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What is a UTC?

Waterfront UTC is a member of the movement of University Technical Colleges promoted by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are government-funded schools that offer 13–19 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.

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:

  • focuses on one or two technical specialisms
  • works with employers and a local university to develop and deliver their 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 design and building, working in teams and problem solving.”

Our Education

At Waterfront UTC you will gain a good, all-round education, achieving GCSE and A-Level qualifications plus technical qualifications in Engineering and Construction & the Built Environment. You will learn alongside the University of Greenwich and some of the region’s largest employers to gain the skills and confidence to succeed and achieve your future goals.

Age Range

The UTC is available for young people in Year 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Students can only transfer at the end of Year 8 or Year 11. 

The UTC is not currently available for students in Years 7 and 8, but will carry out activities and sessions for young people to sample the UTC style of education before deciding whether to apply for Year 9 or 12.


Waterfront UTC is home to a specially constructed self-contained new build at the rapidly developing Chatham Waters regeneration site in north Gillingham. The £12million building and fitting out costs were met by the Education Funding Agency, as an important part of the Government’s school reforms that are being made through the national University Technical College initiative that aim to make a vital contribution to raising education standards, as well as preparing young people for a career in technology. Full planning consent for the building was granted by Medway Council in July 2014. The lead build contractor, Bowmer and Kirkland, started on site in September 2014, with the building being complete in September 2015.

The building is fully equipped with state of the art facilities to enable and enhance the ‘learning by doing’ approach to delivering the Engineering and Construction focus of the UTC. These facilities have been carefully developed in close collaboration with our employer sponsors. This approach is also exemplified by the internals of the facility itself, with them being particularly designed to create a live learning laboratory. 

The internals of the building have also been designed to create a business-like environment, in keeping with the ethos and focus of the UTC. The building is fully ICT enabled to permit students to mirror industry practice, as well as enhancing their own learning.