The Privy Council has written to the college to confirm that it has been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP).
From September 2016, students at the Essex college will be able to study for a degree awarded by Writtle itself, with the first degrees awarded in 2017. Currently they study at Writtle but degrees are awarded by the University of Essex.
The college currently runs Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees in horticulture, landscape and garden design and landscape architecture, Master of Science (MSc) degrees in horticulture, sustainable land management under global change, postharvest technology and Master of Arts (MA) in landscape architecture and garden design, alongside Diplomas of Higher Education and Certificates of Higher Education within these fields.
The first students will graduate with Writtle College qualifications (Higher Education Certificates and postgraduate taught Masters) during the College’s 125th year in 2017, with the first bachelors degrees awarded in 2020.
Principal Dr Stephen Waite said: "This is a significant milestone in the college’s history and shows how we have grown and progressed as an institution.
"We have offered specialist courses for the more than 120 years and we are pleased that students will, in future, graduate with a degree that is awarded by Writtle College.
"We are grateful to the University of Essex for a long-standing partnership that has been successful and productive; the college will still maintain close ties to the university, which will continue to validate our research degrees."
Waite said that the TDAP process recognised strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught
higher education programmes.
"The process has involved considerable work from all members of staff for nearly four years and the whole college has been scrutinised rigorously against national criteria. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement.
"These are exciting times for the college and this marks a new era for our fantastic institution."
Chair of governers Lise-Lotte Olsen said the college had a strong reputation in the industries it serves.
"The ability to validate our own degrees will give us the flexibility to respond quickly to changes in the industries related to our subject areas and student feedback. With this new status, we will be able to offer taught degrees independently, without requiring a university partner, adding weight to all qualifications offered here and enhancing students’ career prospects, whether that is in industry or academia."
Writtle College is now consulting on what it will call itself.