About us

Just a short bus ride from Guildford town centre in Worplesdon, Merrist Wood College is a 400-acre, multi-award-winning college that specialises in the land-based industries.


of students that completed a programme with us progressed directly into employment or onto higher-level learning

Fantastic facilities, giving you the practical skills you'll need in your career

Our Animal Management Centre has specialist areas for large, small and exotic animals. These include snakes, spiders, ferrets, rabbits, birds of prey and many more! We also have a fully functioning farm with rare breed sheep and cows, pigs, goats, llamas, donkeys, chickens and ducks.

If you’re looking to enter a career in a land- based industry, there is no better place than our college. We are widely recognised by industry specialists for our training excellence and many successes at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Work from the college has been seen across the world!

The indoor riding arena is one of the largest of any college in the country and we are home to a large, diverse range of animals in our Animal Management Centre. Other facilities include specially designed studios and workshops for floristry, garden design, horticulture and landscaping and access to an adjoining 18-hole golf course.

Success rates are higher than the national benchmarks, and our tutors are experienced industry professionals. To help with the transition to college, we also have a comprehensive student support team that can assist with applications, securing funding, careers guidance and personal tutoring, and much more!

Specialist resources and facilities

On the 400-acre estate with woodlands, wetlands, livestock, gardens and grasslands, as well as a campus nursery, workshops and design studios. We also have football and rugby pitches, one of the largest indoor riding arenas

of any college in the country and one of the top centres in the south east as well as two fully accredited cross-country courses and stabling for up to 40 horses!

Our Woodlands Centre provides a safe and secure environment for learners with severe and complex, learning, social and communication difficulties that may also have a physical disability. Learners will benefit from a bespoke learning programme and a range of specialist facilities including a sensory room, communal garden area and more!

Some more reasons to study with us:

Learn in an independent environment, make new friends, and manage a more flexible timetable

Performance Coaches will support you in the development of emotional intelligence, wellbeing and self-confidence.

Study at our town-centre campus; close to shops, restaurants, cultural hotspots, amenities, and travel links.

Enjoy innovative learning and assessment methods that help you develop at your own pace.

Develop the key skills required for your future career and undertake exciting work experience placements.

Choose from a variety of specialist and career-focussed programmes to suit you and your career goals.

Join in with student activities and go on trips around the UK and the world.

Follow clearly-mapped career pathways to progress to higher-level programmes. We have courses from entry level up to degree level!

The course is very specific and geared towards going into animal-related jobs and it gives you a good idea of what to expect going into that field of work. It will definitely help you make a more informed decision on where you want to take your career in the future. Finn, Animal Management Level 3