Adult education explained
Hotcourses Editor

Adult education explained

The benefits of adult education

First published date November 15 2011 Amended date August 28 2015

For those thinking about it, the world of adult education can seem daunting. Going back to learning is not always easy after years spent as a working adult. However, adult education classes can be a great way to meet like-minded people and learn something new that might even help to progress your career.



The subject you choose to study is one of the most important considerations when embarking on adult education. You need to opt for something that is going to stimulate and interest you so that you want to keep working on the course.

Unlike when you were at school, with adult education, you have to pay to be there so you need to make sure it’s going to be worth the money. Choosing a subject you’re passionate about will mean you are more likely to do well at the end.



It’s worth considering whether you wish to take an adult education course that comes with a qualification on completion or whether you’re looking to learn something new just for fun. There are many varied qualifications available in adult education, from GCSEs to postgraduate diplomas.

If you are going back to education to progress your career then this will be a big thing to think about, but if you are doing it just for leisure, a qualification could just be an added bonus.



Making the right decision about where you want to learn is vital, be it college, university or even your local village hall. Where does your chosen institution rank in your subject? What are the teachers like there? How does the syllabus progress? How popular are their adult education courses?

These are all things that will vary across course providers, but certainly something to mull over so that you are choosing the adult education course that suits your preferences. 

Study mode

Whether you want to take your adult education course part time in the evenings, full time during the week, or even customised, so that your teacher comes to your workplace during your lunch break, there is a study mode to suit all schedules.

Adult education does tend to have more flexible study options so you can work out what sort of course will fit around your lifestyle. 



The financial implications of going back to education can often be the biggest headache of them all. If you’re taking time out of work to learn, you will need to supplement your income and so might consider taking out a Career Development Loan.

There are also support funds offered by many adult education course providers that might be an option to you and if you’ve got children, you may be entitled to help with childcare costs. Carrying out research into all of these options is guaranteed to lighten the financial burden once the course has started.

Find out how you could be entitled to a free training course.


What next?

Use our search tool if you have a subject in mind, but if you are still undecided, have a browse around the courses that are available. The Directgov website also has information about financing your adult education and more advice about things to consider before applying. .

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