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South West Institute of Technology

Being part of the South West Institute of Technology means there has never been a more exciting time to study a science, technology, engineering, the arts or mathematics at City College Plymouth.

Our Centre for Higher Technical Innovation and Maritime Skills is now open. Read all about this cutting-edge teaching venue here, or find out more about the Marine Enterprise Zone and South West Institute of Technology via the sections below.

What is the South West Institute of Technology?

Created in September 2019, the South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT) is a unique collaboration between a number of partner organisations, each investing in the development of state-of-the-art facilities for training in technical subjects to create Britain’s next generation of highly skilled technicians and engineers. 

The Department for Education is awarding £170million to establish a network of Institutes of Technology nationally offering top-quality training and Apprenticeships in higher-level technical skills. These aim to bridge skills gaps in the economy by providing the knowledge and training that employers need.

In September 2019, the SWIoT proposal was approved to deliver a range of higher level courses across the digital, engineering and manufacturing sectors. SWIoT will operate as a virtual college, specialising in technical training and development for the South West. 

The SWIoT draws on expertise from 12 partner organisations, including City College Plymouth, the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Exeter College, Petroc, Truro & Penwith College and Bridgwater & Taunton College, each investing in the development of state-of-the-art facilities for training in technical subjects to create Britain’s next generation of highly skilled technicians and engineers.

We are working collaboratively with employers to ensure the curriculum is industry-led and responds to workforce and skill needs. Employer partners include digital experts from Oxygen House, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, the Met Office, engineering and manufacturing experts from Babcock, TDK Lambda and Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group. This project is also supported by both Heart of the South West and the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Oceansgate: at the heart of the marine industry

Situated at the heart of Plymouth’s marine industry is the new Oceansgate Marine Enterprise Zone. This world-class facility seeks to secure Plymouth’s reputation as a world-leader in the marine industry, and from September, City College Plymouth students are to be part of it. As part of the College’s commitment to building a vibrant and exciting curriculum that is distinctive, market-led and responsive, it will be delivering new university-level courses that will provide high-quality and up-to-date training to those working in the marine and engineering industries. 

Purpose-built classrooms and workshop areas will allow the College to expand its university-level courses that have been specially designed to respond to the needs of local employers, who have been crucial in the development of our curriculum. We will soon be offering four brand-new Bachelor of Science degrees linked to naval architecture, marine engineering, integrated technologies and autonomous engineering and these programmes will further shape the future workforce, and allow students to continue their studies on a part-time basis beyond levels 4 and 5. 

“Plymouth is an important player in the marine technology space with a number of significant investments being made across the South West. Oceansgate will be a crucial part of this, if we are to realise the opportunities for apprentices and young people to be part of this exciting development.”

“Oceansgate will provide our apprentices with an array of opportunities for further consolidating their learning and how they implement this into their work.” 

Conrad Humphreys

Sport Environment
Managing Director


“Our Building Plymouth Partnership is delighted to see such investment of new higher-level technical courses aligned to meet the demands of the city’s employers. The College’s new cutting-edge base at Oceansgate will provide apprentices and learners with an array of exciting opportunities for further consolidating their learning and how they implement this into their work.”

Emma Hewitt
Skills Lead
Education, Participation and Skills
Plymouth City Council


“We look forward to working with City College Plymouth to support the development of the future workforce relating to the expanding growth of the marine autonomous industry.
“The Oceansgate facility will enable us to further collaborate with students and lecturing staff from the college, enabling us to build on the relationship we already have. The proposed plans for the Maritime Centre of Excellence along with the development of new Foundation and Bachelor Degree programmes will enable companies such as AutoNaut to recruit engineers who have the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the industry and help us develop new and innovative technologies for the future.” 
Phil Johnston
Business Development
AutoNaut Ltd

City College Plymouth – Investing in SWIoT

Within the SWIoT, a £2.1million local investment will enable City College to create new facilities and purchase cutting-edge equipment to deliver an innovative new curriculum of higher-level technical courses within the marine, engineering, manufacturing and digital sectors – all city priority sectors. 

The latest SWIoT brochure has been published. To view it, click here.

Inspiring new education facility set to develop marine and engineering skills in Plymouth

Click here to read more about Oceansgate