University technical colleges and studio schools

Students can now choose to attend a university technical college (UTC) or studio school at age 14. They are ideal for young people wishing to prepare themselves to join the world of work or those who may wish to follow a pathway into:

  • Engineering
  • Construction and technical employment
  • Creative and commercial arts
  • Further study

UTCs are academies for 14 to 19 year olds. Each UTC is sponsored by an employer and a university and specialises in one or two technical curriculum areas (for example engineering or bio-medical science). They focus on providing technical education that meets the needs of industry by offering technical courses and work-related learning, combined with core academic studies, which leads young people into employment, an apprenticeship or further/higher education.
Studio schools are also academies for 14 to 19 year olds that offer mainstream academic and vocational qualifications, but teach them in a practical and project-based way. Students work with local employers and a personal coach, and follow a curriculum designed to give them the employability skills and qualifications they need in work, or to take up further/higher education. They provide some paid work experience from the age of 16.

Opportunities in neighbouring local authorities

The following studio schools and university technology colleges are located in Darwen, Wigan, Workington, St Helens, Bolton and Cumbria. Full details and how to apply for a place can be found on their websites:

Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio 

Wigan UTC 

Energy Coast UTC (Workington) 

St Helens College  

Queen Elizabeth Studio School (Carnforth)

Bolton UTC