Ravensbourne (formerly the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication) is a university sector college in the field of digital media and design, with a vocationally focused portfolio of courses, spanning fashion, television and broadcasting, interactive product design, architecture and environment design, graphic design, animation, moving image, music production for media and sound design.
The institution, which was formerly Bromley Technical College, was opened in 1959 by the amalgamation of the Bromley School of Art and the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art. It was originally located at Bromley Common and Chislehurst in outer London before moving to a new purpose-built campus in inner London on the Greenwich Peninsula in September 2010.
The Bromley School of Art opened in 1878 in Tweedy Road, Bromley. It became Bromley College of Art after the second world war. In 1959 it merged with the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art and in 1965 moved to purpose-built accommodation on Rookery Lane, Bromley Common. The site had originally housed the Rookery, an 18th-century house that had been burnt out while in military occupation in 1946. As the college expanded it was unable to develop the Rookery Lane site any further, as it was part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. Limitations to space had already resulted in Foundation courses being housed in temporary buildings in the grounds around the main building. This resulted in the college moving in 1975,<ref name="rave.ac.uk"/> to a new site set amongst Template:Convert of private parkland on Walden Road, ChislehurstTemplate:Coord. The Rookery Lane site was redeveloped for the Bromley College of Further & Higher Education.
It has offered higher level courses in design since the 1960s. In 1985 the Broadcasting department joined, replacing Fine Arts. It was amongst the earliest of institutions to be approved by the then CNAA to convert the traditional Diploma programmes in Art and Design into honours degrees during the 1970s. Following the demise of the CNAA in 1992, Ravensbourne entered into a validating partnership with the Royal College of Art, which agreed exceptionally to take this responsibility because of the institution's strong reputation and longstanding links with the RCA.Template:Citation needed This validation ceased when the Royal College of Art withdrew from offering collaborative provision. In April 2010, following a re-branding programme and in anticipation of the college's relocation, it shortened its name from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to simply 'Ravensbourne'.
Ravensbourne was recognised previously as an affiliate College of the University of Sussex in 1996 and was re-recognised in 2002. Between 2009 and 2012 the institution's undergraduate and postgraduate provision was validated by City University, London. This relationship was maintained until May 2012, when both parties agreed to withdraw from the validating partnership in order to pursue their respective academic strategies. In June 2013, the new validation partner, University of the Arts London was confirmed.
2010 Campus Relocation
It was decided that the institution would either have to merge with another institution, or relocate from its location in Chislehurst, Southeast London. The latter option was chosen and a new campus was constructed at Greenwich Peninsula, which opened in September 2010.
The new campus is next to The O2, an entertainment district at Greenwich Peninsula, which has the intention of bringing the institution closer to partner institutions and the industries to which it relates. The new building is designed to replicate the working environment of industry, with a high emphasis on student and industry collaboration.
The new building won a British Construction Industry Award in 2011.
Curriculum and reputation
The College offers Further Education, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes taught in a single faculty with two main clusters of courses, Design and Production.
Within the area of Further Education, the College offers the Diploma in Foundation Studies for both Art & Design and Media, as well as the BTEC National Certificate in Art and Design.
At undergraduate level, there are Foundation degrees, honours degree level top-up years (for those having completed foundation degrees or equivalent), and Bachelor's degrees. A number of these Bachelor's degrees also offer a "Level 0" programme. Many of these degrees are currentlyTemplate:When undergoing a transition period with the introduction of newly validated programmes. The available postgraduate provision consists of 14 Master's level courses, each of which can be studied to MA, MDes or MSc (dependent on subject), or to MInnovTemplate:Clarify or MFA level if desired. A range of subject areas are offered within the main disciplines of fashion, design and broadcasting.
Ravensbourne students have achieved success in national competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts Design Awards (RSA), British Design in Art Direction Awards (D&AD), New Designers Awards, Graduate Fashion Week Awards and Promax Awards.Template:Citation needed
The College enjoys strong relationships with the creative industries to which it relates.Template:Citation needed The College’s students are over-represented in its success rate for national prizes, competitions and awards and its graduates are highly employable. ManyTemplate:Citation needed undergraduate students also progress to postgraduate courses at highly reputable institutions such as Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art.
Ravensbourne also provides a range of masterclasses and short courses, available to both students and industry professionals.
National Centre of Excellence
Ravensbourne has a £16m industry-standard high-definition digital broadcast facility, and is one of seventeen national Skillset Media Academies.
The Degree Show
Every year Ravensbourne holds its annual degree show, with the aim of showing off their latest graduates from various design and communication courses at Ravensbourne. This year the dates of the show are the 12th and 13th June. The entire show has been rebranded in 2013 to try and create a more inclusive show which showcases all courses at Ravensbourne. There are various sights to see including two fashion shows as well as a television channel which will be available on Freeview. There are also various installations erected around the building, showing off the creative of all students at Ravensbourne.
The Students' Union at Ravensbourne has recently undergone a full rebrand to become 'Ravensbourne Students' Union' or 'RSU' for short. The rebrand of the Students' Union coincides with Ravensbourne's new location and identity and builds on the college's branding, released in 2010. Over the course of the last two years the Students' Union have begun the process of professionalising the Union, bringing it into line with its own constitution and engaging more actively with the NUS. RSU's first sabbatical President was appointed in the 2012 elections and will serve until 2013.
Notable alumni and past students
- Brian Barnes, artist<ref name="rave-key"/>
- David Bowie, rock musician — foundation course<ref name="ind-shape">Template:Cite news</ref>
- Dinos Chapman, artist<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Maria Cornejo, fashion designer<ref name=livingstone>Template:Cite news</ref>
- Nazaneen Ghaffar,Template:Citation needed weather presenter, Sky News
- Robert Hewison, literary scholar<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Simon Hilton, film director & editor<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Peter James, writer and film producer<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Anthony McCall, artist
- Stella McCartney, fashion designer<ref name="rave-key"/><ref name="ind-shape"/>
- Bruce Oldfield, fashion designer<ref name="rave-key"/><ref name="ind-shape"/>
- Chris Orr, artist<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Jay Osgerby (BarberOsgerby), product and furniture designer<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Tim Pope, film director<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Melanie RodrigaTemplate:Citation needed (née Read), film director
- Gareth Unwin, film producer<ref name="rave-key"/>
- Alison Wilding, sculptor<ref name="rave-key"/>
- James CooperTemplate:Dn, film editor<ref name="rave-key"/>
- River Ravensbourne - a tributary of the Thames that flows through Bromley