In life we never stop learning. If you find yourself stuck in a dead end job or looking for a new hobby it is never too late to make a change. Adult learning applies to anyone from aged 18 to 80 and with a variety of fun and friendly courses on offer; we have something to suit every student.
If you are looking to embark on a new career, a part time course is a great first step. A language or IT course is a great way to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd. Alternatively, if following a more vocational path is your goal, from cake decorating to creative writing, dog grooming to dressmaking our list of suggestions is endless.
In order to separate fact from adult learning fiction, we have dispelled some common part time learning myths to get you on track.
Myth – I cannot do a course if I work full time.
Reality –A part time course allows your education to fit in around your life, rather than your life around your learning. With a variety of evening classes on offer, you can study around your current job. One of our Hotcourses top tips would be selecting a course or college nearer to your work or home, as we all know long commutes kill motivation. Alternatively, some courses run over the weekends for those who cannot fit any more hours into a jam-packed working week.
Myth – A course will cost me loads of money now I am past school leaving age.
Reality – There are many options for adult learners that do not involve extending your overdraft. A 24+ Advanced Learning loan is a government led scheme which offers financial support for students studying an eligible course (Level 3 or 4). Repayments will not start until April 2016, and students do not have to pay their loan (plus interest) back until they have successfully completed their course and are earning more than £21,000 a year. What’s more, Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding 24+ Advanced Learning Loans owed for an Access to HE Course, once the student has completed a higher education course.
If taking out a loan isn’t for you, keep checking our Hotcourses special offers page for discounts and don’t forget to enter the Cash for Course competition to be in with the chances of winning your perfect course!
Myth – I will not gain a qualification if I only study part time.
Reality – Not necessarily. Some fun courses are simply an interesting way to try a new hobby and you might get a certificate at the end just to say you did it. Other courses will equip you with a qualification afterwards – a great way to qualify in a particular area despite work commitments. Use our find a qualification tool to double check your course before booking.
Myth – Online courses are not worth anything anymore.
Reality – Studying online does not categorically mean you will not receive a qualification. With many courses on offer, make sure this is something you check before enrolling.
Learning online is a great alternative for adult learners and taking tests from the comfort of your living room is a popular choice for those who panic under pressure. Working from home at your own pace, with no strict timetables or deadlines is a great alternative for those who have varying work patterns or shifts. If you are able to motivate yourself without a teacher breathing down your neck, this is definitely an option for you.
Myth – If I study online I will not receive any support on my course.
Reality – Although you do not have the structure of the classroom, studying online does not mean you are on your own. In most cases student-teacher interaction will happen via email, on the phone or on webcam. Online forums will allow you to speak to fellow students and some courses will involve video seminars.
Myth – Doing a weekend course will ruin my social life.
Reality – This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many students leave their courses with a collection of new friends to keep in touch with as well as the skills they have gained. Learning amongst students with similar goals is a great way to make links as you take the first steps into your new career.
Myth – I will be the oldest one there.
Reality – Remember – learning does not have an age limit. Whether you are the oldest or youngest in the room we are sure you will not regret signing up!
Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.