Adult Learners

Whether you’re considering studying to improve your career prospects, develop a new career path, retrain for a new job or go on to university, Colchester Institute offers a wide range of courses for Adults across all levels from introductory part-time or short courses to professional qualifications and Higher Education. We believe it’s important to support adults who are looking to return to education or for the opportunity to gain a new qualification, change of career or to increase their earning potential. On a personal and social level there is the chance to meet new people, learn a new skill or study for pleasure to develop a hobby or interest.

Adult Learners – What we offerFull-Time Courses for Adult LearnersPart-Time StudyAccess to Higher Education – Return to studyAdult Learners – Higher EducationContinuing Professional Development (CPD)Professional QualificationsLeisure CoursesGCSE Courses for AdultsLearning ShopsFlexible Adult Functional Skills in English and Maths

Choose from the options in the menu below and find the course for you.

Are you looking to study full-time?
Are you looking to study part-time?
Looking to access higher education?
Are you looking to study at Degree level?
Are you looking for leisure and evening classes?
Looking to retake GSCE English, Maths or Science?
Looking for careers advice or employability skills?
Are you looking to improve or learn english?

Adult Learning at Colchester Institute

Our full-time courses are designed to help you get the qualifications you want and the opportunity to gain a more rewarding career or expand your knowledge of that particular subject. You can study full-time or part-time to fit around current work and life commitments, but most of our adult students choose to study part time.
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Do I have to pay a fee?

Maybe not! Fee exemptions are available, for some students, on all courses which show this symbol:

The fact is that funding is complicated and it depends on a number of things: your age; the programme that you want to study; the qualifications that you already have and in some cases your income or benefit entitlements.

At Colchester Institute we have staff in the Student Finance team who can talk to you individually about your options and signpost you to further information.

Part-time Courses – Further Education

We offer a variety of part-time courses that are tailor-made to suit your desire to learn something new, whether it be for a hobby or your own leisure to gain new skills, or to add to your skillset in order to build a new career or enhance your credentials for higher education. If you are not looking for anything specific or are just curious about what we can offer you, you can use the Course Finder to find a specific course that you are looking for.
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Many of these part time courses start mid-September but we also have a wide range of courses that start throughout the year.

Some part-time courses may not require an application form to be submitted, and this will be noted against the course. Applicants can download and print a copy of our part-time application form where required on each individual course page. Applicants will receive an acknowledgement email or card within one week of the application being received by Customer Information and Admissions, if you do not receive this you should contact the team on (01206) 712000 to check that your application has been received. Please be aware that courses will only be run if a sufficient number of applications are received.

Access Courses

We have a long tradition of helping students to return to study. The Access to Higher Education Diploma course will offer you the ideal preparation for further study in higher education or training.

Art and Design Foundation Year

University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute offers a two-year, part-time higher education course for mature learners who would like to refresh or develop their skills before going on to further study in art and design at degree level.

Welcome to University Centre Colchester

We are pleased to announce that Colchester Institute has obtained University Centre Colchester (UCC) status for its Higher Education provision.

Colchester Institute has a 50 year history of providing undergraduate and postgraduate education in the region, including engineering, construction, business, IT and computing, health and social care, art, digital media, performance and film production. The programmes we offer are research informed and employer led resulting in 94% of our students gaining employment following graduation, 66% will achieve a 1st or 2:1 (good) Degree and overall 87% of our students will obtain a relevant qualification.

We offer a unique vocational learning experience, with practical and theoretical teaching embedded in our flexible full and part-time programmes. We aim to provide you with a high quality, industry related learning experience, and our programmes are designed with employers’ needs in mind, incorporating industry visits, guest lecturers and work placemements. Flexible delivery provides the opportunity for students to fit their studies around employment or other commitments.

There are many ways to study for a higher education qualification and choosing the right course will help you get the most out of your study. You can study towards a HNC, HND, Foundation or Honours Degree, as well as postgraduate programmes.

Click here to visit University Centre Colchester and find out more

Professional Development Qualifications (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the commitment to lifelong learning and achieving by which individuals can enhance their employability and career prospects. This ensures they remain competitive and continue to be effective, proficient and knowledgeable in their employment field and industry sector.

Colchester Institute offers a range of professional part-time courses across a variety of sectors.

Many careers demand that you possess a professional qualification. In other cases, professional qualifications are not always essential, but they allow the achievement of greater competence in a chosen field and improve prospects for progression.

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What is a professional qualification?

Professional qualifications help learners to gain the knowledge and skills required for a vocation in a specific industry or trade sector, and posessing one is often an essential requirement for some roles

By focusing on an individuals ability to succed in a particular occupation, Professional qualifications are ideal for those who have a well-defined career goal. Awarded by professional bodies within the relevant industry or sector, professional qualifications often follow on from a higher education or equivalent level qualification, although having previously attained this level of academic study isn’t always a prerequisite requirement.

Accrediting bodies often offer different levels of qualification which are suitable for school leavers, graduates and experienced professionals, however it is often essential that learners possess some relevant work experience or have a demonstrable interest in their subject.

Recreation and Leisure Courses

Whether you’d like to study for fun or a hobby, try something new or learn some DIY skills for use around the home, Colchester Institute offers a range of short, leisure courses, evening classes and workshops to suit a variety of different needs. Please browse through the course finder to see the range of leisure courses offered at Colchester Institute.
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Adult GCSE’s ( English, Maths and Science )

We offer English Language, Mathematics and Science GCSE intensive resit programmes over 32 weeks to adults over the age of 19. These are part-time courses consisting of one 3 hour session per week with a subject specialist tutor. If you are over the age of 19, GCSE English and Maths can form part of your full-time study programme.

Flexible Adult Functional Skills in English and Maths

The Learning Shops

Want to do something different, try something new? The Learning Shop can help you find the course you’re looking for.

Our Adult Learning Shops offer Functional Skills courses in English and Maths for adult (19+) learners. The Programmes offer a range of learning opportunities; English and Mathematic courses ranging from Entry Level to Level 2 qualifications. All our courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Courses are tailored so you can learn at your own pace, build confidence, aid career development or to help you get back into work. A flexible programme is available to learners aged 18 or over. Courses are broken down into bite-sized chunks, so you can learn at your own pace.

Functional Skills in English and maths are practical skills that allow learners to work confidently, effectively and independently in life, including education and training. They aim to increase achievement in all learning, improve employability and provide a sound basis for progression to further study or training. They also help develop other important skills such as team work, presentation and problem solving. Functional Skills are common to all our lives.

They help make sense of daily life, from working out which deal is best value, to writing an application letter or sur­fing the Internet. They are about using English, maths and ICT in everyday situations.

They are essential for:

• Getting the most from education and training

• Personal development of all young people and adults

• Developing employability skills

Learning Shop
Would you like to do something different or try something new? The Learning Shop can help you find the course you’re looking for. We have Learning Shops in Braintree, Clacton, Colchester, Dovercourt and Witham.

A flexible programme is available to learners aged 18 or over. Courses are broken down into bite-sized chunks, so you can learn at your own pace.

The Learning Shop offers:
• Free National Careers Advice sessions
• Digital Skills and intermediate IT courses
• A range of English and maths courses
• Routes to Employability courses

All our accredited courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Courses are tailored so you can learn at your own pace, improve your confidence, aid career development or to help you with your employment goals.

Click here to visit our Adult Learning Shops

Our Adult Learning Shops offer Functional Skills courses in English and Maths for adult (19+) learners. The programmes offer a range of learning opportunities; English and Mathematic courses ranging from Entry Level to Level 2 qualifications. All our courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Courses are tailored so you can learn at your own pace, build confidence, aid career development or to help you get back into work.

Functional Skills in English and maths are practical skills that allow learners to work confidently, effectively and independently in life, including education and training. They aim to increase achievement in all learning, improve employability and provide a sound basis for progression to further study or training. They also help develop other important skills such as team work, presentation and problem solving. Functional Skills are common to all our lives.

They help make sense of daily life, from working out which deal is best value, to writing an application letter or sur­fing the Internet. They are about using English, maths and ICT in everyday situations.

They are essential for:

• Getting the most from education and training

• Personal development of all young people and adults

• Developing employability skills