All FAQs

Do you offer places to students from outside the area?

Absolutely. Many students from schools outside of Bury currently study at Holy Cross and made a very full contribution to the College.

Do I have to be Catholic to come to Holy Cross?

The majority of students studying at Holy Cross are not Catholics. The College is looking for students who are committed to their subjects and the nature of the College itself and who look to make a full contribution to this environment while they are with us.

What if a student is ill?

We would prefer that all absences are reported on the day of the absence.

This can be done by contacting the attendance line via email on or by calling 0161 762 4500 then option 1. If there is no reply you can leave a message quoting the student's name, pin number and the reason for the absence and this will be recorded.

If you are unable to contact College on the day you can telephone or send a note in up to a working week after the absence. If we have received no notification after one working week the absence will remain unauthorised.

What if a student has a medical appointment?

College would ask that where possible all medical appointments are made when the student does not have a timetabled lesson. Please try to give Student Services 24 hour's notice (phone call from parent/carer will suffice). However, in cases where it is an emergency and it is not possible to give 24 hour's notice, then Student Services will require sight of an appointment card or note from the hospital/doctor/dentist/orthodontist's receptionist confirming the student's attendance so that this may be authorised.

Who do I contact if I have any concerns regarding a student?

The first person to speak to is the student's Progress Tutor. The direct numbers for the tutors can be found on the 'Sixth Form Centre Policies and Documents' page here. If you would prefer to speak to the College Safeguarding Officer, please ring 0161 762 4523.

I need a letter confirming that a student is a full time student at college for council tax, child benefit purposes etc.

Please ask the student to request a letter from student services they can do this in person at the student centre reception or via email

What grades will I need to be offered a place?

Currently the minimum requirement to start an advanced level course is 5 grade 4s at GCSE or equivalent (any vocational subject will count as no more than one towards this) and must include Maths or an English. To begin a 4 A Level course the tariff is higher. Please also check the entry requirements for specific subjects.

How do you prioritise applicants?

Due to its distinctive religious character, Holy Cross gives preference in principle for its non-vocational admissions to Catholic students, but we warmly welcome applications from students of all faiths, and in practice we have a very balanced and mixed student population in this regard.

In offering places we take into account:

  • Your application form;
  • The interview, which will concentrate on the course you have chosen and whether Holy Cross is suitable for you;
  • Information which high schools provide us with;
  • The school attended by the student;
  • The date of receipt of the application form, if after the closing date.

Do students take 4 A Levels in year 12?

The majority of students now take 3 A Levels, however, they can take 4 if this is felt to be an appropriate course for them. The final course agreed at enrolment will reflect appropriate advice from staff and will take into account the students' GCSE results.

Do all students drop one subject at the end of year 12?

In line with recent Government changes students in the main start on a course of 3 linear A levels and continue these for two full years with exams at the end of the second year.  There are no AS levels with exams at the end of Year 12 anymore.

Can I study an A Level that I haven't studied at GCSE?

Very often you can but this very much depends on the subject in question. Please check the specific entry requirements for the subject of interest.

What advice would you give students wishing to study Maths & Science at A Level?

Are you good at these subjects? Do you enjoy the content? Are the skills required ones you feel you have and are competent in? Be sure they are subjects you wish to study. It is crucial you make a choice that is best for you and not one that results from ‘advice' or ‘pressure' from family or friends.  Please check the specific entry requirements for the subject(s) of interest.

Can I choose a combination of subjects?

Essentially, yes you can but you need to give thought to breadth. Too narrow a combination may create issues for you later. Do consider the advice you will receive at various stages of the application/enrolment process.  Certain University courses will ask for specific subjects.

What happens if I am offered a place and don't get the grades I need?

Talk to us about your options. We offer a range of alternative courses to advanced level and would want to discuss these with you in detail. Please ensure you still attend your enrolment appointment so that we can have this discussion with you.

Can I study BTECs with A Levels?

Certainly you can and students often do. Your options will be discussed in detail during application and enrolment.

How long is the College day?

Currently the College day starts at 8.40 am and final lessons finish by 3.45 pm Monday to Thursday, lessons finish at 2.15 pm on a Friday. What time you actually start and finish on any given day will depend on your timetable but will not be outside these times.

What can I do in my free time?

Many things! We offer a huge range of enrichment activities and are proactive in encouraging students to take part in these. In addition, your non-contact time can be used for study, research and accessing appropriate support. Establishing a good balance in the use of this time is key to benefitting fully from your time at Holy Cross.

How do I get my A Level results?

The main summer results will be available to collect in person at college from 8.00 am on Results day, they can also be obtained by the student logging into their intranet area later that morning. Students can view and print out a full Statement of Results at this time. Results issued for other exams taken throughout the academic year are provided in paper format from the Exams Office.

How do I obtain my certificates?

On receipt from exam boards, student certificates are stored by the Exams Office. Certificates can be collected and signed for by the student or their authorised representative, or posted home on receipt of payment to cover Recorded Delivery postage. Certificates are stored by the College for a maximum of 5 years after which they are confidentially destroyed.

Is there financial assistance available?

We are committed to providing support for our students and ensuring that financial hardship is not a barrier to education and academic success. Students can apply for the 16-19 Bursary Fund which will give them a fortnightly payment towards the costs of trips, books and equipment.

Can you offer help with transport and transport costs?

The 16-19 Bursary Fund can offer help towards the costs of transport to College.

Who qualifies for the 16-19 Bursary Fund?

There are 3 categories to the bursary fund:

  • Cat A for vulnerable students
  • Cat B for those students who have a total household income below £16,190
  • Cat C for those students in financial hardship and paid at the discretion of the college.

How do I apply for the 16-19 Bursary Fund?

Bursary application forms will be made available during the enrolment process. You can also collect an application form from the College's Student Centre or call the college main reception on 0161 762 4500 for further assistance. Details of the Bursary fund can be found on the Government's website