Adult courses explained

Adult students studying at City and Islington College

Whatever your ambition we have a range of courses from entry-level to Higher Education to help you achieve it.

Which course is right for me?

Coming back to education can be daunting but also exciting. No matter what your previous level of education or experience we can help you find the right course for you. You can also find guidance on the Which level is right for me page.

What are Access to Higher Education Diplomas?

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a qualification which prepares people without traditional qualifications, such as A Levels, for study at university.

Find out more about Access to Higher Education Diplomas here.

We also offer Higher Education courses here at the College. Find out more in our Higher Education section.

What are vocational qualifications?

These qualifications are all about the world of work, across the full range of jobs, industries and professions.  Vocational courses refer to qualifications that are not GCSEs or A Levels (GCEs) which are known as academic or general qualifications.

Vocational qualifications can range from courses where you will learn skills relevant to a variety of jobs, to specialist qualifications designed in collaboration with industry for a particular sector. They offer a mix of theory and practice, and can also include work experience. They can be studied at many different levels depending on your entry qualifications and experience, but the length of study will depend on the level you study at.

Vocational qualifications include:

Below you can visit three of our centres which specialise in vocational qualifications:


ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. Therse courses are for people whose first language is not English, and are designed for people living permanently in the UK. Students practise speaking, listening, reading and writing English for personal, academic and employment purposes in a college with an excellent reputation and student support.

EFL stands for English as Foreign Language, and EFL courses improve your English for study, work or general use. Qualifications are recognised internationally and include Cambridge Certificates and IELTS.

Basic skills courses for adults

Whatever your plans for the future, you need a good level of English and maths. We offer a range of English and maths courses and qualifications, from beginner level to GCSE, to help you develop skills for work, study or everyday life - even if you've been out of education for a while.

Many courses are free, and financial support, as well as help with travel and childcare is available (subject to eligibility).

We can also offer advice and support with further study and finding work, support with your future goals, and building your confidence.

To join a course, you'll need to take a short assessment so we can start you on the best course for you.

Access to HE

Didn't study A Levels but want to go to university? Access courses will help you achieve your ambition.

Choose a course - courses for adults

Apply now - adult courses

From entry level to higher education we have the right course for you. See our adult courses.

Financial support for adults (aged 19+)

Are you aged 19+? Find out about fees and funding to help you during your adult learning.

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