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What Makes Us Special?

What Makes Us Special?

Seven Reasons / Holy Cross College

1. A college to be HAPPY in

Do you want to go for the very best, to aim high, and to study with others who are also aiming high? Do you want a college with a happy and positive atmosphere, which is really friendly and safe, and where standards of behaviour are excellent, with motivated and well behaved students?  Do you want an exciting new stage in your life, with more freedom and responsibility? Whatever you are looking for, the most important thing is to find a college that is right for you, where you will be happy. Small enough for you to be known as an individual. Big enough, and experienced enough, for you to have an excellent range of choices, excellent teaching, support and guidance.

2. A college of EXCELLENCE

All colleges have their success stories, individuals or particular years that have been very successful. A great college is one that has consistently sent large numbers of students into Medicine, Oxford and Cambridge, the Russell Group of Universities, the Arts, Sport, and also helped thousands of students to fulfil their potential. Individual colleges sometimes publish their own league tables with themselves at the top. Do a bit of digging before you believe those! It is easy for colleges to choose one thing they’re very good at, ignore things they’re not so good at, and make their own league table. Get a wider, fuller, more national view.

Our excellent discipline, teaching and huge percentage of fellow students with the very highest grades, will encourage you in turn to aim high, and ensure you are surrounded by purposeful, motivated students. If you value academic excellence – and particularly Excellence in Teaching & Learning - and if you are a person who would thrive in a studious, purposeful atmosphere – Holy Cross could be the right place for you. We have a University Centre here, too, with over 500 students – mostly taking Honours degrees, studied in their entirety here on our campus. Some of our Sixth Form College staff teach on these degrees giving you access to some very high-level academics.

3. A college of CREATIVITY

The reputation of Holy Cross in Drama is second to none. Whether it is academic Theatre, Dance or musical theatre that interests you, you will be taught by some of the most gifted drama teachers around, delivering professional standard pieces of theatre that see audiences returning year after year.

In Music, too, our expertise is exceptional. If you are musical, you will appreciate what a department must be like that sustains an orchestra, chamber choir (with Choral Scholarships), wider choir, jazz ensemble, other ensembles, an annual musical, a biennial opera, and a regular choir and instrumental tour in Europe.

We believe we have one of the largest and best college Art departments in the country, with cutting edge, extensive facilities, and some of the most creative and brilliant staff you are ever likely to meet. You will get the chance to share ideas with a wide range of students, in a highly successful department with nationally outstanding results.

4. A college of EXPERT GUIDANCE

Our university and careers department was one of the first in Greater Manchester to win the Gold Award for Inspiring IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance). In applying to UCAS, writing personal statements, mock interviews, building up an excellent work experience portfolio, we tailor advice to the individual.  Our Academic Champion is at the service of all students aiming to develop their academic and interview skills and apply to the most competitive universities such as the Russell Group.  We have a specialist and highly successful Medics and Vets Group, and an Excellence Programme which offers all students huge opportunities to enrich and stretch their learning beyond the syllabus, developing 'cultural capital'.  The list of recent Oxford and Cambridge success is impressively long with 26 past students currently studying at Oxbridge and a huge range of success in many subjects.  At Holy Cross you will find the vast majority of students are aiming high and are hugely committed.  So if you are the sort of person that benefits from being among other seriously motivated and high achieving students, then this is the place to come.

5. A college of SUPPORT & CARE

At Holy Cross every student has their own Progress Tutor to help them to focus and achieve, and to ensure outstanding pastoral care.  Each student has the benefit of one-to-one support and guidance, as well as invaluable Skills Development sessions. There is also expert guidance via all your academic staff on a regular basis to maximise your success.  An excellent Safeguarding and Counselling team are also on hand to help with any problems or anxieties: we believe that whatever your challenges in the past, you will grow in confidence and success with the right support.  We also run a ‘Progression’ year - for students of potential, who for various reasons just fall short of our Level 3 entry requirements. After an initial catch-up year, students can progress to Advanced Level courses. So, if things don’t work out initially, still get in touch with us at admissions@holycross.ac.uk.

6. A college of SPORT & ENRICHMENT

Holy Cross greatly values Sport and its sportsmen and sportswomen. We offer a huge number of opportunities to take part in team sport. Last year, ten teams across eight different sports were entered into regional and national competitions and six of our teams or individual students were selected to represent the North West of England at the AoC National Finals at Nottingham University.  Talented students are encouraged and supported in various ways. Our Sports Scholarships have been extremely useful to many students to help with training expenses. From time to time, we hold a prestigious Sports Presentation Dinner to celebrate student achievement. Sport is recognised and honoured here, as a huge part of what we are. There is also a wide menu of other Enrichment activities and trips. In subject areas, in our summer Enrichment week and at other times, we offer you exciting extra-curricular opportunities to broaden your experience and interests, and promote responsibility, leadership and fun.


Holy Cross has history. Founded in the 1870s by the Daughters of the Cross of Liège, we have retained many interesting buildings from our earlier days alongside some stunning new buildings made of traditional materials. The beauty of brick, stone, stained glass, marble and elaborate carving is - perhaps surprisingly - a genuine reason some students now come to us. The beauty of our new chapel (where we hope, in due course, graduates of Holy Cross will be able to get married) is particularly admired. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, is the tradition we have inherited from our founders, the Daughters of the Cross of Liege. As a Catholic College for the Community, we treasure the caring ethos that they taught us so well. The respect we have for all faiths and philosophies means that this is a great place to develop your ideas and beliefs. It is a place of understanding and dialogue, where you can be assured of a warm welcome whatever your background or tradition.