An older lecture hall is filled with empty wooden chairs.

Classes and continuing education

Repeat after us: It’s never too late to learn. Let’s get back to school.

Here is a list of resources that we highly recommend…but don’t forget to get in touch with your local library too. They will have details of courses local to you.

General education

Floodlight is a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource focused on helping Londoners find the right courses.

Future Learn is owned by the Open University and offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions around the world.

Hotcourses is a search engine that offers more than 200,000 courses.  

Open College of the Arts (OCA) is a non-profit charity that is affiliated with the Open University. OCA offers over 40 courses with an emphasis on the arts.

Open University is a great place to go if you are keen to learn a subject in more depth. Open University blends distance learning and innovative study materials, and for most courses, you don't need any previous qualifications.

University of the Third Age is an organisation for retired or semi-retired people to come together and learn. With students aged from 50 to 90, U3A provides regular lessons or study groups with a shared interest in a particular subject. A wide variety of subjects are on offer—from history, maths and chemistry to Scrabble, botanical illustration, how to dress, unsolved murder cases and bus restoration.

WEA provides high quality, student-centred and tutor-led part-time education for adults. The goal of WEA is to help people learn whatever they want—from maths, English and skills for employment, to cultural studies that help students broaden their horizons and community engagement programmes that encourage active citizenship.

Audit a university course

If you simply enjoy the possibility of learning—minus the pressure of grades and exams—auditing a course is a great option. When you audit a class, it's really up to you to attend lectures, take tests, complete assignments and participate in discussions. It's your chance to enjoy education on your own terms.

Selecting a subject may be one of the first things you need to think about. We've already gathered a list on some specific subjects to help you get started:

Discover different kinds of fine art
Explore creative writing
Learn about music

Take courses in interior design

However, if you're not sure what you'd like to study, don't worry. Most universities welcome students of all kinds. If you'd like to attend classes alongside others who are working towards a degree, simply find out what's on offer at your local university or college by going to the website and using the search terms 'continuing education', 'auditing students' or other related phrases.

While you might not think to audit a course, there's usually no reason why you can't or shouldn't! Just ask.

Learn a language

BBC's online language courses are free classes covering French, Italian, Spanish, German and more.

Berlitz language courses are offered in London, Oxford, Edinburgh and Manchester and are tailored to your preferences—private, group or online.

Cactus Language Training has 10 locations throughout the UK where you can learn everything from French to Hebrew to Cantonese in a wide range of paid courses. They even organise language holidays if you're feeling adventurous, or online courses via Skype if you prefer to stay closer to home. Prices are based on an hourly rate.

ESL offers 50+ programmes abroad in France, Italy and Spain. These immersive courses are specially designed to help you fully experience a different culture.

University College London's Life Learning programme features evening and online courses in many different languages.

Vocational courses and qualifications

Learn Direct is an organisation dedicated to helping individuals gain the skills for work. Qualifications include subjects like maths, English and IT.

National Extension College (NEC) includes vocational, GCSE and A level courses along with distance learning for over 150 home-study courses.

Jewish learning facilities

Florence Melton School is a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that focuses on text-based, interactive Jewish study for adults and offers options to learn online.

Jewish Community Centre London (JW3) offers adult education in London and has more than 1,500 students who engage in courses and classes every week.

Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) is based in the Golders Green section of London and offers a variety of educational and social opportunities.

London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) is a London based organisation providing adult educational courses, degrees and teacher training programmes for more than 700 students.

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