University technical colleges (UTCs) are government-funded schools that offer 14–19 year olds a great deal more than traditional schools. They teach students technical and scientific subjects in a whole new way and are educating the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow.

Skills for the future

The UK needs advanced technical skills at all levels if we are to prosper in the 21st century. Whether in manufacturing, wind farms, rail links or hi-tech hospitals we need a workforce that can develop new products, stretch and reuse existing resources, and meet all the challenges of the future.

UTCs are meeting the needs of the skills gap and by 2016 more than 30,000 students will be able to follow this new technical education pathway.

Watch our short film "Why study at a University Technical College?" to hear from students, employers, parents and teachers about why young people are choosing to study at University Technical Colleges.

A valuable technical education

UTCs integrate technical, practical and academic learning and create an environment where students can thrive and develop the abilities that industry needs. To do this, a UTC:

  • Focusses on one or two technical specialisms

  • Operates a longer school day, from 8:30am - 5:00pm, to more closely align with a normal business working day

  • Is governed by employers and a local university, who help to develop and deliver its curriculum

  • Provides essential academic education and relates this to the technical specialisms

  • Has the latest equipment and technology used by industry

  • Dedicates at least 40% of time to the technical specialism including employer-led projects, working in teams and problem solving

UTCs specialise in subjects where there is a shortage of skills. These include:

  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Health Sciences
  • Product Design
  • Digital Technologies
  • Built Environment

By working with a university and local employers, UTC students benefit from access to:

  • The latest research, industry experts and specialist facilities

  • Employers who set projects that stretch their technical skills and creative thinking

  • Teaching and mentoring from specialists who currently work in industry and higher education

UTCs are smaller than traditional secondary schools. They are not academically selective and charge no fees.

UTCs typically have 600 students, are sub regional and have a catchment area that may extend across a number of local authorities.