Returning to learning

Returning to learning image 

I need to update my skills – will I need to go back into the classroom?

Not necessarily – and even if the course you choose is a more formal one you may find yourself learning in a workshop, community centre or on a placement.

What sort of courses or learning are available?

You have a range of choices such as:

A structured course at a college or learning centre.

  • Structured study with a tutor or teacher can be a good choice if you have not studied for a while. You will get help and support from tutors and other learners.
  • Formal courses are also a good way of getting formal qualifications.
  • You will also get the chance to meet and work with other learners. This can be very helpful if you have been working as a carer at home for some time.
    To find out what is available search our Courses in Wales database

E learning (can sometimes be called distance learning)

  • E learning is a good choice if you want to learn at your own pace.
  • E learning can also be a suitable option if you have problems getting to a learning centre because of ill health, work or family commitments.

Learning in your community

  • Learning is something you can do for yourself at any time. Think about the range of resources around you – libraries, museums, clubs and societies.
  • Do it yourself learning may not always lead to a formal qualification or certificate but it can be a cheap and interesting way to make start on a subject area.


  • Volunteering is a very practical and useful way to learn new skills – or to improve skills you already have.
  • There are some voluntary work places available that will lead to a qualification.
  • Learning by volunteering has an added bonus – you are getting valuable work experience at the same time.
    For volunteer opportunities in Wales check out Volunteering Wales

Can I get any financial help for returning to learning?

See our funding section

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