Applicant FAQs

How B&FC is assuring your safety

Message from Bev Robinson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive

In these unprecedented times, our priority is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, prospective students and employees whilst ensuring that learning, teaching and support continues.

I wanted to update you personally to explain what B&FC is doing to support you, our new applicants, to successfully progress to the College as seamlessly as possible.

I want to reassure our applicants that your place at B&FC is secure and to say to school leavers, that we will work with your schools to ensure we fully understand the grades which most accurately reflect your hard work throughout your time at school so that working together, you can realise your full potential.

In our frequently asked questions section (FAQs), we answer your key questions. These are regularly revised as this unprecedented situation evolves.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on T 01253 504322 or email admissions@blackpool.ac.uk

We understand that this is a concerning time, however we will work closely with each of you to support you to progress on your chosen pathway.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support.

 General applicant FAQs

Can I make a new application?

Yes. You can still make an application online. Choose your course from the appropriate menu on our homepage and apply direct from your chosen course page.

If you would like more information about our courses:

Are open/applicant events taking place? 

We have launched a series of virtual open events when you can talk to tutors and find out more about financial support, careers, learning support, and the application process.

Virtual open events take place on the following dates:

  • School Leavers (16-18s): Saturday 20 June, then every Wednesday in July from 1 July
  • Degree-level (higher education): Thursdays from 25 June until the end of July
  • Adult learners (19+): Tuesdays from 23 June until the end of July

All events take place from 2pm to 4pm.

Book your place at a virtual open event.

My course is due to start in September. Will it be delayed?

All courses scheduled to start in September are expected to run as planned.

If changes are required to our start dates, we will communicate with you directly.

    Is there a deadline for applying?

    Please apply as soon as possible so that your application is in the system ready for a September 2020 start.

    Once you have applied, we will keep you up-to-date with the latest information about your course and any other important information.

    What if I’m unsure about my chosen course?

    Please contact our award-winning Careers Team for advice and guidance.

    Do I still need to confirm my place?

    Yes, if you wish to accept an offer please let us know as soon as you can.

    I have questions about funding. Who can I speak to?

    Please contact our Careers Team for advice and guidance.

    What if I don’t meet the conditions of my offer?

    If you don’t meet the conditions of your offer, we will consult with the curriculum about your next steps, including - if necessary - being supported to find a suitable, alternative course.

    When will I receive my timetable?

    We aim to provide all students with timetable information prior to enrolment. Keep checking our website for up-to-date details.

    Will I still be able to enrol?

    We will contact you over the summer with guidance on how to enrol and when this will take place.

    How will I complete my studies and how will this affect my grades?

    GCSEs

    This information is from Ofqual, which is an organisation that regulates GCSEs. 

    All GCSE summer 2020 examinations have been cancelled. However, that does not mean that students will not receive a grade for all their hard work during this academic year.

    The Department for Education has set out how students will receive grades for their GCSE work. This will be done by asking lecturers to estimate the grades that students would have got if there had not been any disruption to the teaching and examinations.

    To provide these estimated grades, lecturers will use a wide range of evidence, including classwork and homework, together with the results of mock exams and assignments.

    Grades will hopefully be available by August.

    It is important to remember that lecturers cannot comment on the estimated grades, nor upon the grades that students will ultimately be awarded. Student results are decided by examination boards, who take into consideration the information that B&FC has supplied.

    How will my grade be calculated?

    Your grade will be calculated in two ways. Teachers have been asked to:

    1. Provide the exam boards with a predicted grade. This is the grade that your lecturers believe you would have been most likely to achieve if your GSCEs had not been disrupted and you would have sat your examinations as normal. To do this, your lecturers will consider your work in class, for homework, the results of your assignments and mock exams.  
    2. Create a list of all their students’ grades, ranked from highest to lowest and send this to the exam boards.  This is being done in order to help exam boards make sure that the grades being awarded are not too generous or not generous enough.
    Will my predicted grade automatically become my actual grade?

    Your predicted grade will not automatically become your actual grade. It is the exam boards that will decide upon your grade. Exam boards use the predicted grades and the lists of student grades to make their final decisions. 

    Can I find out what my predicted grade is?

    No. Your predicted grade is confidential and cannot be disclosed. You must not, therefore, contact your lecturers about your predicted grades as they cannot tell you. 

    When will I receive my grades?

    It is planned that your grades will be issued in August. However, it is possible that they might be available earlier. Whenever they are released, we will let you know. 

    Will these GCSE grades be different from the ones awarded to students in previous years?

    No. The GCSE grades awarded will hold the same value as any other GCSE grades. You can use them to apply for further or higher education and employment in exactly the same way as before.  

    What should I be doing?

    You should still be completing any assignments and attending mathematics/English sessions. 

    For more information, visit the Ofqual website.

    Technical and vocational qualifications including BTEC

    On 9 April Ofqual confirmed that technical and vocational qualifications, such as BTEC will be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with students who are due to complete their qualification in the summer of 2020 receiving an estimated grade.

    This will be done by asking lecturers to estimate the grades that students would have got if there had not been any disruption to the teaching and examinations. 

    Due to the large number of these technical and vocational qualifications, coupled with their complexity, Ofqual is still working with awarding bodies, such as BTEC, to finalise a list of qualifications in scope for students to receive an estimated grade.

    In the next few weeks, Ofqual will provide further details for every college and school to follow when calculating and submitting estimated grades for their students.   

    Read the latest information from Ofqual.

     School leaver FAQs

    My exams have been cancelled. Will this affect my place at B&FC?

    Even though your exams may have been cancelled this does not mean that you will not receive a grade for all of your hard work.We are keeping up to date with the Department of Education and awarding bodies and will keep you informed of any further developments.

    I haven't had an interview yet. What happens next?

    Don’t worry - all new applicants aged between 16 and 18 will be called by a tutor over the next few weeks to discuss their application and receive an offer on the most appropriate course for them.

     Higher education FAQs

    I’ve applied to study a degree-level course. Can I still apply for my HE loan and maintenance grant?

    Yes. You can apply/continue your application online.

    I've applied through UCAS. What’s my next step?

    UCAS will be in touch with you about your application and any changes to the UCAS process.

    They have a number of FAQs on their website, which may be found here

    What if I want to defer my place? 

    We are planning to welcome you to B&FC this September. However, if you would like to defer your place, please contact our Admissions team to discuss this. 

    Communicating with applicants

    We have put together a series of newsletters to keep both our prospective and current students informed.

    We hope this information is useful to you as you consider your course options. But as always, if you have any questions unanswered, please contact us at info@blackpool.ac.uk or via live chat on this website.

    I am returning after an approved interruption to my studies, what I need to do next?

    As soon as is reasonable following the approval of an interruption you will discuss and complete a Return to Study Plan with your Programme Leader and an Assistant Academic Registrar. This plan sets out your interruption in terms of return dates, modules and assessments. If you are unable to attend this meeting the plan will be completed in your absence. Your programme leader can provide further information, guidance and support. For general guidance concerned with interruptions to study please refer to: HE Taught Award Regulations: Part B Section: 1: Personal Mitigating Circumstances and Interruption of Study Procedure

    What will the new academic year look like?

    We want to provide you with reassurance around how we are planning to deliver vibrant learning and teaching experiences from the start of the new academic year in September 2020.

    However, we acknowledge that these are unprecedented times and there remains much uncertainty in what the future holds.

    While none of us know how the global health emergency will evolve over the summer, we can assure you we have a robust learning and teaching strategy in place to provide you with all the support you need to achieve the study success you deserve.

    What will happen to teaching and learning in 2020-21?

    From September, we will welcome new and returning students for a mixture of face-to-face campus-based and online teaching, with provision adjusted to be in line with the latest government advice. Lectures and assessments will be delivered predominantly online, alongside some socially distanced small-group teaching, laboratory work, access to arts studios, performance spaces, specialist teaching facilities and libraries. 

    For Maritime students, due to the complex nature of delivery for education and training programmes, please await further specific instruction with regards to your programme. 

    Your safety and success are our absolute priorities. We will follow all government advice for your wellbeing, and deliver vibrant online learning experiences to help you achieve the career you deserve.

    Online teaching and learning is already part of our DNA. Our Canvas learning platform will be open 24-7 and provides the most intuitive and engaging student experience, with mobile apps for iOS and Android giving great access, whenever and wherever you are.

    There are very many benefits of online learning. Some we knew from the start; others have surprised us. There is a strong sense of camaraderie among our students who, from the comfort of their home, are spending more time working together and finding smart solutions using technology to enhance the learning experience.

    Many of our programmes offer a flipped learning approach, providing an active, engaging and inspiring study experience combining live lectures and lots of opportunities to discuss and interact with tutors and fellow students.

    How will I be supported with my studies?

    While we provide all the assistance you need to get the most from online learning, we want to make sure you have all the support you need to help you study.

    You will be provided with a dedicated progress tutor to help navigate your programme. And you will have access to a range of specialist support services including Higher Education Learning Mentors to support academic studies, and wellbeing, disability, financial and careers support. 

    We know how important it is to give yourself plenty of time to unwind during your studies. Enrichment is a crucial part of the B&FC experience and our Directorate of Students is working closely with the Students’ Union to provide you with innovative ways to focus on your wellbeing.

    Where can I find information about additional financial support?

    There are three financial support schemes available in 2020/21 to support student success. Read the terms and conditions.

    How will I make contact with tutors in preparation for my studies in September?

    For those planning to join our community this September, tutors will begin to get to know you over the summer and help you transition to Higher Education. We’ll be organising inductions where possible for students to meet – strictly following social distancing guidelines – before starting studies online.

    Virtual open events

    To find out much more about B&FC, including what it’s like to learn with us and how we will support your study success, join us for one of our virtual open events.

    Starting later this month, these sessions will provide you with a great introduction to programmes, student support, and much more.

    Register for a virtual open event

     Adult student FAQs

    I’m an adult student and want to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. How can I do this?

    We will keep you informed of available finance and funding, including the Advanced Learner Loan.

    The portal to apply for a loan is scheduled to open in June and we will be in touch to let you know details closer to the time. 

     Risk assessment: our operational principles

    Find out how B&FC is putting first the health and wellbeing of its community.