Blackpool and The Fylde College


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The Independent Online

History: A school for fisherman has existed in Fleetwood since 1892, and in 1987 the nautical college merged with Blackpool and Fylde College to become the current Blackpool and The Fylde College. The purpose-built technical college was completed in 1936 and has since merged with a number of others.

Address: The Fylde is 25 miles north-west of Manchester. The college has four main campuses located along the 17-mile stretch of The Fylde coastline and more than 70 learning centres. The main site is at Bispham.

Ambience: Still basking in the glory of a glowing 2007 Ofsted inspection, which declared the quality of provision as outstanding. Government inspectors praised outstanding leadership and vision, excellent contribution to the community and employer engagement and outstanding support for learners. Teaching facilities include fully operational construction workshops, motor-vehicle workshops, hair and beauty salons, a kitchen and restaurant, a travel agency, a theatre complex and a business centre.

Who's the boss? Pauline Waterhouse OBE. A graduate of English and Swedish, she is interested in travel, fell walking, golf and the theatre.

Prospectus: 01253 504 343 /

UCAS code: B41

what you need to know

Easy to get into? A range of requirements for different courses. Most foundation degrees require 40 UCAS points, while BAs ask for over 200.

Foundation degrees: A long list of foundation degrees are available, including: marine biology and coastal zone management, communication at work, criminology and criminal justice, history and heritage management studies, and eco-technology. A wide range of HNDs and HNCs are also available.

Vital statistics: Around 16,000 students, 7,000 of which are on further education courses and 2,500 are on higher education courses. The college reckons it's the country's fifth largest further education provider of university-level education, offering more than 70 degrees and diplomas. Centres of vocational excellence in three areas: automotive manufacturing, customer services quality for tourism, and building Services. An associate of Lancaster University, it is able to offer courses that lead to Lancaster University awards.

Added value: A £10m university centre was opened in September 2009 in central Blackpool, which offers state-of-the-art facilities, including a theatre and gallery for the showcasing of students' work.

Teaching: Selected by Ofsted for demonstrating national best practice in construction, maritime and engineering. Centre of Vocational Excellence in automotive manufacturing, customer service quality for tourism, and building services.

Any accommodation? A hall of residence is available at the Fleetwood Campus but is for maritime operations students only. However, being a holiday resort, Blackpool has plenty of accommodation to choose from.

Cheap to live there? Yes. Rents in town started at around £70 per week last year.

Transport links: Air, motorway, rail, sea and local transport links including trams. Just over an hour by train from Manchester Piccadilly and two-and-a-half from London Euston.

Fees: It's £6,000 for courses, with the exception of musical theatre and acting degrees, which cost £8,000.

Bursaries: Eligible students receive a £700 bursary towards the payment of their fees.

the fun stuff

Nightlife: Blackpool offers a diverse selection of pubs and clubs. It is home to the UK's biggest superclub The Syndicate and Club Sanuuk is also a favourite. The students' union organises various nights out and events.

How green is it? Very. The University Centre is one of the few institutions in the UK to achieve a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating for sustainable design and environmental peformance. The college also runs a car-share scheme and has a rainwater harvesting system.