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We are an adult education charity providing part-time courses and educational opportunities for all adults. Our main funding is for people who are 19 years of age or over. You can read more about who we are and how we are funded here.

What type of courses we deliver

The WEA offers very wide range of adult education in 55 Primary Subjects. They cover important foundation subjects such as English, Maths and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) through a wide variety of arts and academic subjects like Art, Literature, History, or Foreign Languages. They offer Personal and Professional Development subjects such as Using Computers, Confidence Building, or Skills for Work and a wide variety of interest and leisure subjects such as Craft, Fitness & Exercise, Cooking, Creative writing and Photography.  There is a small but growing science curriculum and a range of courses that meet the needs of communities with subjects such Schools & Parenting, Community Interpreters, Citizenship and Volunteering.  Many of our Subjects have courses which cover multiple areas of study in the subject. The Art-Practical subject for example, will have courses on Watercolours, Oils, Pencil Drawing, Landscapes, Still Life etc.

In short there is a rich variety of subjects on offer that are sure to meet some of your interests, needs or passions.

Our courses are part time and usually run during the day, mostly on weekdays, but we also run evening classes and weekend 'day schools'. They are typically 20-30 hours in length, usually running for approximately 2 hours per week. Some are longer at 45, 60 or 90 hours and may run for more than one session per week. Most of our courses are open to members of the public and are listed on our course search. Some courses are provided to meet the needs of organisations or projects and as a result may be targeted at specific groups of people and not therefore open to members of the public. These courses are not usually listed on our course search but if you are interested to find out more about them you can contact us here

Our courses are organised by our staff based in WEA regions. They work  with a wide variety of local organisations, like community organisations, schools and charities, who often become partners of the WEA helping to plan and organise our courses or provide venues and help recruit students.

Many of our courses are organised in conjunction with our member-led branches. The WEA is unique in recruiting thousands of our students and supporters into membership of the WEA. They are often organised in local branches and play a significant role in helping to organise our education programme in their localities and in supporting the Vision and Mission of the WEA in their local area.

Some of our courses are accredited and lead to formal qualifications. Most are not accredited but nevertheless have challenging learning outcomes and opportunities for the tutors to assess the student's progress and to give feedback on how to improve or develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in the subject.

We seek to offer interesting education that is less formal than you probably remember from school but our courses are nevertheless demanding and lead to significant developments in knowledge and skills. Many of our students report significant impact upon their lives as a result of studying with the WEA. For some it becomes a lifelong passion.

You can read more about our general approach to adult education here.

Course fees

Our course fees vary according to the length of the course and how many teaching hours the course involves. You will find all course fees listed on our online course search and our brochures. Some students are eligible for fee-remission. You can read more about this in the financial help section on this website.