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Starting Higher Education marks an exciting new phase in your son or daughters life and at UCO we are committed to helping our students fulfil their ambitions. We understand that this time can be daunting, especially if they will be this first in the family to study a degree level course. Therefore we have created this guide for the parents of potential students and we hope that it answers any questions you may at this time. If you would like any further information, please call us on 0161 344 8800 and we will be happy to assist you.

Why Choose UCO?
  • We offer a range of employment focused courses at both Foundation Degree and full Honours Degree level
  • We have small group sizes that provide a personalised learning experience
  • Our highly qualified lecturers have notable industry links, extensive teaching experience and excellent, up-to-date subject knowledge
  • Our full time degree students have up to 15 hours weekly class contact made up of teaching and tutorial hours
  • Employability skills are a strong feature of our degree courses and offer the chance to work with major local employers
  • Students may be able to apply for bursaries and scholarships to help with their studies in the first year of their course.
  • Close proximity to Manchester City Centre – a vibrant student and cultural environment
Working in Partnership

By studying at UCO your son or daughter will gain a degree from one of the following leading Universities who act as our validating partners;

  • The University of Huddersfield
  • The University of Central Lancashire
  • The University of Bedfordshire
  • Teesside University
  • Sheffield Hallam University

Our courses are also regularly reviewed to ensure consistently high standards and high rates of graduate satisfaction and we’re constantly growing our Higher Education offer.

Assuring Quality

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education is a national organisation that reviews the quality of Higher Education delivered by colleges. Their reviews are based on the core themes of academic standards, quality of learning opportunities, public information and enhancement. Through our QAA reviews, you can be confident your son or daughter will be studying to the highest standards and enjoying the best support.

Keep your costs down*

Students do not need cash to enrol on a course. Tuition fee loans cover university or college tuition fees and are paid direct to the university or college by Student Finance England. They are available to all eligible students regardless of household income. The amount that students pay back is dependent on how much they earn after graduation, not how much they owe. Students will need to arrange their tuition fee loan as soon as they have applied for a place.

*For more information, visit

Additional Financial Support*

Some students may be entitled to additional finance support, such as Adult Dependants’ Grant, Disabled Students’ Allowances, Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. Again, eligibility for these will be based on individual circumstances.

*For more information, visit

The Importance of Having a Degree

Having a degree boosts career potential and is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market. The majority of our students are not simply learning their subject in order to get a qualification, but are aiming for a career in that field. We therefore understand the importance of making sure we are helping to prepare our undergraduates for the world of work. We ensure that employability skills are embedded into all of our programmes and have strong links with both local and national employers. This means that students take part in live briefs, are visited by guest lecturers and industry experts and go on visits to employers’ own sites. Many local employers as well as our alumni return to UCO as guest speakers, passing on their experience and advice to the next generation.

Can my Son or Daughter receive extra support with their work?

We are proud of the pastoral care provided for our undergraduates. Our goal is for them to have a higher education experience that offers the support and guidance for them to achieve their dreams of becoming a successful graduate ready for further study or employment. There are dedicated academic development staff who are available to book for 1:1 sessions on academic skills as well as delivering group sessions and workshops.

Disability and Learning Support

At UCO we offer support to help students achieve their full potential, regardless of the level they are studying at. If your son or daughter feels they might need support, they will need to mention this at their interview and we can put them in touch with the HE Disability Support Officer. We can help with a range of difficulties such as physical and learning disabilities, mental health needs, visual and hearing impairment, emotional support and dyslexia.

What is the application process?

Full-time undergraduate applications are administered by UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) – click here to apply

Part-time applications should be made directly to UCO – 0161 344 8800 and our HE Admissions team will advise on how to proceed.

We have a dedicated team of staff on hand to help guide your son and daughter through the admissions process, from selecting the right course, to completing the UCAS application and applying for financial support if they wish to use it. For further information contact our admissions team on 0161 344 8800. Schools and Colleges may also offer guidance to students on the application process.

Do you have accommodation on campus?

We do not have any accommodation on campus at UCO but our HE Admissions team will discuss accommodation options with them at their interview.

What if something goes wrong?

Your son or daughter will be allocated a personal tutor, who will be on hand to offer individual and confidential advice. There will be allocated slots dedicated to 1:1 tutorials on academic and personal progression, as well as group tutorials.

How do we find UCO?

UCO is in a central location within Oldham and is easy to get to from all parts of the region by bus, tram and car. For more information, please click here

Do HE students need to pay Council Tax?

Full-time students are not required to pay Council Tax. Automatic exemption exists for students living in university halls of residence, but those living in private accommodation must declare their exemption to the local authority.

Will they need a computer?

Each student has a student ID number which they can use to log into any computer at UCO or any of the campus buildings. Computers are located in several work areas and in communal spaces. Students may also bring their own computers, laptops, tablets etc. There is free wireless Internet access on campus.

Will they need a part-time job?

Many students choose to undertake part-time work whilst studying for their degree, to provide additional financial support and to increase their workplace experience. Students should be careful to balance their work and academic commitments – most universities recommend not working more than 16 hours per week. With strong retail and service industries, the Manchester region has plenty of part-time flexible work that suits students.

Should they register with a doctor?

Yes, we would encourage your son or daughter to register with a doctor if they are relocating to the area.

Still have questions?

If you have any further questions, please get in touch using our online enquiry form or by phone on 0161 344 8800. The HE Admissions team and our academic staff will be happy to discuss your individual concerns.

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