Bradford College

Bradford College is a Further Education college in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, with approximately 25,000 students. The college offers a range of full and part-time courses from introductory level through to postgraduate level and caters for a variety of students, including school leavers, adults wanting to return to education, degree-level students and those seeking professional qualifications.

Bradford College
David Hockney Building, main campus
, ,

Coordinates53.7912°N 1.7614°W / 53.7912; -1.7614
Former namesBradford Technical School, Bradford and Ilkley Community College
TypeFurther Education College
Established1832 as Bradford Technical School
Department for Education URN130532 Tables
PrincipalChris Webb
Number of studentsc.25,000
Colour(s)Green (formerly blue)
AffiliationsLeeds Metropolitan University, University of London, Teesside University, University of Bradford (formerly)

HE provision

Bradford College is one of the FE Colleges with the largest HE provision in England,[1] with approximately 170 full and part-time HE courses, validated by Teesside University.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The move to Teesside University was a result of Leeds Metropolitan University's withdrawal from its partnerships with colleges except for foundation degrees.[12][13]


In 1832, the Bradford Mechanics Institute was founded. In 1863, the institute had grown to accommodate full-time staff and had its own School of Industrial Design and Art. In 1872 the Bradford MP William Edward Forster opened new buildings in Bridge Street.

On 23 June 1882, the then Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) came to open the new School. They were given a very warm welcome: "From Saltaire Station to the Technical School, a distance of four miles, was one continuous avenue of Venetian masts, streamers, and many coloured banners, while at appropriate points triumphal arches of great magnificence were erected."

In 1982, the institution was named Bradford and Ilkley Community College, after a merger with Ilkley College, giving the combined college a small satellite campus in the nearby town of Ilkley, north-east of Bradford. This was closed in 1999[14] and soon after the institution became Bradford College.

In 2002, a merger between the college and the University of Bradford was proposed; this was pursued until the summer of 2003, when the two institutions issued a joint statement calling off the merger.[15] Beginning in 2006 the college underwent a re-brand and unveiled its current logo. A community learning centre, named The Three Valleys Centre, was opened in nearby Keighley in 2007 which hosts a hairdressing and beauty salon (also operating on a commercial basis), as well as I.T and a range of language courses.

As part of the college's 175-year celebration, it published a list of 175 famous alumni of the college. This list includes ex-students such as Edward Appleton, Tasmin Archer, David Berglas, Alex Corina, Bob Hardy, David Hockney and Joyce Gould.[16]

Trinity Green, which houses a new sports centre and teaching facilities for construction and engineering students, opened in September 2008,[17] housed in a new purpose-built building on the site of MacMillan Halls of Residence which were demolished in 2007. A second phase of building replaced the Westbrook and Randall Well buildings with a more modern structure.[18][19] Government funding was put on hold for this project in March 2009[20] and was not expected to be available again until 2011.[21] The new building, named the David Hockney Building after one its most famous alumni, opened in September 2014 after two years of construction. A new Advanced Technology Centre was scheduled to open in September 2015 on a nearby former car park.[22]

The College received the go-ahead by the Skills Funding Agency for a £50 million building. The project is the second phase of the College's Accommodation Strategy[23] started with the opening of the Trinity Green Campus:[24]

Bradford College's Appleton Building was named after the Bradford scientist Edward Victor Appleton, and the College's Lister Building was named after Samuel Lister.

Quality assurance

As an institution in receipt of government funding Bradford College is regularly inspected by Ofsted and the QAA. The last reports from 2008 (Ofsted) and 2010 (QAA) confirmed the high quality of the provision and identified a number of good practices across the institution.

Ofsted inspection in 2017 gave the college a 'Requires Improvement' grading in most areas.[25][26] The Initial Teacher Education inspected by Ofsted in 2010 also resulted in good and outstanding grades.[27]


The main campus is situated on Great Horton Road close to Bradford city centre. However, some courses are delivered elsewhere. The Academy is located in the Three Valleys Centre in Keighley.[28] There are several other campuses in Bradford, such as Bolton Royd on Manningham Lane or Appleton Academy in Wyke. Part-time leisure, community and some of the ESOL courses are offered in over 20 different locations across Bradford.[29]

Bradford College Education Trust

Bradford College is the sponsor of three secondary schools as part of the Bradford College Education Trust. the three schools are Appleton Academy, Bradford Studio School and Samuel Lister Academy.

Erasmus participation

Bradford College participates in the Erasmus Programme. The College is in agreement with 26 institutions across 14 European countries:[30]


Bradford College's Trinity Green Campus is also home to the "Dragons Den" where EBL division 2 basketball Team Bradford Dragons play their home matches on Saturday evenings.

Bradford College students broke the record for the biggest onion bhaji in 2011 and the biggest samosa in 2012.[31][32]

The management of the College caused a stir when a journalist found out it had ordered a mace worth £22,000 to enhance the students' experience during the graduation ceremony in December 2011.[33][34][35]

Bradford College Students' Union was awarded the Further Education Students' Union of the Year title at the NUS 2013 Awards Ceremony.[36][37]

Notable alumni and lecturers


  1. "HE in FE Guide". May 2012. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  2. "Bradford College Announces Working Partnership with Teesside University". Bradford College (Press release). Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  3. "College's bid for full degree-awarding powers rejected". 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  4. "Colleges take step towards full degree-awarding powers". 5 August 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  5. "Bradford College leads the way for HE in FE as an HEA subscriber". February 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  6. "Study for a University of London Degree at Bradford College". Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  7. "BEng (Tech) Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Top-up) validated by Teesside University". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  8. "BEng (Tech) Mechanical Engineering (Top-up) validated by Teesside University". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  9. "Higher Apprenticeship in Sustainable Built Environment validated by Teesside University". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  10. "Bradford College Announces Working Partnership with Teesside University". Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  11. "Bradford College announces partnership with Teesside University. Bradford College has joined forces with Teesside University to offer its students degrees validated by the award winning University". Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  12. "College's bid for full degree-awarding powers rejected". 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  13. "Draft Exit Strategy (Hull College, Leeds City College, Bradford College, West Nottinghamshire College)" (PDF). Leeds Metropolitan University. 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  14. "Sale of college campus is agreed". Telegraph & Argus. 17 October 1998. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  15. Curtis, Polly (25 July 2003). "Bradford merger fails". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  16. 175 Heroes
  17. "MP Opens 'Trinity Green'". Bradford College. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  18. "College's new era is dawning!". Telegraph & Argus. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  19. "21st Century Campus". Bradford College. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
  20. "Bradford campus plans in limbo". Telegraph & Argus. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  21. "Plans for college campus postponed". Telegraph & Argus. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  23. "Building the Future of Bradford College". Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  24. "About the New Build". Archived from the original on 22 April 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  25. "Bradford College inspection report. November 2008" (PDF). Ofsted. October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  26. "Integrated quality and enhancement review: Bradford College January 2010" (PDF). QAA. January 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  27. "Bradford College Initial Teacher Education inspection report" (PDF). Ofsted. March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  28. "The Academy". Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  29. "Courses in the Community" (PDF). Bradford College. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  30. "Erasmus". Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  31. "Bradford Bhaji Smashes Guinness World Record". Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  32. Baker, Hannah (12 June 2012). "Outlook was positive despite the weather". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  33. "FErret. Estate agents of the revolution". TES Magazine. 15 June 2012. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  34. Rush, James (9 June 2012). "Bradford College criticised over £22,000 mace". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  35. Vasagar, Jeevan (11 June 2012). "College defends £24,000 mace purchase. Lecturers union describes expenditure on ceremonial club for graduation ceremonies as 'outrageous misuse of funds'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  36. "NUS Awards 2013: Winners". Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  37. "Student Voice: Our Award Winning Students' Union". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  38. "Yvonne McGregor MBE". Bradford College. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  39. Roderick Bailey, Forgotten Voices of the Victoria Cross, Imperial War Museum (Great Britain), The Imperial War Museum, Richard Dannatt, Random House, 2010, ISBN 9780091938161
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