History: Established in 1974 as a sixth-form college for 350 students, the college was reorganised in 1983 into a tertiary institution offering a wide range of courses for central Lancashire. Runshaw is now a partner college of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Address: Chorley, semi-rural Lancashire near the West Pennine moors. Seven miles from Preston town centre, 30 miles from Manchester. The sixth-form college is on a separate site to the Adult Education and Business Centre, which is located slightly further out of town.

Ambience: Lively market town in the north west. Slightly further afield are the great northern cities of Liverpool and Manchester, both within easy reach by car or train. Lancaster is 20 miles north, or step into the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District with its spectacular views and world famous walks.

Who's the boss? Kathy Passant is principal.

Prospectus: 01772 622 677, view it online here and @RunshawAdultCol.

UCAS code: C30 (through UCLan)

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Standard offers vary depending on the course, but most HE courses ask for between 200 and 240 UCAS points. Students without traditional qualifications may still be asked to come in for interview.

Foundation degrees: Accounting and financial studies; business; computer aided engineering; computer games development; computer technology; computing; early years education and care; fine art; forensic science; games design; graphic design; integrated educationand care of young people and children; public services; sport and exercise science; sports coaching; tourism and events management.

Vital statistics: Runshaw offers a range of higher education courses up to BA (Hons) level. Partnership arrangements allow students to progress to local universities.

Added value: The college has Beacon Status and Training Quality Standard status with excellence in leadership and management and adult social care. It is also the only college in the country to be awarded with the European Quality Award for Excellence. Classes are small with high levels of support for students. Success rates and student satisfaction levels are excellent, and many students go on to attain first class honours degrees. The college is also fairly flexible, with courses and timetables that can fit in with busy lifestyles. It offers one of the best bursary and scholarship packages in the country, with eligible students receiving up to £2,000 over two years on full-time higher education courses.

Teaching: Outstanding in all areas inspected by Ofsted in 2008.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college, but there is an officer on hand to help you find somewhere.

Cheap to live there? Very - around £58 per week for a room in a rented flat.

Transport links: There is a transport coordinator on site, and showers for those who wish to cycle.

Fees: The college charges £6,000 per year for most higher education courses.

Bursaries: A non-repayable scholarship of £1,000 is available during each year studied, subject to attendance and progress.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Some stunning countryside in which to enjoy a few pints. Chorley Little Theatre puts on good drama and comedy, while Liverpool and Manchester aren't a million miles away. Access to the University of Central Lancashire's students' union.

Sporting facilities: Degree students can join the sports teams and clubs of the University of Central Lancashire.

Glittering alumni: John Thompson, actor in Cold Feet; Steve Pemberton, from The League of Gentlemen; Olympic middle distance runner Helen Pattison.