Black Mountains College

Education for future generations

About Black Mountains College

Black Mountains College is ground breaking.   It is a response to a climate and biodiversity crisis which will impact every part of society and the economy.

The carefully designed interdisciplinary curriculum, the most inspirational tutors and the enduring principle of educating in the context of nature make the Black Mountains College degree programme truly unique.   Along with higher education, Black Mountains College will run further education courses on future skills. 

Black Mountains College will be the only college devoted to transforming society for future generations. 

The brainchild of writers Ben Rawlence and Owen Sheers, BMC proposes a new approach to undergraduate education focused on core skills, systems thinking and empathy, that is designed to spark creative and adaptive thinking in tune with nature. At BMC the mountains and forests of the National Park are our classroom.

Timeline for the development of Black Mountains College


September 2020 – Further Education Launch  

Launch of classes on ‘future skills’ such as seasonal catering, organic horticulture and traditional forestry and coppicing funded by the National Lottery.

September 2021 – 2022 – Live Design

We will bring high school students, graduates and employers from across the UK and the world to Wales to co-create our campus, curriculum and student experience. The design cohort will work with founding faculty, high-profile guest speakers, ecologists, and neuroscientists to refine the curriculum, and with the local community, architects and construction partners to devise the land-use plan for the campus and extra-curricular activities.

September 2022-2025 – Pioneer Years at Campus 1

Students will come to campus 1 in the Black Mountains surrounded by bio-diverse ancient woodland to:

  •  Undertake the Black Mountains College experience for year one.
  •  Design their own learning journey for years 2 and 3, choosing from a wide range of electives at partner sites and undertake their final year project.

2025 Onwards – Expansion at Campus Two

If, as we hope and expect, demand for the BMC experience is strong, we have plans for a second campus on a brownfield site, in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The outline development brief, prepared by planning consultants, includes 5000 sqm of teaching space with state-of-the-art laboratories, music studios, sports facilities, high quality accommodation for 600+ students , opportunities for green power generation, private housing, small scale agriculture, well-being centres and office accommodation. When realised in full, this development will bring total economic benefit of £300m over 15 years.