Hopwood Hall College


History: Formed in 1990 from a reorganisation of further education in Rochdale.

Address: This northern college is split into two sites, one in the centre of Rochdale, and one in Middleton, north Manchester.

Ambience: The Rochdale campus is a modern looking educational building set in the middle of Rochdale town centre. Middleton is a green belt site five miles away with far more attractive views but fewer amenities nearby.

Who's the boss? Judo enthusiast Derek O'Toole is principal and chief executive.

Prospectus: 0161 643 7560 or read it online here.

UCAS code: H54

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Not too tricky. A Level 3 vocational qualification in a similar subject area is usually required (i.e. the foundation degree in early years asks for a BTEC National Certificate/Diploma). Those without formal qualifications may be considered if they have previous professional experience.

Foundation Degrees: Hospitality management, early years and sports development.

Vital statistics: An expanding college with 3,200 full-time and 8,000 part-time students. It provides vocational courses, work-based apprenticeships, higher education, and professional programmes for business. University level courses are validated by the University of Salford, the University of Huddersfield, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bolton and Edge Hill University.

Added value: The college has recently undergone a £17m transformation with the building of a new technology centre at its Middleton campus which is the base for courses in construction, electrical installation, engineering and motor vehicle. It’s recently added a new sports training facility alongside the £3m Sports Arena which offers football and rugby academies. New courses in animal care and horticulture have expanded the life sciences curriculum with over 3 acres of outdoor space dedicated to these two areas alone. The Rochdale campus has been completely redeveloped and now boasts a brand new commercial hair and beauty salon, Riverside Salon, and the Riverside Restaurant in which to train catering students. Both sites have state-of-the-art classrooms, student social spaces, bistros and shops.

Teaching: A QAA review of HE in engineering expressed confidence in the academic standards achieved. In new media design, students rated the majority of the teaching as good or excellent, with a curriculum that directly meets employer requirements. In business and management, students commented favourably on their educational experience.

Any accommodation? None offered by the college.

Cheap to live there? Most students attending the college live at home, so rents don't really worry them.

Transport links: There are buses between the campuses, including seven free routes each morning and evening, although students tend to be based at one site in order to minimise the necessity of travelling.

Fees: For those not eligible for free tuition, FE fees start at £600 and HE from £2000 per year for students starting in 2013.

Bursaries: Financial support is available to those who meet qualifying criteria on enquiry. See here for further details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Rochdale provides enough entertainment for a mild night out, but Manchester will satisfy even the most avid party-goer.

Price of a pint: There are plenty of cheap pubs with food nearby.

Sporting reputation: Not entered into the BUCS league, but the Sports Arena is new and offers sporting opportunities.

Glittering alumni: Two 2012 London Olympic medalists - Nicola Adams, gold for boxing and Stuart Bithell, silver in Sailing are both former students.

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf