A Local Area Network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building). Usually, the server has applications and data storage that are shared in common by multiple computer users. A local area network may serve as few as two or three users (for example, in a home network) or many as thousands of users (for example, in an FDDI network).
A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a network spanning a geographical area greater than a WAN (Local Area Network) but less than a WAN (Wide Area Network). This type of network typically spans an area from a few city blocks to a greater metropolitan region.
A local area network is a small sized collection of computers and devices connected by a wired or wireless infrastructure to the end of sharing files, devices and a WAN connection (I.E the internet or corporate intranet). A LAN is usually found in the home or in small offices.
The next step up from this is a Metropolitan area network; this is often used for university campuses, large business complexes or any scenario that demands a span of anything more than the confines of a building.
To my understanding Newcastle College runs on a WAN, this would be necessary as the Rye Hill campus alone has several buildings. And on top of this the Sandyford campus, which is several miles away has its own (all be it smaller) set of buildings.
The largest network classification would be a WAN, WANS are networks that span vast distances, such as entire American states,...