Top 5 Adult Learning Courses for Older People

• Written by Josh

You’re never too old to develop new skills and learn new things. There are plenty of adult learning courses out there which you can sign up to, and there are plenty of advantages to doing so.

As we touched upon in our guide to hobbies for older people, adult learning courses help to keep your brain healthy as you’re continuing to challenge it. The more the brain works in old age, the higher its defences are against the onset of dementia. Of course, learning a new skill and passing exams will provide you with an amazing sense of achievement too.

Not only are you developing new skills, but you’re also meeting new people who have a common interest. Keeping your social network active in your older years is vital if you’re to avoid feeling lonely or depressed. The busier your social calendar is, the happier you will be.

In today’s post, we’ll share five examples of adult learning courses which you may like to try.

1. Computer Courses

As much as some of us might hate to admit it, computers make up a huge part of daily life. With modern technology seemingly taking over every single industry and social aspect of our lives, you may begin to feel left out or worry that your skills are no longer relevant.

Fortunately, there are several adult learning courses available which focus on computer use. Depending on how you wish to use your computer, you could develop your skills in the following areas:

Understanding how to use a computer can change your life dramatically. If you’re still working, you’ll be able update your CV with new skills and go for jobs that you never thought you would. Being savvy on social media and emails will allow you to stay in contact with your loved ones and friends – no matter where they are in the world.

Furthermore, learning more about using computers can help to improve your online safety. Some adult learning courses may even help you identify scams and avoid fraud.

2. Languages

It never does any harm to know more than one language. Being able to speak multiple languages will help you out when you’re enjoying your summer holidays or spontaneous weekends away. We’d all rather avoid those awkward situations when you cannot understand the waiter or shopkeeper. And that’s only the beginning of the benefits.

Most colleges and universities run yearly adult learning classes for languages so you’ll easily be able to find one close to you. You’ll be able to take your pick of your favourite language, whether it’s French, Cantonese, or Swahili – which are just a few examples.

We feel that it’s this type of course where you’re guaranteed to make new friends too. Perhaps you may even decide to travel with your new friends once you’ve become fluent in your chosen language. If you cannot find any courses nearby, you could try language apps like Duolingo or Babel. Whilst you may not get the same social element, you can learn at your own speed in the comfort of your own home.

Another great skill to have is the art of sign language. Being able to communicate with those who are deaf or living with poor hearing is extremely helpful and rewarding. It may also benefit you if your hearing is beginning to worsen.


3. Cooking

As we’ve already discussed in our hobby guide, cooking a fantastic meal will provide you with a great sense of achievement and feelings of happiness. Being able to provide your friends and family with a lovely meal is sure to leave you smiling. And that’s not the only benefit of cooking at home.

Going to cooking lessons can really help develop your skills in the kitchen, along with your knowledge of cultures from around the globe. On your course you’ll discover new recipes and techniques in the kitchen and also learn how to eat healthy by avoiding certain foods. A good diet is vital in later life, and cooking nutritious meals for yourself can make all the difference to your health.

Cooking can also be fun once you’ve mastered techniques and learnt amazing recipes from around the world. Soon enough, there will be no end to the different meals you can create.

4. Maths & English

If you’re looking to touch up or even develop skills within the Maths and English sector then now is the time. This is one of the most common adult learning courses chosen by older people as they look to improve on their basic Maths and English.

These courses are a brilliant way of keeping your brain active as you will be pushing yourself to memorise data on a weekly basis. It’s highly likely that you’ll also have exams and coursework to complete too.

Again, if you’re still working, completing courses in Maths and English will be a great boost to your CV. Learning English may also lead to other hobbies and interests such as reading new books or trying your hand at journalism.

If you’re feeling up for the challenge, it is possible for you to complete GCSE Maths and English courses as well, leading to full qualifications.

5. Teaching and Training

If you’re looking to get into teaching, tutoring, or training, then you can take part in these courses. These adult learning courses will help you to develop the skills which are essential if you’re to plan, prepare, and provide learning within your specialist area.

Before going into these courses it’s best to have some idea of which subject you’d like to teach and to be working towards a qualification within that area. Teaching assistant courses are also available if you’re looking to head down this route.

Finding Adult Learning Courses

There are multiple ways of finding adult learning courses in your area. If you’re already comfortable using the internet you can search for them on Google or by visiting your local college or university website. Another good resource for you to check is the Learn Direct website, which is full of courses.

Alternatively, you can visit your local library where there will be details available or go down to your local college or university and make enquires in person. There may also be adverts in your local newspaper for learning classes and events near you.

A third option would be to ask your family and friends, as they may be able to recommend useful courses for you to try.

Personal Alarm Information

A personal alarm can provide you with additional peace of mind, giving you the confidence to expand your horizons. For more information about our life-saving personal alarm service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 030 8999. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 8th March 2024 to reflect current information.

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20 Thoughts On This Blog
Josh says:
24/07/2019 at 12:08

Hi Joanne, You’re able to search for adult learning courses and activities through websites such as Norfolk County Council – – and through social groups listed on the meet up website – I hope this helps you find the course you’re looking for. Thanks Josh

Josh says:
24/07/2019 at 12:10

Hi Claire, Thank you for your message. The best thing for you do would be to search for the courses available in your area on Google. For example, Life-Coaching Courses in Norwich. Doing this should bring up various options and help guide you to the most suitable option for you. I hope this helps. Thanks Josh

Robina khan says:
27/01/2020 at 9:23

Hi, I would like to do my GCSEs in English and Maths also learn to use a computer. Could u pls let me know where and when I can start. Thank you

Sian says:
27/01/2020 at 9:56

Hi Robina, It’s great that you would like to get back into education. Whilst we don’t offer this service, you can do GCSE courses at most further education colleges, adult education centres, libraries or via other training providers (on and offline). To find out which establishments offer English and Maths GCSE courses, you can carry out online searches and then request details of the course specifics directly from your preferred places of study. To get started, I would see what secondary and further education institutions are near to you, and get in touch with them to see what courses they offer, and what they can offer you! Thanks, LifeConnect24

Alexander Thomas says:
17/04/2022 at 10:56

Same as me i want to do my GCSE especially Maths and English i'm 47

Thomas Mcfadden says:
12/02/2020 at 5:06

Hello, I’m a pensioner and would like to improve my English which is very poor in punctuation, ( should that be a period. ) I also feel my vocabulary is very limited.

Sian says:
19/02/2020 at 8:41

Hi Thomas, It’s great you’d like to improve your English skills! We’d recommend getting in touch with your local library, or any education institutions (any nearby schools, sixth form colleges etc.) as they will be able to point you in the right direction on taking a course best suited to your requirements. Thanks for reading!

Jegatheesan says:
12/06/2020 at 7:30

I want to learn computer

Aimee says:
16/06/2020 at 9:37

Hello, We think learning about and to use a computer would be great for you! If you need any more advice, please let us know. Best wishes, Aimee

Marie Wood says:
21/08/2020 at 3:06

Hi I’m in my sixties and would like to know if there are any courses in Style/grooming, personal development, image enhancing etc. Thank you

Aimee says:
25/08/2020 at 10:09

Hi Marie, It is great to hear that you are interested in trying courses to develop yourself as an individual. We have found a few free examples of personal development courses here – and there are plenty more to be discovered. We hope that you find the perfect course for you! Best wishes, LifeConnect24

Suzie Litton-Wood says:
05/08/2021 at 7:29

I am looking for a basic course in using a laptop computer in particular, access to the Internet. I can just about use ‘Microsoft Word’ & ‘Exel’. Re: the Internet, I can use Google’s search facility, Email and a tiny part of Social media. I am 73 years young.

Katie says:
23/08/2021 at 8:45

Hello Suzie, Thanks for your comment. We would recommend getting in touch with your local branch of Age UK to see if they have any suitable courses on offer. Many branches offer courses in IT and using the internet. Click here to visit the Age UK website and enter your postcode to find courses near you. I hope this is helpful. Kind regards, LifeConnect24

Sharron betts says:
03/01/2022 at 12:59

Hi there is there any d I y coursers in cooking d I y

LifeConnect24 says:
12/01/2022 at 9:18

Hello Sharron, There are many cooking courses for adults available throughout the country. Many are online, whilst others are group sessions in real kitchens. You can use the "Find Courses" website to locate cookery courses near you. We hope this has been helpful. Kind regards, LifeConnect24

Kristin Joseph says:
19/01/2022 at 5:35

Hi Sian Thanks for the article and valuable insights and tips. Just happened to see this site. I would love to teach English as a second language. What are the courses best fit for me? I'm reaching 51 and would like to try my hand at teaching adults in a foreign country. Just don't know where to start. Could use some guidance. Thanks in advance.

pinky says:
31/03/2022 at 1:05

hi I'm 49 years old and Im still working as a cleaner for 25 years now at school can I start study teaching course in this age

LifeConnect24 says:
05/04/2022 at 8:59

Hello Pinky, Thank you for your comment. At LifeConnect24 we like to think that it's never too late to follow your dreams. There have been plenty of people who have decided to take up teaching later in life, including over-50s. You can find more information on becoming a teacher later in life on the WorkingWise website. We hope this has helped. Kind regards, LifeConnect24

Michelle Watts says:
17/01/2023 at 1:11

Is there any first aid sessions?

LifeConnect24 says:
17/01/2023 at 1:33

Hello Michelle, Thank you for your comment. Yes, there will definitely be First Aid courses available across the country. A quick Google search is sure to show courses being run in your area, or you may be able to find an online course. We hope this has helped. Kind regards, LifeConnect24

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