With all manner of craft markets and niche social gatherings to visit, not to mention a vibrant night life, London has earned its reputation as excitement central. It attracts visitors from far and wide, and often a casual visitor to London will find themselves setting down roots and calling it ‘home’.
However, there’s more to the Big Smoke than simply satisfying the thrill-seekers and curiosity-hunters. Those looking for more than just a good time will find plenty of opportunities for self-improvement, with a huge variety of interesting courses in London. Learn everything from book-keeping to burlesque dancing, from millinery to zoology. Ever fancied learning some nifty dancing from the 1920s? No problem. Want to hone your Photoshop skills and start a new career as a photo editor in London? There’s a course for you! Find part-time learning courses in London quickly and easily with our round-up here, and learn something new in the coming New Year.
Here are five great places to help you get started on your new skill with practical tuition from industry professionals.
Your first port of call when looking for learning courses in London should be Floodlight.
Floodlight is a fantastic site listing all part-time and evening learning courses in London. Whatever your interest, Floodlight can help you find the perfect workshop for it. From London Vintage Bike Tours with an experienced local guide to Digital Photography courses or A Levels in Government and Politics, finding just what you’re looking for takes only a few clicks.
Complete newbies to the London scene needn’t be intimidated either, as the site is really well organized, listing events, workshops and courses in an intuitive fashion. Listed according to various criteria, courses can be searched for by category, location, time and even level of skill! Quick, easy and very specific, Floodlight is an excellent starting point from which to explore all London has to offer in the way of part-time and full-time courses and further training.
Tower Hamlets Ideas Store
The Ideas Stores are run by Tower Hamlets Borough Council and comprise a collection of libraries, learning centres, computer centres and classes. With a vast collection of affordable and captivating learning courses to sign up off, you could be doing soft tailoring in January, or Photography skills in March.
The Ideas Store offers part-time courses that operate across a number of weeks. These are ideal for enthusiasts and hobbyists who are looking to boost their skill portfolios, or for those individuals who are looking to further their careers in a particular area of expertise. Learn English, learn computer skills or learn a new craft. Get your copy of the Course Guide here.
The Mary Ward Centre
With over 7,000 enrolled Londoners each year, The Mary Ward Centre is one of London’s premier adult education centres. Mary Ward was a best-selling Victorian author who put all of her riches into a foundation dedicated to helping everyone obtain educational and cultural opportunities. Today, the school is used by men and women of all nationalities and backgrounds; they come from far and wide to study everything from computer skills to reflexology, from loom weaving to ballroom dancing.
The Mary Ward Centre is situated within two buildings in Central London, making it a popular choice for many students. There is a nominal membership fee, a course fee and enrolments are accepted online.
The Amazings is a hub of learning with a real difference. It’s been said that wisdom comes with age, and this programme has really taken that maxim to heart, offering courses run exclusively by mature professionals. Professionals who are about to retire, or have retired, are given the opportunity to share their expertise and learning with the next generation through a series of small classes run from various London locations and studios.
With the motto “Try something old and learn something new”, The Amazings offers “Classes, courses and wisdom from elders with amazing lifetime experience”. That may sound rather specific, but they’re far from limited in their course range! Consult David the therapist, Leonard the glass artist, JP the chef or even Laura the corset maker; there’s a truly impressive collection of minds to be found at The Amazings. This is the ideal option for you if you’re looking to learn from someone who truly cares about their art, and who is willing to give extra time to you as you learn the skill they’ve practiced and loved for years.
Even if you’re only interested in honing a few specific skills, with such a plethora of learning courses on offer, you may worry about choosing the best one. What if you land up with a hack? No such worries with The Amazings. Each teacher has their own specialty and range of courses on offer, and with the wisdom and skill of experience behind them, you can trust that the person heading up your class knows what they’re talking about.
A drive dedicated to the career-minded adult, the Worker’s Educational Association is an excellent programme aimed at helping adults acquire new skills and sharpen their abilities.
A well-established organization with a proud history behind them, the WEA offers an impressive range of basic skill training, covering ground from Botany to Contemporary Literature; from Health and Safety to Dance. With a great variety of courses on offer and over 10,000 classes held each year, anyone wanting to learn has every opportunity to better themselves. Adults can enrol in their chosen classes on a part-time basis, broadening their knowledge and honing their talents.
Initially founded to help combat low literacy levels and job market discrimination, the WEA has a long history of bringing out surprising talent in its students, raising academic standards since 1903. By “Believing in people, communities and their potential to change through Education”, the WEA provides an inspiring service.
The WEA operates a number of London-based branches and allows you to search for nearby courses by location, date and price. Use their online search function to find the ideal learning courses in London for you!