What you can learn at X Factor school

Mickey Mouse degree? Nah, I'm taking the X Factor

For the bargain price of £95 you can now study to become an X Factor star.

Bishop Auckland College, County Durham is offering a 17-week X Factor Preparation course –claimed to be the first of its kind.

The college’s Mike Jinks says it is about “giving people real, transferable skills”.

The programme is designed to give wannabe popstars young and old the nous to stand up in front of the judges (luckily Simon Cowell is still in America) and do their thing.

“Many applicants have talent but need to work on key things such as their singing technique and confidence,” Jinks said.

Here’s our (imagined) course prospectus:

Back story: We’ll help you pen heart-string pulling tales involving dead [insert as appropriate: puppy, budgie, cat…etc], educational disadvantages (don’t mention Bishop Auckland), a relative who is in prison, bullying and so forth. This is known in the trade as the Sob Factor. Note: must be short enough to fill three minute-segment with plinky plonk music, close-ups. Sign up for lessons in crying on demand, below.

Tanning: Remedial classes in application of Fake Bake will be held weekly by Sharon. Students should bring shower caps, moisturising gloves and a flannel. Anyone not achieving an even burnt umber by week six will have their place on the course reviewed.

Tooth alignment: Train track braces will be fitted to the teeth of all entrants by our resident orthodontist in week one. In most cases they will be removed at week 16 after which students will undergo an enforced period of tooth bleaching. Module aim: Tom Daley’s tan and pearly whites.

Emotion: Those who struggle with crying on demand should enrol for classes in vocal quivering. The injection of an undulating warble into any song (particularly referencing dead puppies from Sob Factor) is television gold. Make sure the judges don’t mark you down by perfecting the ragged breathing and heart-squeezing vocal heights of Mariah Carey.

Your thing: As we all know the X Factor thrives on categorising its contestants. Thus, if you are not easily catalogued (strive for goth, emo kid, soulstress, rapper, babydoll) you will be at a disadvantage. Our campus-based style guru Gok Wan will be on hand to deal with lifeless hair, directionless wardrobes, severe cases of frump, and (worst of all) individuality.

Study hard and you can be the next Rylan Clark (above).