History: Wigan and Leigh College has played an important role in further and higher education in the borough of Wigan since 1993. Steeped in history, the college dates back to 1858, where it began as Wigan Mining and Mechanical School. In 1974 a merger of Wigan College and Leigh College was formed.
Address: Five sites within walking distance of the centres of Wigan and Leigh.
Ambience: A strong work ethic and an inclusive atmosphere. Provision ranges from the arts and business, construction and engineering, management and sport. Wigan is home to the Grand Arcade, a multi-million pound shopping centre and the JJB Stadium, home of Wigan Athletic FC and Wigan Warriors RLFC.
Who's the boss? Cath Hurst, a former student herself, who graduated in home economics.
Prospectus: 01942 761 605; download their prospectus here.
UCAS code: W67
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Easy to get into? Entry qualifications vary depending on the course and level. For many HE and adult courses, prior work experience is often taken into account. All courses will require that you attend an interview, and some will require a portfolio.
Foundation degrees: Fashion and clothing technology; graphic design; theatre and performance; child and adolescent mental health; early years; construction management; computer technology; computing; forensic science; health and social care; management and leadership; management studies; spa management; health and personal training; sports coaching.
Vital statistics: Around 14,000 students, approximately 800 of which are studying at university level, and 1,000 staff. Courses run from entry to degree level, with more than 70 higher education courses, including degrees, foundation degrees, HNDs and HNCs.
Added value: Partnerships with universities, including UCLAN, Salford, Bolton and Manchester Metropolitan, and with many local and international companies, such as Cisco and Microsoft.
Teaching: Outstanding, good or satisfactory in all curriculum areas inspected by Ofsted in 2007.
Any accommodation? None provided by the college, but a list of local landlords is available at student services.
Cheap to live there? About average. Rooms go for between £65 and £80 per week.
Transport links: The town lies half way between Manchester and Liverpool and the M6 and M61 are about 15 minutes' drive away. Three hours to London by train.
Fees: Vary by course and qualification for further education. In 2013, HE courses will cost up to £5,885 per year.
Bursaries: £566 per year to all students studying undergraduate courses charging £2,260, irrespective of family income. Students studying on the more expensive courses may be able to apply for bursaries through the validating universities.
THE FUN STUFF
Glittering alumni: The band Starsailor studied music at the college.
Nightlife: Wigan’s nightlife is packed with pubs and clubs. The area has a rich musical heritage, ranging from traditional favourites such as George Formby to modern day rock stars Starsailor. There is also an international jazz festival each year.