History: Trafford College was formed in September 2007 following the merger of North and South Trafford Colleges.
Address: There are four main sites across Greater Manchester – in Stretford, Altrincham and Manchester City Centre.
Ambience: A friendly and supportive medium-sized college. Lancashire Cricket Club is across the road from the Stretford campus, and Manchester United's grounds are around the corner. The Altrincham site is shiny and new, with 2011 entrants being the first to use the facilities.
Vital statistics: The college has approximately 11,000 students, made up of 3,000 young people (aged 16-19) and 8,000 adults, full and part time. Most students are drawn from the local area. Courses range from entry level to foundation degree, plus training for businesses. HE courses are validated by Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Bolton. Specialises in vocational training, apprenticeships and A-levels.
Added value: The £25m new build at Altrincham was finished in 2011. Facilities in the new-build include a new A-Level Centre, a new learning resource centre, state-of-the-art classrooms and a three-storey atrium. The College is recognised as a National Skills Academy in Retail, Environmental Technologies, Hospitality, Financial Services and Sport & Active Leisure. It also specialises in music performance together with science and technology. It has specialist music studios at Newton Street in the city centre and the launch of its new £15m Science and Technology Centre in Stretford will take place in Autumn 2013. Some of the key features available to STEM students at the new build will include world class Engineering and Motor Vehicle workshops, cutting edge Science laboratories and modern classrooms with advanced technology, as well as a specialist Green Room for the latest renewable energy resources.
Easy to get into? Varies widely depending on the course, but foundation degrees ask for a Level 3 qualification and some programmes require an interview and portfolio.
Glittering alumni: Jason Orange (Take That) and Ian Brown (The Stone Roses) both studied at the college. Jason Orange returned to do his A-levels at the Altrincham campus after Take That’s first split.
Transport links: All sites are within easy access of public transport services. Tram stops are a five minute walk from most of the College sites and campuses are just five to ten minutes drive away from the M60. Manchester Airport is approximately six miles away.
Who's the boss? Sir Bill Moorcroft was appointed principal of the newly merged Trafford College in September 2007. He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in July 2008, recognised for his services to local and national further education.
Teaching: Given an ‘outstanding’ rating following its first Ofsted inspection in 2009.
Foundation degrees: Spa management; early years childhood studies; supporting teaching and learning; creative technologies; sports and exercise management; forensic and security technologies.
Nightlife: Manchester is the envy of the country when it comes to nightlife and has one the largest student populations in Europe.
Any accommodation? None provided by the college, but they'll help you get in touch with private letting agencies.
Cheap to live there? About average - a room in a shared house set students back between £60 and £70 per week last year.
Fees: Fees vary depending on the course.
Bursaries: A college bursary scheme, judged on individual circumstances is available to full-time HE students.
Prospectus: 0161 886 7070 / www.trafford.ac.uk
UCAS code: Apply direct to college.