If you’re curious to find out what it is like to live in Hereford and study at Hereford College of Arts, you have landed in the right place!
In the headings below we have covered everything from what students get up to for fun outside of their studies, the exciting opportunities available to them, what Hereford has to offer, and highlight the impact our students make on the creative community here at HCA.
Our mission is to empower your creativity. We are a specialist arts school where students’ unique creative voices can thrive. We encourage taking bold creative risks, resourceful problem solving and critical engagement with wider social issues.
Our five core values underpin everything that we do, and we support students to become collaborative, curious, brave, inventive and inquisitive individuals.
Your Creative Community
Our students thrive in the highly creative atmosphere they find here at HCA. United by creativity, there is a real sense of community across our college which will help you to settle in quickly, make friends and enjoy your student experience.
All the staff here at HCA are passionate about the arts and most are practicing artists in their time outside of work, through working together and sharing ideas we form a close bond and understanding of each other allowing for easy collaboration and communication.
Your Student Community
There are lots of options for students who are moving to Hereford and away from home. Including many private property owners as well as a brand-new student accommodation – No.1 Station Approach.
The accommodation which is perfectly located next to Hereford Railway Station and mid-way between two teaching campuses, has been made with creative people in mind.
We appreciate that most creatives do not like limiting their creativity to a set space. This is why individual bedrooms include wall-boards for students to personalise with artworks and things that inspire them.
The building also provides lots of opportunities for students to share work and ideas, including spacious social space on the ground floor designed for exhibitions and performances.
Hereford is a unique City in the heart of the UK with a fantastic offer of independent outlets for food, drink and shopping. Nestled in a county that a varied and dramatic landscape, its historic buildings, agricultural heritage and the internationally recognised black and white houses boast a unique sense of place!
The Point4 gym and leisure club is just across the road from our College Road campus and gym bunnies can make use of the HCA discounted membership. Or for something completely different why not try Mountain Boarding, or Roller Derby with the Hereford Roller Girls. Hereford has several friendly running and cycling clubs. You can take to the water in kayaks, canoes or rafts, or take up rowing with Hereford Rowing Club. Get back to basics and go wild swimming, or head for the hills with HCA’s Hiking Society.
Culture & Arts
HCA students are immersed in the music scene across the city, and there’s no shortage of talent to be found in gigs across the city’s pub and club venues. In fact, hidden deep in the surrounding countryside are a number of renowned recording and production studios.
During festival season you’ll be spoilt for choice across a huge variety of music genres. The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is Herefordshire’s vibrant arts venue, hosting a packed programme of drama, comedy, dance and arthouse film.
Independent food scene
Famous for cider apples, soft fruits, and Hereford beef, our county has always produced top quality food and drink revered by chefs across the UK and beyond. But in recent years, the indie food culture in the city centre has stepped up to match, as young foodies reside in Hereford and have set up award winning new food businesses here. And don’t miss the chance to try some of the best craft ciders in the world, made locally in Herefordshire. Plus, with Herefordshire hopyards an essential part of the UK brewing landscape, you can expect to find plenty of great local beers to enjoy too!
There are many local festivals hosted in the local area throughout the year for students to get involved in. We work closely with festivals such as Hay Festival and Nozstock to provide students with work opportunities and unique experiences.
Festivals in the area include; Borderlines Film Festival, Hay Festival, How the Light Gets In, El Dorado, Nozstock: Hidden Valley, Green Man, H.Art, Hereford Indie Food Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, May Fair & River Carnival.
Your workshops and creative spaces
The 3 years of your degree studies are an amazing opportunity to be both experimental and refine your skills. With the studio space you crave, and plenty of support in specialist workshops, HCA is a fantastic creative place to hone your craft.
Specialist workshops – No matter which course you are on you will have the opportunity to experiment in a wide range of workshops including Ceramics, Plaster and Glass, Small metals, 3D fabrication and Textiles to name a few.
As a Performance or Music student you will have access to our purpose built Dance Studio, Recording Studio, Live Music Room, Sound Editing Space, Audio Recording Studio and the Folly Arts Theatre.
Your Creative Spaces
Your Student Union
We have an active and dedicated Student Union made up of students from both college and degree level courses. The Student Union are committed to helping you achieve your full potential and accomplish your goals.
They work with the student community to put on inclusive events and campaigns that support the passions and interests of the student community.
In the past year, the Student Union have put on many events. Including clothes swap events in support of COP26, promoting sustainable fashion, a cross college pumpkin carving event and an end of year Winter Ball to celebrate together before everyone breaks up for term.
You can make the most of your time outside of your studies by getting involved the student-led clubs and societies as they have something for everyone! With help from the Student Union, you will be able to set up and run your own societies – a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, discover more about yourself, try new things, learn, and share your skills with others.
Herefordshire boasts the best of both of city life and rural living; we therefore have a wide range of societies currently available for students to join, including:
Hiking, Cycling, Football, Board Games, Goth Club, Swimming, Netball, Rugby, Climbing, Disabilities, HEMA, LGBTQ+, Skating
Student feedback is especially important to us and due to our size of our student community we can respond to feedback quickly and efficiently. This means that students can create the change that they want to see and help shape their overall university experience. We believe that this empowers students to take ownership of their role within the creative community and create meaningful change. As we continue build our diverse and inclusive community, we rely on the student voice to shape our choices and decision making.
Responding to student feedback this year we have achieved and facilitated;
- Better vegan food options in the café
- Gender neutral toilets across both campuses
- Free sanitary products available for students
- The Student Union have put on a range of diverse bar nights
- We have launched our HCA Sustainability pledges in response to feedback around sustainability on campus
Alongside many more!
Student support and wellbeing
At HCA we recognise that health and wellbeing is important to allow students to reach their full potential, and our team will offer help with all your concerns. We pride ourselves on being a supportive community and we aim to enable all students to have a positive and rich experience here. We understand that your studies may prove challenging at times and that other issues can present obstacles that you need to overcome, therefore, our students are able to access a wealth of friendly advice and guidance on a huge range of pastoral and wellbeing issues. We are also able to access support from a number of external local and national support providers who work alongside us to complement our provision.