-stricken Karnataka region, before taking part in an adrenalin-fuelled programme of trekking, survival challenges and water-based activities. Other volunteering opportunities are available closer to home!

Student Voice

College isn't just about learning and exams. It provides opportunities for socialising and getting involved in a whole host of events. The College offers exciting opportunities to its students, for example:

  • running national campaigns
  • organising social events
  • volunteering in the community.

You can even apply for a grant to set up your own club or society.

Each of the College centres also celebrate a number of national events throughout the year including International Women's Day, Black History Month, Interfaith Week, LGBT Month, Literacy Month and Refugee Week amongst many others.

We are serious about listening to the views of our students, and encourage everyone to give feedback on their experience of college life through the Student Council. We also hold surveys throughout the year to get feedback from students on how we can improve our services.

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Our £64 million building programme - the largest in the history of UK further education - has enabled us to put learning at the heart of our business. We’re now able to concentrate on developing new ways of teaching and helping students to learn independently.

Our five Centres are:

Each Centre is focused on running particular courses and qualifications and each has its own community of students, teachers and support staff.

Our new buildings have been designed to the highest standards to reflect the quality of our work and the success of our students – and they’ve been featured in a number of awards.

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Back in 1997, we were spread across 13 different sites and three boroughs, and some of our buildings dated back to the 19th century. Fast forward to today and we're based entirely in Islington, in five superbly designed Centres.

Our five Centres are located throughout Islington at Angel, Finsbury Park, Camden Road and Holloway. All are within walking distance of a tube station (Five minutes or less) and are easily accessible by bus.

How to enrol

You are able to enrol onto some courses online, for others you will need to attend the College on certain dates. Please check individual courses for more information.

Open days

Come along to one of our Open Days to find out more about the courses we offer and take a tour of our specialist centres and outstanding facilities. They also get a fantastic opportunity to meet students and teaching staff and get a feel for college life.

In the meantime, why not have a look at our Virtual Open Day videos.

Student Story

Richard Brine - Foundation Degree in Photography

'City and Islington College was the only institution in central London with a vocational and commercial approach to the area of photography. The standard of teaching was high and the proportion of mature students made for a productive and intellectual environment in which to study and progress.

I would recommend this course and college to anyone who is focussed on working in the industry as an independent photographer. It is ideal for students who enjoy project-based coursework with industry style briefs and industry style deadlines and provided an excellent grounding for a career as a professional photographer.'

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Contact Details

City and Islington College
Marlborough Building
383 Holloway Road
N7 0RN

Tel: 020 7700 9200