Holy Cross College & University Centre

From School to College

Leaving school and heading to Holy Cross is the first step to a new future. This is a new and exciting time for you as you prepare to make the transition from school to sixth form college. In college you will meet new students, experience a new environment, new teachers and new courses but you will also benefit from greater independence, learning new things and making new friends.

Staff and students will make you feel welcome and help you to settle in quickly so that you will soon feel very much at home here. You will also be in a more adult environment which gives you more freedom, self-confidence and autonomy.

Preparing you for your future

This greater independence will equip you for university and your future career. You will develop independent learning skills and take greater responsibility for your own progression.

You will also develop the study skills necessary for university or the self-motivation required for your working life.

To support you in achieving your full potential we will have very high expectations of you in respect to your attendance, punctuality and completing work on time. We know from experience that this makes a telling contribution to your overall success.

All our staff have a role in caring for and supporting you - we want you to do well, and will listen to your concerns, as well as your ideas, opinions and suggestions.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching, learning and assessment are at the heart of all we do at Holy Cross. We have a strong record of academic success, but as well as gaining outstanding results we want you to have an extremely positive experience of learning. Our teachers are excellent and enthusiastic and they constantly seek to encourage new and inspirational approaches to lessons and to the work you do independently. Holy Cross has a very strong tradition of enrichment and you will benefit from a wide variety of educational visits and outside speakers in addition to your normal lessons.

You will develop your skills in ways that help you to learn as individuals and to prepare you to continue your studies in Higher Education or to move into employment. We encourage you to give your views about teaching, learning and assessment and teachers use these to continue to improve lessons and other aspects of learning.

Academic Excellence

Holy Cross is justifiably proud of its reputation for academic excellence. Whatever your ability you will be supported and valued as an individual and offered a range of activities to enable you to reach your potential. We want to ensure that all students have the opportunity to excel in their subject choices and develop as individuals. Pass rates, retention rates and high grades are all above average, even for Sixth Form Colleges, and, as Ofsted has recognised, we are exceptional for progression to university.

'The vast majority of students who achieve their A Level qualifications progress to higher education, and the proportion who go to prestigious universities, conservatoires and specialist colleges is higher than that from similar colleges.' Ofsted Report 2018

2019 has been our most successful year for applications to and offers from Oxford and Cambridge Universities with 11 of our students moving on to Oxbrige this year. 

2020 A Level Results

An overall pass rate of 99.5%.

64% of all grades are A* - B.

69 students achieved at least 3 A*/A grades!

 2020 L3 BTEC Results

A pass rate of 100% across all 2 year courses

9 students achieved 3 x Distinction Star (D*) grades.

31 students achieved at least 3 Distinctions and above.

This is based on approximately 950 students taking A Levels at Holy Cross in June 2020.


Studying for a Degree at Holy Cross


When Holy Cross expanded into higher education, it's vision was to become a centre of excellence providing locally based education for undergraduates.

In partnership with Liverpool Hope, Edge Hill and St Mary's Twickenham universities, student numbers at Holy Cross University Centre have swelled from around 50 to over 500, becoming a phenomenal local success story.

We offer BA (Honours) degrees, Foundation degrees and MA level study. Our range of courses and our partnership with the universities continue to develop in a forward looking, dynamic way, so this is an exciting time to join us.

Why don't you become part of our growing community of university students within a friendly local environment offering excellent teaching, IT and library facilities?

Why study at all?

Our research has shown that 78% of our students studied to advance their careers, but 63% were also studying for personal achievement. Many students simply wished to learn something new. For some, study was part of confidence building and a way to meet people and socialise.

Excellent Results

The University Centre was established in 1999 and since then hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds have completed their degree programmes, with a remarkable percentage of our students achieving first class and 2:1 degrees.

Evening Study in Bury

All taught sessions take place here at Holy Cross in the evenings, during the week, allowing you to fit studying around your other work and home commitments.

Some courses follow a 'blended learning' model with a lot of the work completed online from home. Many students find that this model of study fits well around their existing commitments.

Think you're too old to study?

Many of our students re-discover education later in life, and some decide to retrain for a career change. Whatever the reason, there's never been a better time to study at Holy Cross, with it's increasing range of higher education courses - and there really is no age barrier as some of our most successful students can testify.

Too young to study here?

Traditionally, younger students have attended universities away from home. However, changes to government funding of higher education mean that more and more younger students are choosing to study close to home to make studying an affordable option. Our increasing range of traditional and work-based courses makes "earning whilst learning" in Bury an attractive option for young people. The number of younger students choosing to study locally has increased significantly over recent years.

Why not?

We are looking first and foremost for your potential to succeed, so you should come in and have a chat if you want to find out more, as entry qualifications are flexible and are always looked at individually. Some will come with A Levels, others with Level 3 vocational courses such as BTEC, NVQ, and GNVQ, others via an Access course or others again via an entrance assessment.

Further Questions

If you are interested in studying for a degree at Holy Cross and have any questions then please contact a Support Tutor at the University Centre on 0161 762 4513