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Adult Learning


York Learning

York Learning provides part-time and full-time courses at various venues, dates and times across York. The courses are designed for learners aged 16 and above.

The online Learning for Everyone brochure gives information about the range of courses, which include:

  • english
  • maths
  • computing and digital skills
  • painting and drawing
  • flower arranging
  • dressmaking
  • cookery and baking
  • health and fitness classes
  • family history
  • programmes to improve your employment prospects
  • information, advice and guidance qualifications and support
  • family learning for parents / carers to support pre-school and school age children

For full details and up-to-date course listings visit York Learning and click 'book a course'.

Family learning courses are offered at various venues across the city, including children's centres, primary schools, libraries and community centres. They provide an opportunity to brush up your skills, which will also help your children learn. All the courses are free and free childcare is offered for some daytime courses.

York College

York College has more than 2000 students over 19 years of age. They study a wide range of programmes from Access to Higher Education Diplomas to short courses in art, teacher training, business and health and safety.

The College InfoZone team can offer impartial advice and guidance on all full and part time courses. Printed and electronic course information including prospectuses and application forms can be sent on request.

Contact them by email at info@yorkcollege.ac.uk or telephone 01904 770100.

York St John University

York St John University offers undergraduate, postgraduate and professional qualifications. For general enquiries call the university switchboard on 01904 624624.

University of York

The University of York offers undergraduate, postgraduate and professional qualifications.

Its Centre for Lifelong Learning offers an exciting range of postgraduate distance learning courses, as well as options for local learners who are looking for an accredited course or to study for pleasure. For general enquiries call: 01904 328473 or email lifelonglearning@york.ac.uk.

Askham Bryan College

Askham Bryan College is a specialist college offering a large range of courses across a variety of sectors, from Agriculture and Land Management to Adventure Sport. Courses range from entry level, independence programmes for people with learning disabilities, apprenticeships right through to BSc degrees with honours.

York Museum Trust

York Museum Trust - Adult Education has an exciting and varied programme of workshops and events for adults, themed around the exhibitions and collections of the museums and gallery. Sessions include object handling, curator’s talks, expert lectures and craft and art-based workshops.

Specific Learning Groups

Older People

Experience Counts provide free courses for people over 50. They aim to build confidence, self-esteem and help you understand your transferrable skills, which they call ‘hidden talents’. They offer small group sessions, once a week over 5 or 6 weeks.

York University of the Third Age (York U3A) specialises in learning and fun for older people no longer in full time employment.

The U3A movement is non-religious and non-political and has three main principles.

The Third Age Principles:

  • Membership of a U3A is open to all in their third age, which is defined not by a particular age but by a period in life in which full time employment has ceased.
  • Members promote the values of lifelong learning and the positive attributes of belonging to a U3A.
  • Members should do all they can to ensure that people wanting to join a U3A can do so.

There’s lots happening, at different times on various days, so there’s a good chance you’ll find something interesting that fits your diary.  

U3A welcome visitors to their office in York where volunteers can explain more about the activities. Visit the York U3A website or call 01904 289 293  for more information.  

There is an additional U3A organisation for the Haxby & Wiggington area of York.


Specialist Autism Services is an organisation that has been operating in York since 2010 with an intention to continue to further develop the services on offer in the area. Through various forms of support the aim is to make a positive difference to people’s lives, ultimately enabling them to reach their goals and fulfil their potential.

Social Skills learning programme - What are social skills? A social skill is any skill that helps somebody communicate with others. Specialist Autism Services runs a structured programme of daily social skills workshops to provide opportunities for individuals to develop social skills in a non-pressured and engaging environment.

Workshop topics include creative arts, drama, money management and independent living. 

If you would like to find out more about Specialist Autism Services, arrange a visit or make a referral you can email info.york@specialistautismservices.org or telephone: 01274 789 789.

Learning Disabilities

United Response offers a York Training, Employment & Community Service which supports people to gain employment.

Blueberry Academy has a Learning Hub based at the Melbourne Centre- supporting people into learning and employment

The Wilberforce Trust has a Living & Learning Zone which provides cookery courses and daily living training for people with sight loss and other disabilities.

Brunswick Organic Nursery has a mission to enable people with learning difficulties to enrich their lives through work, developing relationships and building communities.

Mental Health

Converge is a partnership between York St John and mental health service providers in York. It offers high quality educational opportunities to those who use NHS and non-statutory mental health services and who are 18 years and over.

Community Activities Directory

Have a look at the Work, Training and Education section of the Live Well York Community Activities directory for adult learning activities and training courses in your area.

Last updated: 22/12/2023