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.

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
premier league
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam