Until now, the institution’s degrees have been validated by the University of Essex. However, from September 2017, students will be able to study for a degree awarded by the college after it was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council.
The first students with Writtle awards will graduate with higher education certificates and postgraduate taught master’s degrees in 2018, with the first bachelor’s degrees to be awarded in 2020.
“This is a significant milestone in the College’s history and shows how we have grown and progressed as an institution,” said principal Stephen Waite. “We have offered specialist courses for over 120 years, and we are pleased that students will, in future, graduate with a degree that is awarded by Writtle College.”
He added that the institution, which specialises in land-based industries and was formerly known as Writtle Agricultural College, was “grateful to the University of Essex for a long-standing partnership” and would “maintain close ties”. Essex will continue to validate Writtle’s research degrees.
Vice-chancellor of the University of Essex, Anthony Forster, said: “Our higher education partnership with Writtle College has flourished over nearly 20 years and we congratulate the college on being granted degree-awarding powers.”
The move comes after the government made it easier for specialist institutions with a smaller student community to apply for degree-awarding powers.
“The process has involved considerable work from all members of staff for nearly four years and the whole College has been scrutinised rigorously against national criteria. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement,” Dr Waite said.