Plumpton College

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Well Structured and practical

An excellent course that is both well organised and practical...more

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Introduction to Plumpton College

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Why study at Plumpton College?

Plumpton College is committed to giving you an excellent education and the College is an ideal place to study land-based courses. Our courses are designed to prepare you for employment. Plumpton College is well-regarded by employers and has an excellent record of graduate employment. The College is situated in beautiful East Sussex countryside and provides extensive education and skills development facilities, making it the perfect location for your studies. The College is a Partner College of the University of Brighton.

University-level courses that fit in with your life

You can choose to study full or part-time and fit your course around other life commitments. You’ll be gaining a university-level qualification which can lead to a wider choice of work, better salary and further study, as well as learning about a subject in which you are interested.


There is a range of pastoral and learning services available to help you through your time at College. These include disability and dyslexia support, study support and financial help. You only have to ask!

Focused on work

You will learn relevant, practical skills that you can use in employment. Work experience and contact with employers form an important part of our courses. 

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Plumpton College has been providing education and training for many years and our facilities are therefore well established and appropriate for your needs. The College continues to update its facilities and the large estate with many environmental features has recently undergone multi-million pound expansions and developments to provide you with a state-of-the-art learning environment. With modern laboratories and research centre, forestry facilities including the Woodland Enterprise Centre at Flimwell and a new Wine Research Centre with experienced and qualified teaching staff, the College provides a supportive and engaging atmosphere in which to study your degree area. The College is surrounded by an estate that also consists of a commercial farm, woodlands, conservation areas, livestock, a recently refurbished dairy and dairy processing unit, vineyards and a winery, equine yards and indoor schools, and animal care and veterinary nursing centres. Further afield, the College has a centre on the slopes of Snowdon in North Wales which is used by Outdoor Adventurous Activities, Agriculture, Forestry and Countryside Management students.

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At Plumpton College we want to inspire you to continue developing the passion you have for your subject and ensure that you graduate with excellent working skills and knowledge of your chosen area.

Commercial work experience

The College has commercial units covering agriculture, wine, equine, horticulture and animal science, enabling you to be ‘hands-on’ in industry situations whilst learning practical skills using our excellent facilities. Extensive use is made of neighbouring forestry, woodland and conservation areas along with the College’s centre in Snowdonia. Work experience within your chosen sector will be an important part of your studies. This, with the academic and scientific underpinning knowledge, will increase your employment prospects.

Visiting speakers

During your studies we invite speakers from the industry to come and share their knowledge and experiences with you. This ensures that you have an up-to-date and work-related view of your chosen field.

Develop transferable skills

Our courses are an excellent way to develop skills in handling information, writing reports, working alone and in teams, handling numbers and analysing complex information. These skills will serve you well whether you develop a career in a land-based field or another area.

After you finish your course

After a Foundation Degree you may apply for a one year top-up degree to gain a full Honours Degree or you can head straight for work. We offer five top-ups ‘in house’ at the College and many Foundation Degree graduates progress onto the BSc (Hons) Ecology top-up at the University of Brighton.

Plumpton College graduates have progressed to a range of careers including conservation officers, wildlife rangers, estate managers, garden designers, farm managers, animal welfare, adventure travel services, winemakers and wine buyers and many more!

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College facilities

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 new dairy unit and associated dairy processing facilities producing cheese, ice cream and yoghurt widen your study opportunities.

Winery and vineyards

Our modern commercial winery produces award-winning wines, and has a bottling capacity for 50,000 bottles. Three vineyards covering eight hectares grow over 10 different varieties of grape.  A new wine research centre has just been completed enabling students to undertake research to MSc level.

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 centred around a model veterinary practice.

Outdoor training resources

The College estate and surrounding area offer excellent facilities and a wide range of activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, hill-walking and climbing.  The College hosts a Sailing Academy and 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 of you 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 located in the heart of the new South Downs National Park. The College is an active member of the newly formed Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

Specialist workshops

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

Student resource centre

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

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Latest news

A busymonth for Plumpton wine!

The month of May is turning out to be anexciting month for the Plumpton College wine team. First is the annual London Wine Fair(May 3-5th),the biggest wine trade event in the UK.  With over eighteen thousand wine trade professionals expected to attend this three-day event, the Plumpton stand (W20 ground floor) will be no doubt be buzzing.  Plumpton wine students and staff will be offering their white, red and sparkling wines; providing a focal point for alumni to come together and for prospective students to find out about studying wine at Plumpton College.

The next event is the annual Plumpton College Open Day.  A huge event in the Sussex calendar, thousands of people will visit the College on the 14th of May.  All areas of the college will be open to the public, and a wide range of exhibits and activities will be on show. In the Wine Centre, people young and old will be set on a discovery trail, starting with the Rathfinny research winery, where students from the MSc Viticulture and Oenology will be conducting a tasting of their 2015 project wines. There will be hourly demonstrations on the science of winein the Jack Ward laboratory,for those who are interested in understanding more about their favourite tipple.  The winery will be open to visitors, and, after a training session in the IOC wine tasting room,you will be offered a full range of Plumpton Estate wines to taste and buy. In the Vintners’ Room, Wine Business students will be selling wine from successful Plumpton graduates: Chateau de Monfaucon (Bordeaux), Thorne & Daughters (South Africa) and Wines of Momentary Destination (Croatia).

Rounding out the month is the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium. This ‘Olympics’ of the wine world, held every four years in a different continent, is taking place in Brighton from the 26th to the 28th May. The programme includes 29 different sessions, involving wine experts from all over the world and tastings of top English wines. Chris Foss, Head of Wine Department at Plumpton College, was part of the 2012 team that went to Tasmania to bid for the event to come to England, and chairs the Programme Committee: “This international event is a must for all wine professionals, and will really establish England as a producer of world-class wine. May is going to be a really busy month!”.

To find out more, please visit Plumpton's website or International Cool Climate Wine Symposium's website.

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Student reviews

I have always had a strong interest in wine and my holiday destinations were often chosen from a map of the major wine regions of the world. In 2012, whilst working as an IT project manager in London, I decided to change my interest into a full time career. I realised that for a successful career I would need to not only learn more about wine, but gain an understanding of the various business and cultural aspects of the wine trade. This is what led me to Plumpton. My first year has been both rewarding and challenging, and I find that I have learned a great amount in just one year that the idea of a career in wine is not as daunting. My fellow students are from all backgrounds that it has been a real pleasure sharing this experience with them. I am so glad to have made the transition with guidance from Plumpton. - Ciara Wong, current FdA Wine Business student.


I had tried several different jobs without finding something I really enjoyed before I came to Plumpton College to study outdoor adventurous activities. I was so pleased to find that the other guys on the course were all like-minded individuals and we quickly formed a tight-knit friendship group. The teaching on my course has been absolutely first class. The lecturers are without fail approachable and personable and they inject just the right amount of humour into sessions to provide a fun learning environment. Not only are they all qualified outdoors instructors, they are also adept at teaching the academic side of the course. When I started, I had been out of education for four years and it showed in my essays. The lecturers are more than happy to offer one on one support and through this my written work has improved no end. So I came to Plumpton hoping to find a career path that I would enjoy. But through the learning and the laughter I found something perhaps more important-myself! - Peter Hayward, recent FdSc Outdoor Adventurous Activities graduate.


Returning to full time education on the FdSc Forestry & Woodland Management course seemed a daunting prospect, but any concerns were soon eased. The attentive staff and clear course structure showed what to expect and what was required. All the staff are here to help you personally achieve the goals you set yourself, and in many cases exceed them. The varied course provides all the attributes that will stand every graduate in good stead, with Plumpton College recognised as providing an excellent qualification for industry needs. I couldn't recommend the course highly enough. - Linner Dewar, recent FdSc Forestry and Woodland Management graduate.

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Contact details

Plumpton College
Ditchling Road, Plumpton, East Sussex BN7 3AE
Tel: 01273 890 454

Centre for Sustainable Food, Farming and Forestry
The Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell, East Sussex TN5 7PR
Tel: 01580 879 547

Ivyland Farm
Netherfield Centre, Netherfield Road, Netherfield, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 9QB
Tel: 01424 838 873

Greenoak Farm
Brightling, Nr Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN33 5HB

Stanmer Park
Stanmer Park, Lewes Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9QA
Tel: 01273 679 363