- What can I study at BMC?
BMC offers one easy to access degree. Perfectly formed. 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 that can either be specialised into 1) arts 2) land or 3) technology or you select a pick and mix approach so you chose 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.
BMC also offers a range of vocational courses which focus on promoting a local, low carbon, circular economy.
- Where is BMC?
We are based in the heart of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.
- 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.
- When can I come to BMC?
Our first vocational courses will start in January 2021. The BMC Degree launches in September 2022. We run a variety of short courses and activities. See our ‘What’s On’ page for details.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- How are BMC NVQs different to any other NVQ course?
- BMC National Vocational Qualifications are taught in the community. In real life settings by tutors who are passionate about their subjects.
- We have small class sizes. With 5 or fewer in a class, students can be sure that they’ll receive the tutoring they need.
- It’s all about the planet. All our education is designed to support Wales’ Well Being of the Future Generations Act, and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – particularly in relation to ‘zero hunger’, ‘decent work and economic growth’, ‘climate action’ and ‘life on land’.
- Our tutors are all business owners in the local area. They are experts with up to date practical knowledge and skills and they are passionate about their subjects.
- Will my NVQ help me get a job?
You’ll receive a nationally recognised qualification – a 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.
- 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.