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Croydon College: Past, Present and Future

At Croydon College you would be a part of a College with a long and well-established history of quality education provision, a unique and inspiring present and an exciting future.


Croydon College can trace its history back to 1868 when Croydon School of Art was first established. Twenty years later, in 1888, the Pitlake Technical Institute (which later changed its name to Croydon Polytechnic) was founded. These two institutions continued to educate separately in and around Croydon until the Polytechnic was destroyed by fire during the Second World War, prompting plans to combine them on a new site in Fairfield, right at the heart of Croydon. The new Croydon Technical College (later known as Croydon College of Design and Technology) opened its doors for the first time in 1955 and was finally completed and formally opened by the Queen in 1960.

In 1974 the College was renamed Croydon College and has remained as such on the main Fairfield site ever since. However, change and improvements have continued to be a part of Croydon College’s story…


The College now offers a broad range of academic and vocational qualifications including Construction, Engineering, Science, Business, Law, Care and Childcare, and Hospitality and Catering. To accommodate this wide range of subjects and to ensure the facilities were available to provide top quality provision, a new rotunda was built on the south side of the College building alongside modernisation of the rest of the building. The new development was opened by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, in April 2012 and houses an impressive three-storey modern Library and Learning Resource Centre.

Croydon College has been providing quality higher education courses for a quarter of a century but in September 2012 the University Centre Croydon (UCC) was formally opened by The Prince of Wales and his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall. UCC provides higher education degree programmes in many subjects, most of which are validated and awarded by the University of Sussex.

In October 2013 Croydon College went back to its roots when former student and world renowned fashion designer John Rocha officially re-launched the Croydon School of Art. The School offers both college and degree courses across a range of disciplines, encouraging creativity and expression.

Alongside its strong academic and vocational teaching, Croydon College also offers a wider learning experience through a unique and inspirational enrichment and volunteering programme working closely with UNICEF UK. This incredible work was recognised in 2014 when the College was presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Granted to groups, rather than individuals, this award recognises the College’s outstanding achievements striving to improve the quality of life for others in the local community.


At Croydon College we are always looking towards the future – the future of our current students and how to help them achieve their aims, and the future of the College as a whole for the benefit of new students and the wider community.

The next few years at Croydon College will be an exciting time as the College continues along the path of rapid improvement towards our aim of outstanding provision for all our students. The College is also at the heart of Croydon Council’s plans to regenerate College Green into one of London’s leading cultural and educational destinations. The plans would see the construction of a brand new start-of-the-art college building, incorporating new modern facilities to keep Croydon College at the forefront of education provision. This, coupled with further exciting developments and expansion with the University of Sussex, will see the College contribute to making Croydon a thriving centre of opportunity and development.

If you want to be a part of this exciting future at Croydon College, apply now!

Croydon College: Changing Lives. Creating Futures.

History of Croydon College

Croydon college 1954 opening stone 2 DSC_5262 bw Snow Croydon College 2008 Rotunda Plan Rotunda Build Croydon College - David Baird-0129 Boris Johnson - Croydon College-David Baird-0350 Rotunda Built _DSC1964 Tim Strange with John Rocha and the plaque Queens award1 Croydon College - College Green Development College Green