Whether you’re an aspiring chef, an enquiring computer-user or a budding artist looking for inspiration, you are sure to find something of interest on a weekend course. With hundreds of subjects to choose from and dozens of universities dotted around the capital the opportunities for committed students are vast.

Weekend courses have made higher education accessible to a wider audience and have in the process become increasingly popular with Londoners from all walks of life and backgrounds. There are many individuals who want to study but due to work, social or family commitments they are unable to do so. For these people an intensive and accelerated weekend course is an ideal way to gain a qualification that will help them to develop or change their career.

Most programmes are developed specifically to fit the schedules and lifestyles of mature learners, this is partly done by making them responsible for learning some of the course work outside of class and in their own time.

Enrolling on a weekend course
As they become increasingly popular and fill up quickly, universities usually accept students on a first come, first served basis. It is therefore important that you enrol as early as you can to secure your place.

The advantages of weekend courses

  • For many working people its the only free time they have in the week.
  • Its not too large a commitment of time or cash.
  • An cost effective way to earn certificates, diplomas, degrees and post grad qualifications.
  • Specially designed introductory courses which can gradually build towards a first university-level qualification.
  • Courses are competitively priced which makes them financially affordable to a wide range of people.
  • The courses are of the highest quality and taught at well established and reputable universities.
  • Held in convenient locations within walking distance of car parks and public transport.
  • They are aimed at complete beginners and usually require no previous experience of a subject.
  • Classrooms tend to be equipped with the latest cutting edge technology and facilities, giving  students confidence that they are being taught in a leading academic environment.
  • Campuses have friendly relaxed atmospheres which is a great attraction to people who have been away from education for a long time.
  • They can be great fun, giving you a opportunity to meet like minded people and make new friends.
  • They are a ideal way to learn about a subject that has always interested you.
  • They can help to further your career, remember that skilled workers are always in demand.
  • Short courses allow students to complete their programmes at a faster rate than more traditional courses.

Ask questions about the course
It is always advisable to ask detailed questions of the course provider before you enrol, doing this helps to ensure that you pick the course that is right for you and not one that is too difficult or easy. Typical questions to ask are;

  • What is the duration of the course?
  • When is the registration closing date and when do you have to enrol by?
  • What modules and topics will we be studying?
  • Will I earn a qualification after successfully completing the course and if so which awarding body will it be accredited by?
  • What is the cost of the course?
  • Are there any grants or funding available for students?
  • What time do classes start and finish?
  • Are classes held on the main campus, if not then where?
  • Are there any car parking facilities for student?
  • Where is the nearest public transport and how frequent are they?

Withdrawals and refunds
In the event of a student having to drop out of a course midway (or even before they start), some universities may keep the entire fee or retain a non refundable administration charge of up to 20%. If you are concerned about this then ask the course coordinator for clarification on the unlikely event of you having to withdraw from your course.

Support from universities
Many universities provide extensive support service to their students to help them develop the study skills they need to succeed in higher education.

Course schedule and times
Classes are conveniently and typically scheduled for Saturday mornings or afternoons, with terms ranging anywhere from five to eight weeks.

Fees and costs
There may be grants available for mature students returning to education so its always best to check with the university career advice staff to see if any sort of funding is available. Some universities also offer convenient monthly payments plans, this is something else you may want to ask about.


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