Your Questions Answered
- I don’t drive, is there public transport?
Talgarth is situated at the cross roads of two main roads in Mid Wales: the A40 and the A479. There are daily bus services to Brecon, Hay-on-Wye, Abergavenny and Builth Wells.
BMC encourages active travel so can help you with planning cycling routes or improving your confidence on a bike. Powys County Council operate a transport service along all trunk roads and our partner, NPTC Group, run a taxi service to their campus in Brecon. We offer a lift share scheme for staff and students sharing similar routes and as we grow will explore transport needs and how we can meet them.
- I have additional learning needs, are your Further Education courses appropriate for me?
Yes. BMC is working with NPTC to accommodate everyone who wants to take our courses. Get in touch and we will do our best to meet your needs.
- How is it different to other colleges?
BMC has reimagined tertiary education.
- The main difference is that the college is devoted to the huge, interconnected challenges of a transition to a sustainable way of life.
- Students follow an innovative foundation year designed to enable them to find their own talents and apply them to real-world problems.
- The concept of electives is common in many degrees, but tutors will guide you in your own learning journey, wherever that might lead. As long as you can demonstrate progression and focus in a particular area then the sky is the limit. We are looking at working with partner universities to provide as broad a choice and as wide a range of other faculty to work with as possible.
- Our vocational further education courses focus on developing a low carbon economy, within existing businesses and organisations in the Black Mountains region.
- Why Mid Wales?
There are a few reasons.
- It is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
- For us, nature is the classroom and a laboratory. The Brecon Beacons National Park with its range of biodiverse natural ecosystems and the challenges of human influence is the perfect context for exploring the challenge of a sustainable transition.
- Wales is an exemplar. It has led the way with the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and BMC will support further ground-breaking and collaborative positive action towards a sustainable future.
- Will I be able to have a say in BMC?
Student consultation has been at the core right from the start, and will always shape what we do.
The BMC Youth Panel is involved in shaping the BMC experience and is helping inform the college at every stage of our journey.
- Are the Further Education Courses Full Time?
This is a full time course equating to three days a week. This will mostly be taught on set days but may involve sessions and tutorials or visits on other days by arrangement with your course tutor.
- How much will a year long NVQ level 2 course cost?
It’s free! The Welsh government cover all tuition fees for further education in Wales.
The costs of the additional course-related items are listed on the course details pages.
If you are aged 16-18 you may be eligible for an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) from the Welsh government. This is a means-tested award of up to £30 a week.
If you are over 19, you may be eligible for the Welsh Government Learning Grant. This is an award of up to £1500 in addition to tuition fees to support you in your learning.
Find out about EMA and Welsh Government Learning Grants.
- What kind of qualification will it be? Will my NVQ help me get a job?
You’ll receive a nationally recognised qualification: “City and Guilds National Vocational Qualification, level 2.”
This, along with the skills and experience you’ve gained will be a great start in your career. And, with a further award at Level 3 you will be able to teach in your own right.
- Are there any exams for the NVQs?
NVQs are taught on a model of continuous assessment, so you’ll keep a diary and make short videos to keep track of your progress.
- Who will be teaching the NVQ courses?
Our tutors are all business owners and expert practitioners in the local area. They are experts with up to date practical knowledge and skills and passionate about their subjects.
- How are BMC NVQs different to any other NVQ course?
The BMC programme is not just an NVQ in a vocational skill, it is a broad training in sustainability, ecology, and ways of learning and working. It is a preparation for how to navigate disruption and make a positive contribution to your community and society.
BMC NVQs are taught in the community, in real life settings by tutors who are passionate about their subjects.
We have small class sizes. With 6 or fewer in a class, you can be sure that you’ll receive the attention and support you need.
- Will I get a job after BMC?
Yes. Our research indicates you will be more employable after a BMC education.
90% of graduate employers say they don’t care what degree you studied, they care about soft skills like communication, collaboration, creativity and initiative. This is what BMC will focus on. People graduating now will likely do 7 careers during their lives. The broad training at BMC teaches you about yourself, and how to learn. It prepares you for further specialising at graduate level or you can apply the transferable skills to a whole range of different careers.
- Will you really teach outside?
The neuroscience of how humans learn is clear: we learn far more effectively in a range of environments and especially outside, where the brain must work harder to integrate many different stimuli and where the context of each lesson learned is unique. Thus, the question at BMC is, what elements of teaching can only be done inside?
Nearly all elements of the teaching process can take place anywhere – talking, observing, discussing, coding, drawing, dancing, taking notes, building things. Our small class sizes mean it is not imperative to be inside to hear a lecture. Where being inside is essential, for example, watching a video, doing a controlled experiment or if the weather is prohibitive, then that’s fine. But otherwise, the presumption is in favour of being outdoors since nature is the greatest teacher.
- This sounds very exciting… but has it been done before?
There is nothing quite like BMC but other institutions have pioneered elements of our approach. Interdisciplinary degrees are quite common these days but there is no programme committed to exploring all the different ways that humans learn – the breadth of our arts-based sensory training programme is unique.
The single degree programme is also not unique but the way that it is structured at BMC – to address the challenge of living sustainably – has not been attempted before.
Quest University in Canada also follows the block method of teaching with small class sizes and a student-designed learning journey. They are now the number one student rated college in Canada.
- What can I study at BMC?
From 2023, will offer The BMC Degree is an interdisciplinary course, with a broad foundation in year one designed to allow you to unlock and explore your talents, learn how to learn and find your own method. In the second year, students can chose from a number of electives, choosing your own learning pathway. In the third year, students focus on a project which tackles one of the challenges identified by the Well Being of Future Generations Act.
- Where is BMC?
We are based in the heart of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. Our campus is at Troed-yr-Harn, on the outskirts of Talgarth. Our Further Education courses will take place in various locations in and around Talgarth.
- When can I come to BMC?
Our first vocational courses will start in 2021. We hope to launch our BMC Degree in September 2023. We run a variety of short courses and activities. See our ‘What’s On’ page for details.