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College Launches Hairdressing Course Specialising in Afro-Textured Hair


College Launches Hairdressing Course Specialising in Afro-Textured Hair

The City of Liverpool College has introduced a brand new course, specialising in afro-textured hair, in response to a lack of knowledge across the industry and as part of the College’s work towards diversity and inclusion across its curriculum. 

The course, called ‘The Artistry of Afro Textured Hair’, which has been designed by Teaching Assistant Michaela Hall, previous City of Liverpool College student, follows the news that all UK hairdressers now have to be trained in cutting and styling afro-textured hair.

Currently, many qualifications do not require students and apprentices to be trained in cutting and styling Afro and textured hair, which means some people have to seek specialist salons and stylists for a simple hair cut. Through this new course, The City of Liverpool College will provide its students with the specialist skills they need to cut and style afro-textured hair, creating more skilled hairdressers and improving inclusion across the industry. 



The 12-week, Level 3 course – which has been in the making since last summer – begins in September and will teach students practical skills and theory, covering everything from the cultural, social and technological influences on the industry as well as cutting, styling and finishing. 

Michaela Hall, Teaching Assistant at The City of Liverpool College, who is currently studying for her PGCE teacher training, said: 

“Textured hair comes in many forms and so often hairdressers simply don’t have the skills and knowledge to be able to work with it. When I identified the need for the course, having found that nothing similar fitted the bill in the North West, the College was really supportive and allowed me to lead the project and design it from start to finish, using my knowledge and experience of what I would have wanted to gain from a course like this.  

“There will be lots to learn, from the science behind the strands to the unique curl patterns. Students will gain the in-depth knowledge and skills to give them the tools they need, whether they want to work in the industry as a professional stylist in editorial, in magazines, in film and TV, own their own salon, or even just understand more to be able to do their own hair or their children’s hair. 

“Leading this course gives me the opportunity to have a positive impact on our communities and make a change in our society as a whole, and I’m really excited for our students to help do the same.” 

To find out more and apply for The City of Liverpool College’s Artistry of Afro Textured Hair course, visit: 

NHS visits for the next phase of VR development

The City of Liverpool College’s Digital Academy welcomed NHS representatives to its state of the art motion capture suite this week, where students showcased the progress they have made to virtualise the radiotherapy process at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

The visit marks the next pase of The City of Liverpool College’s partnership with international engineering enterprise Laing O’Rourke and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, one of the country’s leading cancer centres. The partnership has been designed to inspire students with the digital technologies used to develop the brand-new cancer centre and promote the modern careers now available in the construction industry, using digital design skills learnt through games development.



As part of ‘Project Innovation’, students have been collaborating with the NHS to develop a virtualisation application for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Using The City of Liverpool College’s new motion capture suite, students are developing an app to support in alleviating patient anxiety.

The partnership provides students with experience and unique insight into the construction industry, as well as having the opportunity to provide support to the brand new The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.



Steph Doyle, Head of The City of Liverpool College Digital Academy, said:

“For our students to be given the chance to work with a multinational organisation such as Laing O’Rourke and the NHS to develop a truly innovative tool for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is an opportunity like no other. It has been incredible to see our students using our new state of the art motion capture suite, to create such an important tool that will make a difference to so many people.

“Providing our students with real world experiences is vital to ensuring they are ready to hit the ground running when they enter the world of work and projects such as this are shining examples of the value that this experience provides both for our students and for the organisations we work with.”



Nicky Hutton, Advanced Practitioner Therapeutic Radiographer at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said:

“The facilities at The City of Liverpool College are wonderful and the motion capture suite has allowed us to replicate The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Building incredibly well. I’ve been blown away by the quality of the work the students have created. Their technical skills are excellent and we will shortly have a brilliant app that will be of massive benefit to our patients.

“We know that patients can feel anxious when they first come for treatment at the cancer centre and this app will enable patients to familiarise themselves with the space and the facilities, helping them to feel much more comfortable early on. I look forward to seeing where this project will take us and the future possibilities collaborating with the college.”

To find out more about about courses at our Digital Academy, please click here.

Hair and Make Up Students Enter WorldSkills Regional Finals

Students from our Hair and Beauty department have been competing in the WorldSkills regional finals this week, creating a full make up look, along with an outfit and hair style to match the theme of ‘out of the box’.

WorldSkills is a prestigious global organisation which gives talented students the opportunity to compete against other colleges and learning providers within their vocational field. The competition gives learners the chance to represent the UK in WorldSkills competitions around the world.

All Hair and Beauty students were registered for the initial first round, where they had to complete their looks in a competition environment within the college before having their work emailed to the judges for consideration.

Several students were then selected to compete in the regional finals where they had to perform their look within one and a half hours via Zoom, with the judges watching.

The learners also had to email a photo of their look alongside a picture of their mood boards. Entries will now be judged with eight national finalists, selected from colleges across the UK, announced in August.

Our entries for the Commercial Make Up competition can be found below:

Hayley Grimsaw Lord
Level 2 Hair and Media Make Up



Grace Edwards
Level 2 Hair and Media Make Up



Jamie Fowell
Level 2 Hair and Media Make Up



Isabele Thompson
Level 2 Hair and Media Make Up



Mazie Williams (known as Syd)
Level 3 Theatrical Hair and Media Make Up



We’d like to say a huge congratulations to all participants on getting so far and wish them all the best of luck for the next stage!

To find out more about WorldSkills, please click here, or to browse our hair and beauty courses, click here.

Student embarks on Wirral Ark research project

Earlier this year the School of Access was able to secure a voluntary position for one college student to gain valuable research experience with Wirral Ark during the summer holidays, before heading off to university, as part of the college’s strategy of helping students to think about ‘careers not courses’.

There were a number of applications for the role, but Joe Halliday was selected, with Wirral Ark stating that Joe’s “enthusiasm shone through and so did his drive to take the steps needed for his future career”.

Having studied on our Access to HE Diploma in Social Science, Joe will now embark on a piece of research looking into the effects of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns upon the lives of homeless people.



It is thought this will be the first piece of research of its kind in the UK, with Joe interviewing service users at a number of Wirral Ark hostels, and also key workers to establish the impact of the lockdown on the country’s most marginalised people.

Joe hopes to progress to Liverpool University to study Psychology in September and is on course to complete his Access Diploma with all distinctions, which is a remarkable achievement given the difficulties we have experienced this year.

This opportunity will give him a vital insight into social research and show how organisations work with people who have a diverse range of complex needs; an experience that will no doubt help Joe in his ultimate career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.

Joe visited the Wirral Ark charity on 1st June to have his first meeting with the Head of Fundraising and Development, Jacqueline Snell, who said:

“Covid-19 has been an extraordinary time and it has introduced even more pressures to Wirral Ark’s frontline services. The impact on homeless people who are some of the most at risk of exposure to Covid-19 and its effects has been devastating.

“Joe has shown incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to undertake this research and we’re really excited to be working with one of The City of Liverpool College’s students to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on the homeless population. This research will support us to develop new services and give a voice to homeless people, to share their experiences and hopes for the future.”

When asked about the opportunity, Joe said:

“Working with Wirral Ark is going to be an invaluable opportunity for me in respect of both my goals and aspirations, as well as my general life experience. I want to be a clinical psychologist in the future, so opportunities like this can do nothing but help me going forward, by providing me with crucial experience I will need both in university and in any future career. I am massively grateful to the college for providing me with such an opportunity, and I know how lucky I am to be able to work with a charity as fantastic as this one!”

To find out more about Wirral Ark and the work they do, click here, or to find out about our Access to HE courses, click here.

Skills Minister Visits The City Of Liverpool College

Gillian Keegan MP, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, visited The City of Liverpool College’s Arts Centre campus this week, home to the UK’s first further education Creative and Digital Academy.

The minister was interested to see the College’s newly refurbished premises, following recent investment of £3 million, £2.5 million of which was awarded by government following a successful capital bid in 2019. The investment has been used as part of the College’s mission to continuously innovate and provide world class facilities for its students, ensuring they leave college ‘work ready’ with specialist skills relevant to thriving and emerging sectors.



In her role, Gillian is jointly responsible for post-16 education strategy alongside the Minister of State for Universities, and oversees the development of T-Levels, which are due to be offered at The City of Liverpool College for the first time in September 2022.

During her visit, the minister met with students from the College’s prestigious Royal Academy of Culinary Arts apprenticeship programme as well as several health and social care cadets who have spent time on care work placements during the Covid pandemic, before taking a tour of the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities.



The tour took Gillian to the performance theatre, to meet some of the College’s rising stars, and to the new TV studio, where students demonstrated live event broadcasting and showcased footage of construction and engineering practical work filmed at the College’s Vauxhall Road campus, dedicated to technical and enterprise course provision. The final part of the visit took place in the College’s brand-new motion capture suite, where students demonstrated the latest in cutting-edge digital, computing and games design technologies.

The Arts Centre has established itself as the leading arts teaching and learning institution on Merseyside, providing state-of-the-art resources to equip learners with the skills needed to be successful in an ever-evolving digital economy.



The minister, who grew up in Knowsley, Merseyside, attended St Augustine of Canterbury Secondary School in Huyton as a child, which has since been renamed St Thomas Becket Catholic High School.

She started her career aged 16 as an apprentice at a car factory in Kirkby and is now the acting Member of Parliament for Chichester, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Apprenticeships and Skills, the first former apprentice to hold the role.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said:

“It was such a pleasure to visit the City of Liverpool College. With state-of-the-art virtual reality technology and access to high-tech industry standard media facilities, it was amazing to see how the college is working with local businesses to train the talented and highly skilled workforce of the future.

“The students’ passion for where their skills will take them was truly inspiring to hear whether on stage, behind the screen or designing the video games of tomorrow.”



Elaine Bowker, Principal and Chief Executive at The City of Liverpool College, said:

“We were delighted to host the Minister at our Creative and Digital Arts Centre campus today. We welcome every opportunity to showcase our outstanding campuses and the fantastic work our students are doing, particularly after a year of so many challenges. Our students were pleased to speak to the Minister about their experiences and aspirations, and we are grateful to the Minister for spending so much time with each of them during a very enjoyable visit.”

To find out more about courses at our Creative and Digital Academy, please click here.

True Colours: college students form new LGBTQ+ group

In June, we celebrate Pride Month, an event dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. We also celebrate the creation of a new group, put together by students at the college, which launches at the Learning Exchange on Thursday 10th June at 4:30pm – 5:30pm.

To tell us more, we speak to Jacob Reilly, a Creative Media Production student, who played a part in forming the group. Together with his fellow students, they’ve decided to name the group ‘True Colours’.

What have you enjoyed about your time at the college so far?

I have enjoyed being part of creating something that could possibly outlast my time at the college and that will help to support future LGTBQ+ students long after I’m gone.

What exactly is ‘True Colours’ and how did you get involved?

The True Colours social group has been created to provide a safe space for students, who fall under the LGBTQ+ bracket, to go and make friends. There have also been talks of us getting in guest speakers from the LGBTQ+ community in future meetings, so that should be something to look forward to.

I personally got involved as a way of coming to terms with my own sexuality, and to also help in the journey I’m going through in trying to accept it myself.

Where did the name for the group come from?

The name was created as a direct reference to the different colours featured within the pride flag, but also as a reference to what we hope this group will become, as showing your true colours is seen as being open and honest both with yourself and with others. By revealing your true colours, you are breaking down the facade used when you’re not in a safe space.



Why is it important to have this group?

It’s really important to have this group, to give people a place where they can feel comfortable being themselves, and not feel the need to hideaway.

What’s the college like when it comes to LGBTQ+?

In my personal experience the college is very inclusive when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, it just needed this one thing which we are now focusing on through the Students’ Union.

What is the support network like for LGBTQ+ students?

The support network in the college is good, but we’re hoping it can become even better by adding this group as an extra network, to further support LGBTQ+ students.

What does pride mean to you?

Pride to me means being proud of who you are, and not being afraid to show it. A way of saying this is me and I’m happy with it.

How can other students get involved?

Other students can get involved by coming to our social group, the next one is Thursday 10th June at 4.30pm in the Learning Exchange (LEX), or by joining Microsoft Teams group.

The link below is for the Students’ Union’s Linktree, where you can access the Teams group. This is also accessible by scanning the QR code featured on posters around the college: 

Carers Week and National Young Carers Day 2021

This week is Carers Week, an annual event that raises awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges that unpaid carers face and recognising their contribution to families and communities throughout the UK. On Tuesday 8th June we also recognise National Young Carers Day.

It is estimated that there are currently more than six million unpaid carers in Britain who are looking after a parent, partner or family member, and many of these are young people.

We’re proud to have many young carers currently studying at the college, as well as many who have graduated and progressed into successful and rewarding careers over the years.



Our teaching and dedicated support team of safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing professionals work hard to ensure that being a carer doesn’t prevent young people from accessing an education and opportunities that our college provides. The college is also working towards the Carer’s Federation quality standard in Carer Support for Young Adult Carers.

We have a number of events taking place throughout the week aimed at raising awareness of the role young carers play and support those carers who are currently studying with us at the college. The events are free to attend, so come and say hi…


Day Event Times Venue
Monday Barnardo’s – Young carers college stand All day LEX
Wednesday Sefton Young carers events:

– Student support session

– Staff awareness session







Thursday Meditation session for young carers 10am-11am & 2pm-3pm The Arts Centre – room G26
Friday Barnardo’s – Young carers college drop-in All day The Arts Centre


“Being a young carer can be a daunting, scary but deeply rewarding role. The people you look up to and seek guidance from now need you to help them. It can make you grow up quickly; it can feel too quickly at times. For me, it felt like the family dynamics had changed; parenting the parent as it were. There were a lot of changes and we struggled, but we got through it as a family. A good sense of humour, resilience and love got us through some really dark times.

“A good support network and communication helped us through it, and will help you too, whether it’s friends, family, or specialist organisations like Barnados. Without the support of others, I would have struggled a lot during my A-Levels. Caring for a parent can be emotionally demanding as well as demanding on your time. So, sticking as much as possible to a routine was crucial in my education. Having teachers and other staff who were understanding of my situation also gave me the breathing room I needed to produce the best work I could.

“With their support, things can get better. You should never feel guilty for any of the emotions you feel, positive or negative, we are all human. Always talk about your feelings and don’t carry this alone, each out because I know you may be scared or angry. Yes, angry, it’s ok to feel that too. Things can get better, and you are doing an amazing job and I’m sure the person you are caring for thinks you are an amazing person for doing what you are for them.”

– Young carer and former college student.


If you’d like to access further resources for young carers, please click here.

Students Support Development of Sensory VR App

The City of Liverpool College has partnered with virtual reality (VR) developer, Viz Box Ltd, to create a VR experience for children to help reduce anxiety, improve mental health, and develop motor and concentration skills, as a cost-effective solution for use in hospitals and primary schools. 

Students on the College’s Digital Games Design & Development course were tasked with the live brief with Viz Box, to help create a virtual reality app that replicates a sensory room – an effective tool often used to support children. 


A Visitor At The College Using VR To Learn New Skills
A Visitor At The College Using VR To Learn New Skills


Whilst incredibly useful in child support, sensory rooms can often be expensive for organisations to install and maintain. As part of the project, students worked as a team alongside industry experts at Viz Box – including previous College alumni, Liam Heron – to create the app, which will enable organisations to provide a sensory experience by purchasing a headset, avoiding the need for additional space, equipment and technology.  

Students used the College’s new cutting-edge motion capture suite and VR studio for further development of the app, which will be rolled out in a future version to engage even more with local primary schools. 

Steph Doyle, Head of The City of Liverpool College’s Digital Academy, said: 

“At The City of Liverpool College, as well as high-quality teaching, one of our top priorities is providing our students with the real world skills they need to secure future jobs in the industry. It’s not just about courses, it’s about careers and setting them up for successful, fulfilling futures. This project has allowed our students to apply the skills they have learnt with us to a setting they may not have expected, demonstrating how transferrable the techniques and knowledge they gain with us are. 

“Given the current climate, it has never been more important for us to ensure our students are industry ready. Through fantastic partnerships such as this, we can be sure that they will hit the ground running.” 

Liam Heron, App Developer at Viz Box, said: 

“As an ex-student of The City of Liverpool College, it was great to come back with a project from Viz Box, to work alongside the students on this Sensory VR. 

“Students had great ideas for new features and models, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to execute due to all work being done remotely. However, we were able to work around this through the use of online project management tool, Discord. Students were able to send over their work and I was then able to add it to the project, which was an effective way of working. 

“Lockdown rules are starting to ease up and we are really excited to make use of the motion capture suite offered by the College, to make some unique animations for a specific idea we have in the pipeline. Watch this space!” 

To find out more about courses at our Digital Academy, click here.

Life or Something Like It: A Photography Exhibition

Our HNC and HND Photography students have this week launched a very special online exhibition, highlighting their final project work and celebrating the achievement of completing their courses.


Life Or Something Like It Photography Exhibition Life Or Something Like It Photography Exhibition


The exhibition website features work from the classes of 2020/2021, who have navigated an extremely difficult year and have really risen to the challenge to create some fantastic work for you all to enjoy.

Course tutor, Jen Newton-Prosser, who organised the exhibition, said:

“I am unbelievably proud of the HNC & HND Photography students. During their entire time with us we have been in some form of a lockdown, whether that be on a national or regional level. For some of them, this is their second online exhibition as we are yet to be able to host an end of year show in person for them!

“As difficult as it has been, they have not let it stop them. They have risen to the challenge, often stripping back their approaches and focusing on more simplistic aspects of photography. We always try to find the positives in HE Photography and who knows, maybe these restrictions have inspired some of our students to create something new. 

“They have produced some fantastic work and we are really pleased to share it with you all!”

As part of their final assignment evaluations, each of our students have also included a short survey to gather feedback and they’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to comment.

Please keep an eye out for a separate show dedicated to our degree level students coming up soon too!

To view the exhibition, please click here.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from Monday 10th May and we have a range of events planned to increase awareness of this subject and to highlight the services and support available at the college.


Nature Theme For Mental Health Awareness Week 2021


The health and wellbeing of our staff and students is always an upmost priority to everyone at The City of Liverpool College. Throughout the week, we’ll be talking about the leading mental health organisations we work with, offering wellbeing tips via our social media channels and showcasing the fantastic work of our support staff who play a vital role in helping students during their time with us.

We’ll also be creating 50 wellbeing packs and sending them to students, and will have stalls in each of our five city centre campuses to promote college support services and our Students’ Union programmes. You’ll find our team at the following centres between 12pm and 1pm:


Monday 10th – The Arts Centre

Tuesday 11th – Duke Street

Wednesday 12th – Clarence Street

Thursday 13th – Vauxhall Road

Friday 14th – The Learning Exchange (LEX)


Students can also keep an eye out for a very special competition on our Students’ Union Instagram account (@COLCSU), where we’ll be looking for the best nature photos, with the winner receiving a £25 voucher for Liverpool ONE. Meanwhile, college staff are invited to attend an online mindfulness session, and will also be able to take part in mental health training tutorials

We have further activities being planned by our Level 1 Health and Social Care students, including displays, leaflets, poetry, and daily mindfulness exercises, so keep an eye out for more soon!

To find out about mental health and the support available at the college, please visit our Student Wellbeing Hub: