Adult education and learning

It can be challenging getting back into education later in life, especially if you have a disability or long-term health problems or if are caring for someone else.

Learning is great if you want to get out of the house more and meet new people. It can keep your mind sharp whilst helping you make new friends and enjoying a more active social life. Keeping mentally stimulated and can have long-lasting benefits, including delaying the onset of Dementia. Adult learning can:

  • Improve your confidence and wellbeing
  • Keep your mind sharp
  • Teach you something new
  • Improve your skills and make you more employable
  • Help with a career change.


Richmond Adult Community College

RAAC offers approximately 1900 courses in a wide range of subject areas and levels. The college offer a mix of leisure courses, certified awards and professional qualifications as well as a programme of events, exhibitions, performances and leisure activities. Courses include:

  • Art, Design Media
  • Beauty and complimentary therapies
  • Business
  • Computing and technology
  • Cookery, Bakery and Wine
  • Counselling
  • Dance and drama
  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Humanities and Creative writing
  • Languages
  • Maths and Sciences
  • Music, Choirs and Jazz


If you didn't finish school or sixth form or didn't get the qualifications you wanted first time around or never went to university, you may want to take your GCSE’s or A-Levels. There are plenty of courses available from RACC, Richmond College and Esher College. These include evening, daytime, full and part time courses.  

Richmond Adult Community College (RACC)
Address: RACC, Parkshot, Richmond Upon Thames, London, TW9 2RE
Phone: 020 8891 5907

Richmond upon Thames College
Address: Egerton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex TW2 7SJ
Phone: 020 8607 8000

Esher College
Address: Weston Green Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0JB
Phone: 020 8335 2544

Learning a new language

It’s never too late to learn a new language. Research shows that people who speak two or more languages are likely to have significantly better cognitive abilities than those who only speak one language.



The Floodlight website provides details on all courses available across London, part-time and full-time, daytime or evening. Whether you want to learn to salsa dance or take the first steps towards becoming a qualified nurse, take better photographs on holiday or train to be a plumber, there will be a course there for you.


The Open University 

The Open University offer a range of different undergraduate degrees, foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates that you can do from home. And their Open Learn scheme offers a wide variety of free courses which can help you prepare for higher education or a career.


The University of the Third Age

U3A provides opportunities across the country for retired and semi-retired people to come together and develop their interests.


Online and distance learning

If attending a class or course is not for you, you may prefer learning in your own time online or through audio or video. Learning in this way gives you control over when and where you study and it can be turn out to be cheaper. Online courses usually have online support communities, which mean you won’t miss out on valuable opportunities to discuss issues with fellow students but you’re less likely to make many new social contacts.