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Places to learn

Whatever your learning requirements, there are lots of places where you can study. You can learn at a further education (FE) college, a university, a local learning centre, at home or in the work place.

Where you learn will depend on what you want to learn and how you want to learn it.

The web links on this page will give you lots of information about where colleges, universities and learning centres are located and the range of full-time, part-time, open and distance learning courses offered to suit your needs.

Further education colleges
FE colleges may offer a range of standard courses or specialise in subjects linked to the needs of commerce or industry. These include subjects such as art, agriculture or technology, many of which can lead to university entry.

Most students at FE colleges are over 16 and all colleges have part-time and adult students. All colleges publish a free prospectus which includes information about their facilities and the courses on offer. They also have open days so that you can take a look around, get more information and talk to the tutors.

Higher education normally takes place in universities and in some FE colleges. These are found in towns and cities across the country and many specialise in some subjects. So where you choose to study may be dependent on what you want to study. If you have family or work commitments and cannot relocate, distance learning (for example, the Open University) offers another route into higher education.

If you choose to attend an academic institution full time, you must make sure it's the right one for you as you'll be spending a lot of time there. If you have a family you'll need to make sure it's accessible and has the support facilities you will need. Do your research by checking prospectuses and visiting universities on their open days. The Open University runs all its courses by distance learning.

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. For information on all aspects of the applications process for full-time undergraduate courses at universities and colleges.

HERO (Higher Education & Research Opportunities in the United Kingdom). HERO is the national website for Higher Education in the UK.

Adult/lifelong learning centres
Adult and lifelong learning centres provide training and learning to people throughout their adult life.

The following organisations can give details of where these centres are located and the ranges of learning opportunities they offer:

Learn Direct Scotland has information about the location of their learning centres and courses offered.

Councils have information on their websites about courses they deliver locally through libraries, community centres and other public places.

University of the Third Age (U3A) is a self help organisation for retired people who wish to continue their learning in educational, recreational and leisure activities.

Workers Educational Association (WEA) is the UK’s largest voluntary provider of adult education.

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