History: Stockport College of Further and Higher Education merged with North Area College, Stockport in January 2006. The college is now simply called Stockport College.

Address: Stockport, Cheshire. Two sites - the Heaton Moor Campus and the Town Centre Campus on Wellington Road South, where all higher education courses are based.

Ambience: The college has students of all ages, from school-leavers to those well beyond retirement age, studying courses in numerous disciplines in a thoroughly modern atmosphere. HE students enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and generally smaller groups (typically under 20).

Who's the boss? Stephen Carlisle is principal.

Prospectus: 0845 230 3102 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: S76

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies by course – HE courses ask for anything between 80 and 280 UCAS points. Mature entrants with relevant experience make up a good proportion of students especially on part-time programmes.

Foundation degrees: Early years practice;working with children and young people; enterprise computing; design and advertising; forensic science; construction and surveying; commercial photography; interior design with sustainability; television production.

Vital statistics: The college has more than 1,100 students on higher education programmes, studying both full and part time. BTEC higher nationals, foundation degrees, university certificates and degrees are available on a range of subjects. Foundation degrees and degrees are awarded by Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Central Lancashire, and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Added value: The college received the prestigious Beacon status in 2008. The college’s dedicated HE building offers a common room in addition to the general college library and facilities. As a large FE and HE College, Stockport offers students the opportunity to study at all levels in many subjects within the same institution. Nurseries to help the many part-time and mature students with children.

Teaching: Recent QAA academic reviews saw the college achieve eight 'commendable' grades and its teacher training provision (with UCLan) was judged 'good' by Ofsted.

Any accommodation? No but students can get advice and guidance from the college’s Information and Advice Centre

Cheap to live there? Yep - a room in a shared flat could cost as little as £60 per week.

Transport links: The college is situated within a few minutes' walk of Stockport Station, which has national railway links. It is also close to the M60 and there are many bus routes that stop close to the college doors.

Fees: Charges at most £6,000 per year for full-time degree courses, with foundation degrees at £3,000.

Bursaries: Some financial assistance is offered to those who need it most - see the financial support page here for further information.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Stockport is just a 12-minute train journey away from Manchester. The college is also just a few minutes' walk from the Grand Central Leisure Complex, with facilities such as bowling, cinemas and an Olympic size swimming pool. Stockport is a bustling town with clubs, bars and all the social and leisure amenities you would expect.

Sporting facilities: Offers indoor and outdoor facilities with a developing sports academy.

Glittering alumni: Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud; footballer Norman Whiteside; Andy Shallcross (set up the record label Twisted Nerve with Badly Drawn Boy).