Archive | October 2015

Civil Engineering at the Rugby World Cup

As the Rugby World Cup draws to a close, some of you may have noticed some of the games have been played at the Olympic Stadium. And with West Ham United set to move into the ground next year, there has been a hell of a lot of engineering work going on to make sure the venue was ready. This fantastic article from iCould demonstrates why engineering outperformed the home nations’ rugby teams: 

Since the end of the Olympic Games in 2012, a major project has been underway to transform the park’s stadium for future use. This means installing a new roof and strengthening the building, new seating, lighting, toilets, turnstiles, and kitchens, and refitting the interiors with new dressing rooms and executive boxes.

ApprenticesThe project involves a large number of apprentices, from office roles to pipe laying and ground-leveling works. For trainee engineer Zavier, working on such an iconic project has been a real bonus, “For years to come, I can say I partook in that, which is awesome, ” he says. WATCH VIDEO

Chris-Hearne“You’re not stuck at a desk all day long,” explains package manager Chris who is responsible for works to hold the new roof up and to make the bridges more in keeping with those around the park. “We’ve got ground workers, who are sort of the guys digging the holes. We’ve had steel fixers and the guys placing the concrete and the reinforced concrete works,” he continues, “Painters, pipelayers, bricklayers, people building dry line plasterboard walls. This job’s got everything.” WATCH VIDEO

Stuart-FraserStuart is the project director in charge of the transformation project and oversees everything from design management to buying materials, “It’s  been really exciting and really satisfying,” he says,”It’s very much a people business and it’s about working with people, building teams, working as part of teams and really adding something to that team.” WATCH VIDEO

Work has been paused to host five matches of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and will start again in December. The stadium is due for completion in summer 2016 when it will become the new national competition centre for UK Athletics and the home of West Ham United.

The stadium in numbers

  • 21,000 seats
  • 995 toilets
  • 540 lamps in 14 floodlight panels
  • 90 turnstiles
  • 35 catering outlets
  • 16 executive boxes

At The Sheffield College, we offer an incredible range of engineering courses and apprenticeships. To find out more, and whether it might be right for you, please follow this link.


28 Jaw-Dropping Close-Up Photographs Of Nature

Nikon have run their annual Small World Photomicrography Competition. Below are some of the entries and winners, we think these images are absolutely fascinating!

Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen (120x). This image was the overall winner of the competition. Ralph Claus Grimm / Via

Liverwort (Lepidolaena taylorii) plant showing modified leaves or “water sacs”, which are often home to aquatic microorganisms such as rotifers. (100x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition. Susan Tremblay

Australian grass (Austrostipa nodosa) seed (5x). This image came 14th in the competition. Viktor Sykora

Starfish imaged using confocal microscopy (10x). This image came 7th in the competition. Evan Darling /

Mouth parts (pseudo trachea) of a blowfly (calliphora vomitoria) (750x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Raymond Morrison Sloss / Via

Adult marine worm (Autolytus) (30x). This image got an honourable mention in the competition. Michael Crutchley /

Detail of ancient Chinese pottery from the Song Dynasty (960-1126 AD) (4x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Yvonne Lu (yi Chieh Lu) / Via

Vascular bundles of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) (200x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr David Maitland / Via

Leaf cross-section of a water lily leaf bud (Nupha lutea) (12.5x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr. David Maitland / Via

Numerical traces on a DVD/Blu-ray (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Massimo Brizzi /

Spore capsule of a moss (Bryum sp.). This image came 6th in the competition. Henri Koskinen / Via

Black witch-hazel (Trichodactylus crinitus) leaf producing crystals to defend against herbivores (100x). This image came 17th in the competition. Dr David Maitland / Via

Scales on moth wing (300x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Don Parsons / Via

Tentacles of a carnivorous plant (Drosera sp.) (20x). This image came 13th in the competition. José R. Almodóvar /

Clam shrimp (Cyzicus mexicanus), live specimen (25x). This image came 10th in the competition. Ian Gardiner /

Antenna of a male moth (Anisota sp.) (100x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr. Igor Siwanowicz /

Hairyback worm (Chaetonotus sp.) and algae (Micrasterias sp.) (400x). This image came 14th in the competition. Roland Gross / Via

Jaws and head of a long-jawed spider (Metellina sp.) (10x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Geir Drange / Via

Skin of a sea urchin (Synapta) containing plates and anchors composed of calcareous (chalky) material (63x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr. Richard Howey / Via

Developing sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) embryos (40x). This image came 12th in the competition. Hannah Sheppard-Brennand / Via

Birefringent andradite garnet with magnetite inclusions (15x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr. Aaron Palke / Via

Twinned crystals of 4,4’-dibromobiphenyl (25x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Dr. Ryoji Tanaka /

Red fossil coral slab (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition. Norm Barker, RBP /

Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear skin (10x). This image came 8th in the competition. Dr. Tomoko Yamazaki /

Suction cups on the diving beetle (Dytiscus sp.) foreleg (50x). This image came 20th in the competition. Frank Reiser / Via

Fern sorus at varying levels of maturity (20x). This image came 11th in the competition. Rogelio Moreno Gill /

Mites on insect pupa (20x). This image got an honorable mention in the competition. Rogelio Moreno Gill /

Transverse section of an ostrich fern (250x). This was an image of distinction in the competition. Anatoly Mikhaltsov / Via

Fancy yourself as a budding photographer, or would like to be able to produce images such as the above?! The Sheffield College offer a range of part-time and full-time courses at our Hillsborough campus hosted in our stunning new Centre for Creative Industries. To find out more, please follow this link.

Last Minute Halloween Recipes

Last call for Halloween recipes!

Here are 12 favourites that we’ve seen

Pretzel Ghosts

Pretzel Ghosts

Get the recipes here:
No Bake Halloween Dirt Cake

No Bake Halloween Dirt Cake

Get the recipes here:
Halloween Funnel Cakes

Halloween Funnel Cakes

Get the recipe here:
Spiderweb Eggs

Spiderweb Eggs

Get the recipe here:
Meringue Bones

Meringue Bones

Get the recipe here:
Silly Frankenstein Smiles

Silly Frankenstein Smiles

Get the recipe here:
Halloween Rocky Road Squares

halloween Rocky Road Squares

Get the recipes here:
Halloween Test Tube Shooters

Halloween Test Tube Shooters

Get the recipe here:
Halloween Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Halloween Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Get the recipe here:
No Bake Grave Yard Cheesecake

No Bake Grave Yard Cheesecake

Get the recipe here:
Apple Monsters

Apple Monsters
Get the recipe here:
Creepy Chili

Creepy Chili

Get the recipe here:

Job of the Week – Nursing

Starting from today, we are going to bring a you a new feature every Friday – Job of the Week!

Job of the Week is here to bring you all the latest information on occupations in the Sheffield City Region to help you decide whether it may be the right career path for you, or not for that matter. Every Friday, we will bring you a new occupation, be it your standard Nurse, Construction worker or Police Officer, or something slightly more left-field such as Groundsmen and Greenkeepers or Boat and Ship Builders and Repairers. We want to arm you with the latest and most up to date information so that you can make the best decision about your future, with all the facts and figures to back it up!

This week we will be casting our eye over Nursing in the Sheffield City Region.

As you can see in the table below, there are currently 18,573 Nurses employed in the Sheffield City Region, with the majority likely to be working for the NHS or private healthcare clinics.

Jobs (2015) % Change (2015-2020) Median Earnings
18,573 8.9% £15.86/hr

But good news for those of you wanting to pursue it is a career, there is set to be an 8.9% increase of jobs in the region for you to sink your teeth into. That means, over the next 5 years, there will be a whopping 1,663 new job positions as a Nurse available in the Sheffield City Region – which is pretty good to say the least!

And the pay’s not shabby bad either. On average, Nurses in the region earn a cool £15.86 per hour which will definitely mean you’ll be able to treat yourself on your days off; with the average starting salary seeing you earn between £21,692 and £28,180 a year.

If you think that’s good, then wait ’till you see how it checks out against the rest of the country (Sheffield City Region is the blue line!!):

emsi - nurses

Region 2015 Jobs 2020 Jobs % Change
Sheffield College City Region 18,573 20,236 8.9%
Nation 643,464 677,989 5.4%

Again, not bad eh! As you can see the job growth in the Sheffield City Region over the next 5 years is 3.5% higher than the rest of the United Kingdom’s. Why would you want to look anywhere else?!

That’s all well and good, but what do you actually need to be good at and interested in to become a Nurse? Well…

  • Strong communication and listening skills.
  • A genuine desire to help people.
  • A non-judgemental attitude to care.
  • A clear understanding of confidentiality.
  • Good teamwork skills and the ability to work on your own initiative.
  • Physical and mental stamina.
  • A mature, compassionate and sensitive manner.
  • Good practical skills.
  • Patience and empathy.
  • The ability to inspire confidence and trust.
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Good organisational and time management skills.
  • A flexible approach to work

Seems pretty straight forward. Throw into the mix that the NHS are desperately looking for new, young Doctors and Nurses due to the current lot retiring, your prospects in the Sheffield City Region are looking pretty good from where we’re stood.

Sorted. So where next? Well once you’ve made the decision to become a Nurse you can start your training here with us at The Sheffield College. To find out more about the range of courses we have on offer, please follow:

Day of the Dead Biscuits

Halloween may be grabbing all the headlines, but it is also the Day of the Dead in Mexico tomorrow – which isn’t half as scary as it sounds.

Again though, it is a fantastic excuse to cook up some delicious treats and we have just the thing for you courtesy of BBC Good Food.


  • For the biscuits
  • 175g cold slightly salted butter, cubed
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk

To decorate

  • 500g royal icing sugar, plus a little for dusting
  • 500g pack ready-to-roll white sugarpaste or fondant icing
  • food colouring pastes in a variety of colours, you’ll need red for the roses and black for the eyes and mouth

You will also need

  • skull cookie cutter (ours was 12cm x 8cm)
  • small round cookie cutter (about 1½ cm) or use the end of a piping nozzle


  • To make the dough, tip the butter, flour and a good pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, and the butter is well mixed in. Add the icing sugar, egg yolk and 2 tsp cold water. Blend again until the mixture starts to clump together, add another 1 tsp water if the dough looks too dry, but try to avoid adding any more, as this will make the biscuits tough. Tip the crumbs out onto a work surface and squash everything together to make a ball of dough, you may have to knead it a few times for an even texture. Wrap in cling film, pat into a flat disk and chill for 30 mins.
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment. If the dough is very firm, leave it at room temperature for 10 mins, or until softened a little. Dust your work surface with flour, then unwrap and roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin. Stamp out as many skull shapes as you can, then squash the scraps of dough back together, reroll and stamp out a few more. Arrange the skull shapes over the trays, bake for 18-20 mins, until just golden, swapping the trays over halfway through if your oven cooks unevenly. Leave to cool on the trays for 10 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Whilst the biscuits cool, prepare the icing. In a large bowl, mix the royal icing sugar with enough water to make a thick icing. Divide the icing into as many bowls as the number of colours you’d like to use (you’ll need to colour 1 batch black for the mouth) then use the food colouring to colour each a vivid shade – a tiny drop of the food colouring paste goes a long way, so start with a little, then add more if you like. If the icing is too thick to pipe, add a drop more water. Transfer each colour to a separate disposable piping bag and secure the ends (clothes pegs do a good job of keeping the ends closed.)
  • Break off 50g of the sugarpaste and set the rest aside, wrapped in clingfilm (This will prevent it from drying out and cracking.) Use the red food colouring to dye the small lump of sugarpaste red, kneading until evenly coloured. To make the roses, take hazelnut-sized balls of the red sugarpaste, and press them into long slim oval shapes on the work surface (roughly 1cm x 4 cm, use a little icing sugar on the surface if it gets too sticky.) Roll up the sugarpaste from one end to create a rose. Whilst still on its side, cut off the bottom to give you a flat base. Continue with the rest of the red sugarpaste until you have about 20 roses (enough for 4 biscuits.)
  • Clean down the surface, and dust with a little extra icing sugar. Roll out the remaining sugarpaste to the thickness of a 50p piece, then cut out as many skull shapes as you have biscuits. Use a little of one of the coloured icings to stick the sugarpaste skulls to the biscuits.
  • Scrunch any sugarpaste scraps back together and dye the ball of sugarpaste black with the black food colouring, kneading until you have an even colour. Roll out the black sugarpaste and stamp out circles for the eyes (use a round cutter, or the end of a piping nozzle.) Stick the eyes and roses to the biscuits with a little of the coloured royal icing. Snip off the corner of all the piping bags to make a tiny opening and decorate the biscuits as you wish – flowers, hearts and dotty designs all look good. Leave the biscuits to dry for 1 hr before serving. The decorated biscuits will keep for 3 days in a sealed container.

Fancy yourself as quite the baker, or simply just want to improve? Well, come and put your skills to the test whilst gaining a qualification on one of our brilliant bakery courses!

19 Creepy Halloween Makeup Ideas That Will Scar You Forever

Just two days to go until Sheffield will be awash with witches and ghosts, zombies and skeletons.

Don’t fall into the trap of looking like everyone else though! BuzzFeed have collated 19 utterly petrifying makeup ideas that will frighten the life out of anyone and everyone, and ensure you look nothing like anyone else – or yourself for that matter!

1. Queen of Darkness

Queen of Darkness

Dope2111 / Via

See the entire  terrifying tutorial from here.

2. Jack-o-Lantern


Alycia Marie / Via

See Alycia Marie’s full tutorial here.

3. Killer Snail

Killer Snail

Ellimacs sfx makeup / Via

Watch Ellimacs sfx makeup’s tutorial here if you can stomach it.

4. Neon Skull

Neon Skull

Desi Perkins / Via

Here’s the entire tutorial for Desi Perkin’s Neon & Blacklight makeup.

7. Batman vs. Joker

Batman vs. Joker

Mariam Luso / Via

Watch the tutorial from Mariam Luso here.

8. Zombie Elsa

Zombie Elsa

AwesomenessTV / Via

Here’s the full video from AwesomenessTV.

10. Devil


Ssweetcriss / Via

Watch Ssweetcriss’ tutorial with the lights on.

15. Alien


NsomniaksDream / Via

Watch NsomniaksDream’s full video here.

Always thought there was so much more to makeup than the day to day designs?! As you can see from above, you were exactly right! Check out our makeup courses and soon you’ll be able to produce utterly terrifying designs with ease/

Culture Secretary Wants BBC To Create More Music Shows Like “Top Of The Pops”

Culture secretary John Whittingdale has piled pressure on the BBC to create another flagship music show like Top of the Pops.

BuzzFeed News proudced the below article after the Tory cabinet minister spoke at the parliamentary launch of the Let It Beeb campaign, which aims to protect BBC Music – the part of the organisation that deals with its musical output – from budget cuts ahead of next year’s charter renewal.

Whittingdale was not meant to speak at the event but took to the stage after hearing pleas from BBC director-general Tony Hall and Jo Dipple, the chief of industry group UK Music, to leave music on the BBC alone.

He insisted the BBC’s contribution to music was “absolutely essential”, declaring: “In some ways, actually my criticism of the BBC is that they don’t do enough for music. Radio is very well-served but TV, I’d actually like to see a bit more music…”

His unexpected comments were drowned out by applause. Whittingdale went on: “All I will say to you is as long as I am secretary of state I will continue to support the BBC in highlighting the incredible talent we have in this country. And I haven’t seen the petition but I think I would be very willing to sign it.”

Later he told BuzzFeed News he had been a big fan of Top of the Pops – which was broadcast weekly between 1964 and 2006 – and wanted to see more big music shows back on television. He also said he used to enjoy The Old Grey Whistle Test, a late-night music show that aired between 1971 and 1988.

Jake Bugg at the Let It Beeb launch. Emily Ashton / BuzzFeed News

Musician Jake Bugg performed live at the event, which took place in Portcullis House on Monday night with guests including singers Sam Smith and Sandie Shaw and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. TV stars Nick Grimshaw, Patrick Kielty, and Anneka Rice also showed their support alongside MPs and ministers.

In a passionate speech at the event, Dipple said: “During this [BBC] charter renewal period, when questions are rightly asked by many of you in the room, tonight is a chance for us in the music industry to put on record our support.

“Yes, the management of the BBC might be made more efficient, and that’s not for me to argue here, but wider efficiencies must not impact on BBC Music services – it’s just not worth the risk.”

She said there was “no commercial alternative to BBC Music”, adding: “So if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.”

At The Sheffield College Hillsborough Campus we have just opened our new  Centre for Creative Industries, which includes state of the art music and radio studios! To view our music courses on offer, please follow the link.

Homemade Toffee Apples Recipe

Another day closer to Halloween, and another day closer to needing to make some delightfully scary treats for your party!

BBC Good Food have a dead easy, dead quick recipe for toffee apples that are sure to tickle the taste buds of all that try. Here it is:


  • 8 Granny Smith apples
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup


  • Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
  • Lay out a sheet of baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 150C or ‘hard crack’ stage. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
  • Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.

At The Sheffield College we have a fantastic catering department offering courses in Professional Cookery, Patisserie and Confectionery and many, many more. Have a look through our courses and it give it a try today!

6 of the Weirdest Halloween Costume Ideas in Sheffield

Halloween is never easy. Getting that blend of scare factor without looking like everyone else is tough.

Thankfully, Wow247 have enlisted the help of the guys at Molly Limpet’s Theatrical Emporium.

Take a look at their spook-tacular suggestions below.

1. Alice in Wonderland characters

Queen Hearts Costume

Any Tim Burton-esque costumes are popular at Halloween and these character-based costumes are some of our most popular ones. They’re both iconic and effective, and customers can easily complete the look with simple make up and eye accessories.

2. Davy Jones

davy jones Costume

Pirates – one of our favourite themes – lend themselves to a lot of ‘dark’ interpretations. With these stunningly tailored costumes and with some liquid latex, makeup and perhaps eye accessories you can create a very dramatic effect.

3. Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett

Sweeney Todd Costume

Another Tim Burton interpretation of a classic horror character! Great for couples, Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd are easy to wear, and require the minimum of makeup to create maximum effect – dark eyes, blacked out teeth, backcombed hair with white/powder streaks through all mean you don’t have to wear masks/wigs (a lot of customers want to avoid this as it adds heat).

4. Zombie Hunters

zombe hunter costume

A new one for this year; we get asked loads for zombies, but someone has to hunt them! The coat can also be used to interpret different characters if required, so we do try to encourage customers to look at a lot of our non-Halloween costumes and make them into gothic/horror versions.

5. Steampunks

Steampunk costume

A style that is emerging more and more – essentially Victorian or period costumes fused with sci-fi / mechanical accessories.

Fancy putting costumes together, or even creating them yourselves as a living? Have a look into our fashion and clothesmaking courses and apprenticeships on offer at The Sheffield College now!


Applying for university? Tips on writing your UCAS Personal Statement

So you’ve filled out the easy parts of your UCAS form but still have your 47 lines to complete.

Don’t be scared! Here’s how to make your statement sing.

Getting started

The biggest hurdle is where to begin when you’re staring at a blank page. Once you’ve written your first draft it gets easier. This skeleton plan may help get you thinking:

Opening paragraph
Why do you want to do this course? What inspired your choice? Show you understand what you’ve applied for and most of all be positive and excited about the course.

Middle section (up to two paragraphs)
Give evidence to prove your enthusiasm for the course and why you deserve a place. Include the research you’ve done to understand the subject. Have you attended talks or written blog posts, for example? What inspired you? Use recent extra-curricular activities and work placements to demonstrate how you’ve developed relevant qualities and skills for the course. If you’ve chosen a variety of courses, write about the common themes. Try to include what’s unique about you and what makes you stand out.

Positive end paragraph
This is the personal touch where you talk briefly about your interests. End on a positive note and keep your conclusion short and sharp without repeating what you’ve already said.


Dos and Don’ts

  • Make sure you have the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation and your statement has been proofed.
  • Keep your sentences short and don’t waffle or repeat information you have already included elsewhere in your application..
  • Say what you hope to achieve from the course.
  • Don’t use flattery like, ‘it would be an honour to study at your university,’ or include the specific names of universities. Remember your UCAS application and personal statement will be seen by all the universities you apply for.
  • Don’t try to be funny or use rhetorical questions or clichés.
  • Don’t copy an already existing personal statement you have found on the internet – you will get caught!
  • Most of all be positive and DO show lots of genuine engagement and enthusiasm about the course.
  • Do check the UCAS deadline for your courses as timings vary and allow plenty of time to submit your application.


To view our university level courses at The Sheffield College, please click here.