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Royal National College for the Blind

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is the country’s leading specialist residential college of further education for people with a visual impairment. Our expertise and success has been built over 140 years, and we offer a variety of products and services to a diverse audience.

With over 60 programmes of study available with a wide range of support in all areas, studying at RNC will ensure you can move onto your chosen career path and achieve your ambitions. RNC Learners leave us with confidence and independence, ready for the world of work, higher education and a self sustainable future. With a skilled team of specialist staff to support you throughout your time here, as well as first class resources and facilities, we truly believe there is no better place to study.

It’s not all about learning at RNC; with our Student Union and wide range of activities available on and off campus, RNC learners enjoy a lively social life with the support of their blind and partially sighted peers. From sport to creative arts, knitting to debating, there really is something for everyone.

We are well used to leading the way in what we do, and the 21st century has seen us enter a new era. A multi-million pound campus redevelopment is well under way, ensuring that learners have access to the very best facilities. As home to the England/GB Blind Football Team, who competed in Beijing in 2008, we opened the world’s first football academy for visually impaired footballers in order to find a new breed of talent to compete in London 2012 and beyond. Life at RNC has never been more exciting.

The College is not all about education for the 200 or so learners who come through our doors each year. We also offer specialist training and support to businesses, universities and other education providers, and specialist professionals working with visually impaired people.

Who to contact

01432 265725

Where to go

The Royal National College For The Blind
Venns Lane

Other Information


Please enquire

Local Offer


We work closely with our student body to ensure that we continue to meet their needs and stay up to date with new developments. We review our curriculum on a regular basis to ensure that it is meeting the needs of our students, providing the best opportunities for their intended transition. Our fully accessible campus is adapted to meet the needs of those with a visual impairment and additional disabilities. Our responsive estates team is able to undertake any adaptations required to halls of residence, teaching areas and other parts of the campus to meet the needs of individual students.

Our courses for learners with additional needs

We are a specialist college for people with a visual impairment, although many students will have additional needs, for instance a hearing impairment or autism/Asperger’s Syndrome. For some students their visual impairment will be their primary disability, while for others it will be one of a number of symptoms of an underlying condition.

Visual impairment is a low incidence disability and the degree and type of condition experienced by our students varies enormously. Some have congenital condition while others have lost sight as they have reached their teens as a result of a genetic condition, accident or trauma. Some are completely blind. Others experience symptoms such as double vision, tunnel vision, visual distortion, blind areas within the visual field, glare and / or contrast sensitivity, night blindness or reduced depth and / or colour perception.

Most of our students are aged between 16 and 25. They come from a wide range of social, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Our students represent a wide spectrum of academic and vocational abilities. To meet their various needs we offer a broad range of accredited courses leading to the following qualifications:

  • GCSEs
  • ‘A’ Levels
  • BTECs
  • NVQs
  • ITEC Diplomas
  • Other accredited study programmes in subjects such as ICT and braille


RNC provides individualised support packages. Each student will be taught using their preferred working medium, be this braille, JAWS, SuperNova or ZoomText, and we incorporate other assistive technologies as they emerge. This is the norm for RNC and communication methods instinctively take in to account any potential barriers and ensure that every student is included in the total range of communication within the organisation. Students are assessed by a low vision specialist on arrival and ongoing support with any visual aids and packages is considered essential as part of the provision.


Our study programmes are completely unique to each student. Each student’s timetable is their own personalised learning plan, designed to meet their current ambitions and future aspirations. We are specialists in visual impairment and we work with our students from day one to make sure that they have exactly the right level of support, at a pace that suits them. Changes to programmes are not uncommon but they have to be linked to meaningful progression and to match students’ future plans.

The residential element of the College plays a key role in embedding the mobility and independent living skills our students develop as they are expected to put them in to daily practice in a 24-hour learning environment. Social skills, friendships and peer support are also vital and we offer a wide pastoral curriculum ranging from sport and drama to shopping expeditions and a dining club. Students are also encouraged to take on roles of responsibility within the College.

Contact Name
Alena Critoph - Registrar
Contact Telephone
01432 376342
Contact Email
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