Welcome to Bradford College
Bradford College is the largest higher education provider outside of the university sector, and with over 23,000 students, of which 4,000 take part in higher education courses, it may also surprise you to know that the college possesses more students than many universities.
The courses vary widely from traditional subjects such as Law, to more specialised courses such as Ophthalmic Dispensing. A selling point for many uni-hunters will be the more vocational, ‘hands on’, subjects on offer at Bradford College – including subject areas such as Beauty Therapy & Hairdressing and Hospitality & Travel. The college also has a selection of part-time courses, as well as their full-time curriculum, for those of you who are looking to study in between whatever else life brings you.
Art & design is considered by some to be one of Bradford College’s forte-subjects. In fact, you might have heard of David Hockney – he studied at Bradford College once upon a time. The college is so proud to have the famous artist as a member in their alumni hall of fame that they even went as far as to name a building after him.
Celebrating its first birthday towards the end of this year, The David Hockney Building is a real-monolith of the college, commemorating the English painter and printmaker, sprawling out to cover 23,000 m2 across and six-stories upwards. All those studying Engineering, Construction and many other subjects will benefit from this flashy addition to the college.
Also, before we forget to mention, an interesting fact about the college is that they took on the Guinness World Book of Records in 2011 when they constructed the world’s largest onion bhaji. And, it didn't stop there either. In the same year the college went on to conquer the world largest supersized vegetable samosa – did we just hear you reaching over to grab a Bradford College application form? Any college with this amount of love for exotic side dishes is good in our books anyway.
Courses and fees
Entry requirements are dependent on what course that you are applying for. It’s recommended that you check out the Bradford’s website or do a course search through UCAS to find out your courses specific entry requirements. Alternatively you can call the Careers and Guidance team – based in the David Hockney Building – at 01274 433043 to work out what you need to get onto the course you want.
Once you’ve worked out if you make the cut, the application process is also done online through the UCAS website for higher education courses in most instances.
There’s a large plateau of additional funding handed out to students each year at the college. This is to the relief of students short of pennies in the piggy bank.
The National Scholarship Programme is the main bursary up for grabs at the college; this can be worth up to £2,000. Its key aim is to aid students who are care leavers, students with disabilities, refugees and students with a Bradford postcode. There are also more course specific bursaries such as the PGCE Teacher Training Bursary and Social Work Bursary. If you are studying a teaching course it could be worth seeing if you are eligible for this, as it could mean from £4,000 to £25,000 extra dosh for you.
Loans are offered directly from Bradford College as part of their Access to Learning Fund, for students who have applied for their statutory support, but have not yet received it. This would be useful in a situation where your Student Finance application has been delayed.
Full details on financial support can be found at Bradford’s website here.
The set fees are not too difficult to get your head around, but they do vary on what type of qualification you will be studying towards. Undergraduates for 2015/2016 will be looking at £7,500, MA or MSc students will pay £4,500, PGCE’s are marked at £8,000, foundation degrees and HNDs at £7,100, and PT undergrads, FDs & HND will be £700 per 20 credits.
International Course Fees
Fees for all courses as an international students are £8,000 – with the exclusion of postgraduate degrees (MA/MSc/Med/LLM) which are a little bit more at £8,700. Discounts and bursaries are currently under review at the college, but there is the opportunity for it to be on offer in future.
With a history stretching back as far as 1832 in delivering further education, Bradford has in recent days invested a lot in improving facilities, fit for higher education studies. Not only were the finishing touches put on the multi-million pound David Hockney Building in 2014, but will also be saying hello to a new Advanced Technology Centre, ready to welcome prospective scientists, technologists, engineers, art-oloists and mathletes in September 2015.
It’s not just the college developing, but Bradford itself is climbing to the next level. This is ideal for those days when you feel like hanging up your mathlete jacket and taking a breather. Luckily for anyone starting a course at the end of 2015, you will have many new sanctuarys to retreat to. Material girls and boys out there can look forward to having a quick trip to the mall at Westfield’s new 10-acre development, ‘Broadway’.
Hipsters and indie kids out there might be thinking – stop right now, ‘That sounds a bit mainstream for me.’ Not to worry – how does an underground market sound to you? Adorned with Victorian style units running the length of the underground tunnels, the market will feature trading street barrows, restaurants and bars. Many of these will be independent shops, but will also have numerous student favorites such as Nando’s, Starbucks and Lloyd’s Bar. Art-lovers will also be joyful to know there will be Bradford Council’s gallery Number One opening too. The market is envisaged to be opening at some point this year.
Let’s face it, a degree is fundamentally about learning, and it’s pretty difficult to get ahead of the bunch when you’re stuck at with a university still using dial-up and Windows 98. Bradford has a few tricks up their sleeve to bring them into the digital age.
Firstly there’s the pretty nifty ‘Moodle’. Not a dog; it’s an online hub of resources and media. Moodle has endless way in which you can interact with it. To name a few of the particularly useful features is: being able to hand in assignments remotely from home, chatting to peers through its forums, downloading resources from missed classes, and interactive quizzes and tests. Moodle’s key purpose is for teaching and learning support, although there’s no reason why you couldn’t just put your feet up from learning for a second and tune in to one of their specially selected TV programs, podcasts, e-books, or audio content just for fun! Everyone enrolled at the college will have access to Moodle.
The college is fully kitted up with wireless hotspots across key buildings and the campuses. This gives you the freedom to study wherever you feel most comfortable – maybe in David Hockney Building café guzzling down coffee to stay awake for an assignment deadline you’d been putting off (we wouldn’t recommend that of course!)
Library and Study Facilities
There are two places in the college to get your head in the books – the David Hockney Building and Lister Repository. You will have access to over 200 computers and a wide selection of literature, with specialised books for specific degree areas. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t find what you want though, as you will always have the option of having the book ordered in from another library elsewhere. This is usually from The British Library and is done through the college’s Inter-Library Loans service.
Booking out a study room is ideal for those who are easily distracted by library people-watching, or if you’re just looking to work in a study group amongst others in a more private space. You can book out a study room from the Student Information Desk on the third floor of the David Hockney Building.
By far, the most interesting perk of studying at the Bradford College library is being able to contact the librarians individually for advice on books. Each librarian has a specialised knowledge of course subject areas, meaning they’ll be able to advise on which books would be best for any assignments you’re struggling to dig out research. It’s like a Topshop or Topman personal shopper, but with books – it doesn’t get much better than that, does it? The librarians’ contact details, including phone numbers and emails, can be found easily on the college’s website.
Sports and Recreation
The £20 million pound Trinity Green Campus is where it’s all at for all you fitness buffs. The campus is fully equipped with a 1,000 m2 sports hall, a fitness suite, three floodlit 5-a-side pitches, a large football pitch, a dedicated sports theory room and two basketball pitches specially designed to meet the standards of sports organisation, Sports England.
Perhaps you’re the kind of person who likes to exercise in a more expressive way? We recommend you hit the dance and aerobics room, which has a fully sprung wooden flooring.
The Trinity Green Campus found itself fit for a king-sportsman at the 2012 Olympics, being used as a site for pre-games Olympic training amongst teams from China, India, Vietnam, Nigeria and Tanzania.
For those of you (and we’re guessing there’re quite a few of you out there) who aren’t at Olympics level yet, the college offers sports training for all levels – male and female, and of any skill level. Bradford also has programs for those with disabilities in sports and exercise. Amongst the current sports are football, badminton, boxing, dance, cricket, netball, rugby, martial arts, basketball and swimming; although you are able to contact the college directly if you have any other ideas for keeping active.
Arts Facilities and Exhibitions<> Bradford has a long-standing history for being a widely successful international centre of textile manufacturing. In celebration and commemoration of this, Bradford College has a textile archive dedicated to Bradford’s industrial, educational and cultural history. This might be of particular interest to those who picture themselves with a career in heritage or curation one day. But, whoever you are, anyone can appreciate the achievements in person at the colleges Old Building, or even online! The digitalised archive can be found for their site here.
The Dye House is another hot spot for soaking in some cultural stimuli. Exhibitions in this building feature work from established artists and organisation, but not forgetting the college’s own students and alumni. The Yorkshire Craft Centre is also a great place for art-enthusiasts, including a large gallery, exhibition spaces, a jewelry workshop, and a café for afterwards when you’ve viewed yourself into artwork-overload.
The college’s refurbishments will result with yet more art and performance spaces soon in the Lister Building and Yorkshire Craft Centre. In short – there’s no shortage of places to view or display artwork around the college.
Student Services at the college is split into three separate teams: Careers Guidance, Student Finance and Disability Services & Learning Support. They are all situated on the ground floor of the David Hockney Building.
The Student Finance team will be your first port of call for any money related aid at the college. If they’re not able to help you straight away, they’ll be able to book you a one-to-one appointment and sort out whatever it is that’s going on with your bank account.
Careers Guidance will be able to help you with anything career related, whether your concern is about choosing the right course or just about finding out how to apply for work placements.
The Disability and Learning Support team are there to assist any applicants with a learning difficulty, illness, disability or with any other learning need.
Transport and Location
Living off a student budget can be pretty tight in most cases, lucky for Bradford College students, there’s the ‘Freecitybus’. As the name would imply the service is 100% free to all Bradford College students – rejoice! The service links the college to key locations such as the local train station, Forester Square Shopping Park, Oastler Shopping Centre, the National Media Museum and the University of Bradford’s library.
Leeds is a 15 minute train ride away from Bradford, which could make for the perfect weekend getaway from a looming deadline, or even just for a fun night out. And, if that isn’t far away enough for you, there’s also Leeds Bradford International Airport, where you could jump on a plane to the other side of the world.
Bradford’s Students’ Union has won some awards for being particularly good at what they do – enriching Bradford students’ college lives. These awards include ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the National Union of Students Awards 2014, and ‘Further Education Students’ Union of the Year’ at the National Student Awards in in 2013.
Every student at Bradford will automatically be enrolled as a member of the Students’ Union right from his or her first day of study. This is a great way to make new friends and get involved in new interests. The union currently has 11 societies in total – Break Dance Society and Video Game Society are bound to be memory-makers. There is always the opportunity of course to start your very own society if there’s something you’re fanatical about. It can be literally anything you want that you’d like to bond over about with other likeminded students – no one’s going to stand in your way from starting a hummus society for instance.
If you’ve toyed with the idea of getting involved in volunteering or charity work before, then the Students’ Union can hook you. With strong links to national charities such as Age UK and British Heart Foundation, the union’s your oyster! This is your chance to try something new that you wouldn’t have done otherwise before.
Entertainment & The City
The college’s main campuses are right bang in the middle of all of the city’s happenings; this is useful, as you won’t have to walk very far to find something to do.
There’s the National Media Museum, a lazy 2 minute walk from the college. This is free for all students and has a Picturehouse cinema situated inside of the building. There is also a discounted price for students at the cinema – so, it’s a good idea to spend the £12 on an NUS Extra Card at the beginning of the year. There is also the Alhambra Theatre around the corner for students into a bit of live performance.
A bit further out of the city centre is the Leisure Exchange complex. At the complex you can stimulate the senses at Hollywood Bowl by bowling until your heart is content, eating till your stomach cried for no more at one of the many restaurants, or betting at the casino until your brain reminds you that you’re probably living off a student loan!
Research by Lloyd’s Bank last year found that Bradford is the ‘most affordable’ city in the UK. This is particularly useful to know if you’re the kind of person who always ends up buying rounds of shots on a night out.
Yet another hot tip for night-out money saving is simply by using your student card. If you bring your card along to locals-favorite club, Flares, you can get in for free. The club spans over two floors, and is the place to be if you’re into a bit of cheesy pop.
Despite there being lots of local bars and nighttime entertainment dotted all over the city, many students will opt to hope on a train to Leeds for their nightly-pleasures. Being just a 15 minute sit down on the train away from Bradford, it seems like a pretty obvious choice if want to open up your options, as Leeds is the 3rd largest city in the UK after all.
LGBT Student Life
For a relatively compact city, Bradford has lots going on for those identifying within the LGBT community. The main LGBT friendly bars are no longer than a 5 minute walk from the central campus. These include The Sun, Candy and Tequila.
Again, many students will opt to travel slightly further from campus to Leeds where there is a thriving LGBT scene. The Bridge Inn and The New Penny are amongst popular spots along the The Calls, which is Leeds’ ‘gay village’.
Bradford College says ‘hello’ to hundreds of international student’s every year, with 5% of their study body consisting of international students currently. You can contact the college directly at [email protected] if you’re a student-to-be from outside of the UK and just want some advice or help with decision-making. There’s abundant information about applying and useful facts at the college’s website here.
There are three types of accommodation to get your hands on at Bradford: long stay, homestay and short stay. All college accommodation is designed to be as low cost as possible and with low deposits.
Long Stay Accommodation
The newest addition to halls accommodation is the £40 million student village, The Green. Found just a few minutes walk away from the David Hockney Building, you could practically just roll out of bed and turn up to your lecture in minutes. The buildings in the village have been inspired by traditional English ‘terraced blocks’. This means that students living here will feel like they’re almost staying in a really big shared house, with a front door, patio area and garden to share with their new flat-buddies. These flats all have their own shared kitchen and shared washing facilities.
Arkwright HallsArkwright Halls are clearly the ‘glam’ option at Bradford. If you’re the sort of person that dreams of turning up to their first day of studies Legally Blonde style, with pooch in-hand and suitcase-helpers following, then this is the option for you. These halls come with all the extra bits and bob, such as, Sky TV, a communal pool table and wait for it… an on-site gym. Once you’ve finished burning calories in the gym, you won’t have to worry about burning anymore for the day, as the halls are located right next door to the college.
Doris Birdsall halls are cheap as chips at £81.41 per week, inclusive of all bills – they don’t even charge you for laundry. These flats come with fully equipped kitchens, plus shared bathrooms. These halls are also ideal for individuals in short stay circumstances.
Private Accommodation,p> Bradford works in partnership with charity, Unipol Student Homes, who assist in finding accommodation with a private landlord or provider. The college couldn’t recommend enough that you find accommodation through them if you’re wanting to go private. You can find out full details about what they have to offer from their website.
Homestay accommodation is particularly beneficial for international students who are wanting to improve on their English language skills. Homestay accommodation will mean that you will stay with a host in their home – living as ‘part of the family’. You will share meal times and take part in home life.
All accommodation is within a 30 minute walk of the college and you will have agreed responsibilities within the host family; these are nothing big, but just things such as tidying up after yourself and clearing your own food away after meals. This will cost you £100 per week for half board accommodation and £65 per week for self catering.
Words on a screen and hearing other students’ experiences can be extremely helpful when decided on your future course choices, but what can really be the deal breaker is actually experiencing the university in the flesh. Open days are the perfect opportunity to clear those hazy questions you’ve got.
You can take Bradford College for a test drive at one of their Applicant Visit Days. A full list of dates and the courses featured are on the colleges website here, where you can also register your attendance. The open days are course specific, so that you will be able to get the most relevant information and experience possible during your visit.
“I love coming to college and I can honestly say that, with the help of my tutors, I have overcome the problems that I thought might get in the way of my studies.” Level 1 Art & Design student, Leighann Akroyd
“From an early age I was interested in joining the police and never really saw myself doing anything else. When i was at bradford college, I applied as a volunteer in policing and I got a real sense of satisfaction from being able to help and reassure people.” Former Bradford student, Luke Reed
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