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What support is available for students at Winstanley College?

We pride ourselves on the care and support given to all our students. You will get support from your teachers and teaching assistants, personal tutors and senior tutors, students services, the progression and welfare manager, careers advisor, the Nurture Room, the counselling service, the cross-college study support in the library and your network of family and friends. 

What is a college day like?

We start at 9.05 am and end at 15.45 pm each day. Lunch is from 13.20 pm to 14.20 pm but catering facilities can be accessed throughout most of the day. You will have lessons every day and there are also study periods on each day. All subjects will set you regular homework and you will have timetabled study periods in college. You are free to choose whether to spend your study periods at home or college. During your induction period, we’ll help you make the right time management decisions for you to ensure you get the most out of college life. There are likely to be some days when students will start their first lesson a bit later and other days when they go home earlier.

Can I combine any subject with any others?

The answer is yes, but there are a couple of restrictions. You can’t take English Language & Literature with any other English but you can take English Language and English Literature separately. You can’t take Medieval History and Modern History but you can do Ancient History and either Modern or Medieval.

If you want to choose just one science subject, then Applied Science is the one for you. Students are advised to not take single science A-level but need to combine it with another science. For example, A-level Biology should be taken with A-level Chemistry or A-level Maths.

Can I do more than three subjects?

Most students study three subjects because this constitutes a full-time course. There may be very good reasons why you want to take four subjects and we’d like to discuss these with you to make sure there’s no risk that you’re spreading yourself too thinly – it’s better to achieve three A grades than four B grades for example.

It is more likely that we’ll agree that studying four subjects is the right decision if you achieve 8s and 9s in your GCSEs or if one of your options is Further Maths.


What are the entry requirements?

The demand for places at Winstanley College is extremely high. As a college we must always ensure that we have a fair process for allocating those places. The College reviews our entry policy annually to ensure that we can guarantee every student who meets the entry requirements a place with us at Winstanley. A full list of entry requirements will be published before the end of September.

Can I do any subject if I haven’t done it at GCSE?

Only in science, maths, English, Spanish and French do you have to have a GCSE in that subject. None of the other subjects expect you to have studied them before at GCSE, however, you are expected to have a Grade 5 theory to study A-level Music.

What if I don’t like the subjects I’ve chosen, can I swap?

You can change your mind right up until enrolment in August and even up until the end of September if you decide you’d like to change your choices we can usually do that for you if there is space in the subject you want to move into. 

Are some subjects harder than others?

Unlike school, where some subjects are compulsory, you are choosing the subjects that suit you best. What you find stimulating another student may find ‘hard’ and that may be why they have chosen not to do it. So no, all subjects carry an equal challenge it’s just that some students prefer some subjects to others – that’s why they choose them!

How do I get information on transport and can I get any help to cover the costs of transport?

This prospectus has a section on transport and all applicants will receive transport information around the time of their course discussion. Please check out the ‘Easy Transport Guide’ on our website for all our transport information. If you have any queries regarding financial support contact

Can I get any financial help while I’m at college?

We receive funds each year to help students from low-income families to meet the costs associated with attending College. For more information visitfinancial support.

Can I park at college?

There is no student parking on our college site for lower sixth students, upper sixth students can buy a permit for £10.

What is the College dress code?

There is no uniform however clothes need to be appropriate to the working environment. Students are encouraged to express themselves within reason.

Where are you located?

We are located in Billinge, Wigan below the old Billinge hospital site where many of your family members were born. We have bus transport available from across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Merseyside. Orrell train station is just a 12-minute walk away. For more information on how to find us, please visit the contact page.

How many places are available?

We enrol over 1000 students from over 70 schools around the North West. We know that not all students offered a place will actually come: some fail to get the grades, others choose to stay at their own school sixth form or go elsewhere. So, we offer more places than we actually have.

Are there any fees?

The college is funded directly by the government and is free to UK citizens and citizens that have applied for the EU settlement scheme or have settled status.



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