About Northern College

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Set in acres of stunning National Trust gardens, Northern College is the ideal spot to focus on your studies and future. Our college and residential accommodation for students aged 19 and over allows you to focus on your education and receive exceptional support throughout.

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At Northern College, you will study with likeminded people. All of our students are adults with different experiences and ambitions. Whether you are studying for the first time since school, attending a short course to gain a qualification for work or looking to make a career change by studying a new subject, you will meet other adults with similar goals. 

Our students benefit from:

  • studying alongside like-minded adults
  • residential accommodation so you can focus on your studies and receive wrap-around support
  • acres of National Trust gardens and parkland free for you to explore
  • staff specialising in adult education to support you every step of the way
  • excellent student achievement rates, regardless of entry level
  • a welcoming and inclusive learning environment
  • studying at a college graded as Outstanding by Ofsted
  • discounted bus service and free parking

We are a relatively small college designed only for adults. This creates a strong community feel. Each year we build an adult learning community made up of our students, teaching and student support teams. Our community works together to ensure that everyone reaches their full potential and gains the skills to go onto further or higher education, and new and better jobs. 

Most of our courses are residential, giving you the opportunity to stay with us on campus to focus on your studies. This may involve one night on a short course, a week’s intensive programme or a longer course over nine months where you could live on campus. 

Being residential means that you build a strong learning bond with the other students on your course, and you’ll have more access to our team for that extra support to achieve the best you can. We also offer courses partly on campus (residential or non-residential) and partly online, or wholly online. 

If you’ve not been to our campus yet, you should visit. Teaching takes place in Wentworth Castle, a fabulous grade I listed house which is set in over 500 acres of amazing National Trust gardens and parkland. This is all available for our students to access throughout their studies. 

How we support you

At Northern College, there is a place for every adult. We are passionate about providing education for all adults regardless of their previous educational experience or level, and no matter what their background. We treat everyone as an individual and will help you with a range of support, whether you decide to be a residential or non-residential student. 

We are a small college but have over 4,000 student registrations a year. People come to us from many different backgrounds. They are men and women of all ages from 19 to 90, often with families and many familiar with unemployment or part-time, low paid jobs.

But what they nearly all have in common is their determination to secure the education, qualifications and opportunities they have previously been denied. They wish to take control of their lives and change them for the better. Many hope that by doing this they can also help to improve the lives of those around them, by supporting their children’s learning or being more effective citizens.

We offer a curriculum which starts from where students are, building on the experience of life and work that they bring with them, providing opportunities to acquire the new knowledge, skills and fresh understanding that are so important if people are to meet the demands made upon them.

How we teach

The college’s educational programmes provide a direct route from basic education through to higher education for those who want it. Whether students wish to learn something new, brush up on things they have forgotten, make a better contribution to a group or organisation to which they belong, or get a degree, Northern College has something for them.

Most of our courses are short, intensive residential courses of two to five days, running both during the week and at weekends. We offer a one year Access to HE course and also have some non-residential provision at college. We work closely with a range of community groups and offer specially designed courses for their members; other courses are open to all. The Northern College teacher education programme specialises in social purpose education and draws many students from community partners.

We do our best for our students

Finally, we believe that our students deserve the best we can provide, and that we as a college, must do our utmost to secure the best for them. As well as our magnificent buildings, a key strength is the expertise and commitment of our staff – all our staff, be they teachers, managers, catering, cleaning or maintenance workers – work hard to support the welfare and success of our students. I would like to warmly welcome you to Northern College and hope that you will find much to interest you on our website.

Yultan Mellor electronic signature

Yultan Mellor
Principal and Chief Executive

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Why choose Northern College?


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Stay and study on-site with us

Fully focus on your studies by staying on-site with us.

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Explore our gardens

We have acres of National Trust gardens and parkland to explore right outside our building.

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We’re Outstanding

We’re rated by Ofsted, the UK education standards office, as Outstanding.

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Our pass rates are excellent

We have outstanding pass rates, to ensure our students achieve and progress.

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We support you all of the way

We have a whole team to support you through your studies to make sure you do well.

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We're only designed for adults

Make new friends and study alongside like-minded adults as part of our unique learning community.

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Working together to create a place for everyone.


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