The Essex-based college has entered into a 30-day collective consultation period with all staff. Around 40 staff are likely to go, with as many as possible from voluntary redundancies.
Principal professor David Butcher said: "These are unprecedented times for higher education and the consequence of central funding cuts is being felt across the UK."
The college and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) jointly commissioned external consultants to conduct a strategic options review.
Butcher said: "There was a requirement from the HEFCE for the College to undertake this review to ensure that Writtle is appropriately positioned for the future.
He added: "The consultants commissioned to conduct the strategic options review have indicated that Writtle's staffing levels are too high."
An outcome of the review, which Writtle governors and senior management have endorsed, is the proposition of "sustainable independence" for the college.