Foundation Learning

Whatever your background or ability, our Foundation Learning courses are designed to help you get back into learning and develop the skills you need.

Our dedicated courses are designed to support you and remove any barriers to learning and employment by developing essential skills and experience that you need to progress.

Whether you want to go on to further study with us, want to develop your skills and gain employment or have a dream career in mind, at The Manchester College – the No.1 Further Education College in Greater Manchester for achievement* - we’re on hand to help you get there.

*As per the latest Government National Achievement Rates Tables (NARTs)

Our 12 week Prince’s Trust ‘Team Programme’ for 16-25 year olds aims to help you gain new skills, meet new friends and make a positive difference, giving you the opportunity to take part in your own group community project and action packed residential trip.

If you're aged 16-18 click here to apply.

If you're aged 19+ click here to apply.

Find out more about the Prince's Trust 'Team Programme' and how it can help you on YouTube:

Watch the Prince's Trust Team video

Our incredibly successful NHS Sector Based Work Academy programme – run in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and the Department for Work and Pensions – is designed to start you on the path to a career in the NHS.

You'll receive support in getting back to work with us, learning crucial skills that will make you stand out from other job seekers, before then taking part in a five week work placement as either a Healthcare Assistant, Medical Laboratory Assistant or Business Administrator.

Once you've completed your placement you'll have developed the skills needed to boost your chances of employment in the healthcare sector and will receive a guaranteed interview with the NHS.

There is high demand for places on this programme when they become available, therefore, applicants will be invited to join us at an open event to learn more about the application process and what you need to do to prepare yourself ahead of interviews for the programme.

To apply email:

Our range of Work and Skills programmes are designed to improve your skills, provide you with support and boost your chances of progressing onto work or further study.

We offer a range of courses to suit your interests and future plans including courses in Digital Skills, Business Administration, Health and Social Care, Volunteering and more. 

Our Volition programme - in partnership with Manchester Cathedral - will provide you with the opportunity to learn new skills, take a qualification and gain work experience volunteering at Manchester Cathedral or with another of our partners.

Through this 10-week, part-time programme we'll help you improve your English and maths skills, develop the key skills employers are searching for, boost your confidence and meet new people, all while taking a recognised qualification.

This full-time programme is aimed at supporting young people with specific social and emotional support needs to transition onto a vocational college course or, if more appropriate, work-based learning.

Learners will acquire the skills and confidence to move towards a more independent and adult environment. We acknowledge that moving into college is a daunting experience for a lot of young people and our programme gives them that extra time to adjust and become comfortable with the new environment and challenges ahead.

The programme we typically offer is usually 16 hours per week and usually consists of English, maths, employability, digital and creative; as well as access to vocational and work-based opportunities. However, each young person will have a study programme and level of support built to accommodate their own needs.

Our ‘Routes to’ courses can be customised to meet the requirements of individual students, helping them to develop a range of skills associated with community living, employment and education.

Routes to Learning
Specifically designed for students with learning difficulties and disabilities who can follow instructions and routines, and who would like to develop their own independence and work skills.

Routes to Skills and Employability
Designed for any student under the age of 24 with an EHCP (or in the process of gaining one), this course will help those with the potential to develop their work skills, make positive decisions about their next steps, and focus their goals on employment in the future.

Routes to Industry
This is our ‘high impact’ programme of study, where students identified with potential can be supported to achieve accelerated progression onto the mainstream curriculum.

Once identified, students will work with both their ‘Routes to’ teacher and a specialist teacher to find opportunities to integrate into the mainstream vocational route of their ambitions during the current academic year.

Our Supported Internships are aimed specifically at students with Education, Health and Care Plans up to the age of 24 who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

The internships support students through barriers to employment and are tailored to specific skills and support needs.

On our Supported Internship programmes, young people have access to training in a real workplace, with host employers including Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Airport, Manchester City Council and our Digital and Creative Internship, as well as a wide range of different businesses in and around Manchester and at Media City in Salford Quays.

Interns are supported to develop real work skills in private and public sector work placements that are closely matched to their skills and interests. Alongside their work placements, they will continue to progress their functional skills in English and maths as well as appropriately targeted vocational qualifications such as food hygiene and health and safety.

They’re supported to settle in and learn the job by an employment officer, job coach and teacher throughout the duration of the placement and in the majority of cases go on to secure meaningful work.

In order to help get students ready for one of our internships and future employment, we also offer a Preparation for Supported Internship course.

This gives students the opportunity to develop skills via a mix of classroom activities, community visits, work tasters and work placements, ahead of future employment and taking the next step onto one of our Supported Internship programmes.

Our Foundation Learning courses are available at a number of our campuses across Greater Manchester and externally at employer locations.

Wherever you study, you’ll learn in classrooms that reflect a strong focus on employability and developing independence and skills.

Plus, if you’re on one our Prince’s Trust programmes you’ll be making use of some outstanding outdoor education facilities on a week-long residential.

The Manchester College is committed to ensuring all our students receive the support they may need to achieve and enjoy college. We do this in a number of different ways including:

  • Student Experience Support Team
  • Careers Employability & Welfare
  • Pastoral Support Officers
  • Supported Learning

We also offer a bespoke transition service to new applicants with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), accessibility or medical need.

Find out more about our student support offer:

Student support

Can you reach your potential? You can with us!

Make it possible today, view our range of Foundation Learning courses and apply to study at the No.1 Further Education College in Greater Manchester*.

 Apply Now

Photo gallery


Ryan is a real success story and I am delighted to have him as a member of my team within the administrative section in Genetic Medicine. He has made so much progress within the department over the last three and half years, not only in terms of understanding and maintaining his own workload, but also in forming friendships with colleagues. He is a different person from when he first started and a lot more confident and able to work on his own initiative. I am thrilled that he was given the initial opportunity through Project Search.

Gill Reed • Quote from Gill Reed, Operational Manager for Department of Genetic Medicine about Ryan, Supported Internship Programme
Lucy Rowe

The Supported Internship provides a strong evidence-base of what works well in terms of achieving genuine social and financial inclusion for young disabled talent, including meaningful and sustained employment. Year on year the partnership has grown stronger and the results speak volumes about the merits of joining forces to achieve a common aim, in this case delivering excellence in transition, careers and opportunities for all Manchester young people.

Lucy Rowe • Community Engagement and Resourcing Manager Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust