Blackburn College has a heritage going back over 125 years, and is the one of the largest and most successful colleges in the country with the Ofsted accolade of Grade One, Outstanding in all areas. As a result we have a reputation for producing learners and graduates that are highly sought after by employers. Today Blackburn College delivers courses from entry level up to Masters Level to 16,000 full and part-time students from across the globe.
Why Choose Blackburn College?
Blackburn College is the largest provider of higher education for a college in the UK* and in 2013 celebrated providing education and training for 125 years. Each year Blackburn College provides learning opportunities to 16,000 students at all levels, 3,000 of whom are Higher Education students.
Below you will find out lots more about the college including; our success, our work with employers and the positive impact we have in our local community (*Source: based on Heifes11 return).
- OFSTED rated Outstanding
- Largest University Centre in England*
- 85% of degrees approved by Lancaster University - Top 10 in the U.UK
- Highest Advanced Apprenticeship Success rates in England
- Further Education course success in the top 10% in England
- Third year running - 9 out of 10 students are in a job or further study within 6 months
- £65 Million state-of-art Student Campus
- 100% A level Pass Rate in 20 subjects
- QAA Quality Assured - recognised for employment focused curriculum
- Working with over 4,000 employers including BAE Systems, Media City and Senator International
- Supported over 1,800 unemployed people to successfully gain a qualification tailored to local labour needs
The continuous improvement of teaching and learning is fundamental to raising achievement and standards for both staff and learners and is at the very heart of what Blackburn College does. A survey of 1,688 full time FE students highlighted that 96% of students believe that staff know their subject well and 94% believed teaching was good.
Over £65 million has been invested in our unique, state of the art town centre campus, developed collaboratively with employers and stakeholders to future proof the curriculum.
Blackburn College is passionate about innovative teaching and learning practice and £220,000 was invested in 2012/13 on ILT (Information Learning Technologies) including a state of the art ‘Innovation Lab’.
We believe our student support package for school leavers is the best in Pennine Lancashire:
- £30 per term Travel Pass
- Free Kit and Uniform
- Free Breakfast and £1 Lunch
- Employability skills and support
- Guaranteed progression opportunities
Since the opening of the University Centre in 2009 we have gone from strength to strength, proactively engaging with businesses in the development of many of our vocational and degree level courses; enabling us to meet local, regional, national and international needs at a time of constant change and development.At University Centre at Blackburn College (UCBC) we work with UK Top 10 Lancaster University and other partners to offer higher education and degree courses in Blackburn.
What we do is unique. You will study in your own dedicated University Centre which opened in 2009 costing £14million. You will study with tutors who will get to know you and work closely with you to achieve your career goals.
You’ll get all of the advantages of a big University – such as a Students’ Union, a prestigious graduation ceremony and highly qualified and experienced tutors. We hope you’ll browse our range of courses, learn about why 9 out of 10 graduates are in work or further study 6 months after graduation and about our £1,000 Bonus for full-time eligible students.
Why choose University Centre at Blackburn College?
University Centre at Blackburn College has a growing reputation. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, 9 out of 10 of our graduates were in work or further study just 6 months after graduation. A fantastic achievement! These statistics are derived from annually published data by the Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey. They are based on UK graduates who are available for employment and further study and whose destinations are known. *Six months after graduation.
Praised by the Quality Assurance Agency
Our University Centre has been highly praised for forging strong links with employers by the independent body in charge of standards in universities and colleges.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), which monitors the quality of education at universities and colleges across the country, praised the College for developing students’ job prospects by placing employers and employment at the heart of the curriculum.
The report commended the College for focusing on “vocationally relevant programmes that meet the needs of students and employers in key areas such as finance, marketing, leadership and management, and in high employment sectors such as teaching, public services, health and social care.” QAA was particularly impressed with the College’s approach to improving student employability, stating: “The development of students' employability in the curriculum and in teaching, learning and assessment, and the opportunities for students to gain real workplace experience, are particular strengths of Blackburn College.” Read our full QAA Report.
An Associate College of Lancaster University
The vast majority of the courses that we offer are validated (approved) by Lancaster University who are frequently in the Top 10 of university league tables in the UK. Upon graduation, graduates receive a Lancaster University certificate. We also work with other well-respected institutions such as the University of South Wales, University of Cumbria and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Our validation/approval process is rigorous. You can be confident of the quality of the qualification you will leave with. Read more about our University Partners
Fantastic Financial Support
At University Centre at Blackburn College we believe no one should be put off going to University because of the cost, so we’ve put a great financial help package together to help you. This includes:
- £500 Bonus for full-time eligible students
- UCBC Student Success Fund
Ask a UCBC student what sets us aside from a traditional University and they will tell you the amount of support we provide you with is second to none. You’ll have high levels of contact with your tutor and benefit from a range of specialist teams.
All Courses lead to Careers
All our courses are designed with your future career in mind. Many of our tutors are industry professionals who will share with you insights from their experience and gear you up for what to expect when you start your graduate career. We work with employers to ensure that what you learn during your degree is actually of benefit to them when you come to search out a graduate level job and we offer a range of work-based learning options to help you get a taste of the job market and what an employer wants.
A degree on your doorstep
The vast majority of our students live within 20 miles of Blackburn. We especially attract students from the areas of Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington, Chorley, Ribble Valley and Clitheroe, Preston, Burnley and Nelson and Colne. Although some students travel from further afield, and we do have accommodation available, these students have chosen us as living at home is the financially sensible option. You may be able to keep your job (many students work full/part-time while studying), study while looking after children or caring for others or fit your study around the commitments you have.
Engaging with Employers
At Blackburn College we work closely with employers from a range of sectors to be an indispensable partner in supporting the economic landscape of Pennine Lancashire and beyond.
We deliver specialist, bespoke training as well as Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Professional Qualifications, all of which equip the workforce with job relevant skills that match the current employment market. Our University Centre also provides Higher Education to employers, including Foundation Degrees, Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeships.
Our employer engagement supports employability through enhancements to curriculum development, mentoring placements, volunteering opportunities and industry specialist speakers. As a result, 9 out of 10 graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
The College is a Founder member of HIVE – The Blackburn with Darwen Business Leaders’ Network.
HIVE has already become an integral part of the area’s Local Strategic Partnership, which brings together leading figures from the private, public and third sectors and is Blackburn and Darwen’s largest partnership body.
We are currently working with a large number of the Fab 500 (500 Lancashire businesses with highest turnover). Between these businesses, they employ 150,000 people and have total sales of £27 billion. Examples include:
- Graham & Brown – Workplace training/AAT Accountancy
- Crown Paints – CIM/Electrical/Apprenticeships
- Promethean – CIPS /Management and Apprenticeships in Management & Business Administration
- Herbert Parkinson (Part of the John Lewis Group) – Textile Apprenticeships
- Fort Vale Engineering – Range of commercial courses including Management training.
- 97% of employers say Blackburn College collaborates effectively with them and believe we have a clear understanding of the local skills need and opportunities.
Blackburn College is connected with more than 4,000 employers, locally and regionally and offers over 40 Apprenticeship Frameworks with an Apprenticeship success rate 25% above the national average.
Over 60% growth projected in International student numbers over the next 12mths - the college is currently working with some of the largest Petrochemical companies in the Middle East to provide bespoke training in: Engineering, Cisco Systems CNNA, Management & Fire Safety.
- As the third largest employer in Blackburn the College takes a leading role in transforming Pennine Lancashire into a vibrant and successful economy, which enhances the skills, aspirations and potential of the local community.
- The College has supported over 1,900 unemployed people who have achieved a 99% success rate in the employment related course they undertook.
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