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Classes and courses

You’re never too old to learn something new. There are lots of classes and courses out there where you can improve specific skills or learn something new, many of which are free of charge.

On this page we’ll give you ideas on how to find great classes and courses:

What sort of courses could I get involved with?

There’s now a huge variety in the type of courses that are available.

Classes are no longer confined just to evenings – there are also part-time, day, weekend, online and distance learning classes to choose from. Many of these courses take place in schools and colleges.

Obviously there are loads of things you might want to learn about but some popular classes include languages, photography, yoga, cookery, computer skills, jewellery making and family history.

Where can I find out about online courses?

If you’re interested in signing up to an online course, the following websites are a great source of information:

  • Open Learn by the Open University offers lots of free online courses on a huge range of topics.
  • Future Learn is a website offering lots of free online courses from universities around the world on a wide range of subjects, including medicine, management, history and languages.

How can I find courses in my local area?

If you’re not interested in online courses, and want to get out and interact with other people, then finding courses in your local area is a great place to start:

  • Local libraries have details of local courses and computer facilities if you need them for the course.
  • Your local council can give you details of courses for adult learners in your area. You can find them in the phone book.
  • The University of the Third Age (U3A) consists of local groups of older people whose members run informal courses, study groups and talks. You could find out if there are groups in your area on topics you’re interested in.
  • Learn Direct has a network of local centres offering computer-based teaching. Their courses are mainly vocational skills, English, maths and business. Although you have to pay for some courses, others, such as in English, maths, and IT skills, are free.
  • Your local paper should also have details of things going on in your area, such as classes, workshops and talks.

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