Join a community of lifelong learners

Flexible, part-time adult learning courses

Whether you want to study for pleasure, advance in your career, or gain a qualification, Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education is here for you. 

More than 15,000 adult learners from across the globe are enrolled on part-time continuing education programmes with the Department annually, with students ranging in age from 18 into their 90s. 

Short courses

  • Day and weekend events - in Oxford or online. Explore a topic in-depth over one or two days with multiple speakers; hone your skills in small workshops and hands-on practical sessions; extend your knowledge over several weeks with a lecture series.
  • Flexible, short online courses allow you to study when it suits you from anywhere in the world. These courses are taught fully online using text-based forums and run asynchronously – they have no live-time meetings – so you do not have to be online at any specific time to take the course.
  • Weekly live-time classes. All of our weekly classes are offered both in person and online – so you can choose the study option right for you.

Oxford qualifications and professional development

  • Undergraduate award courses allow you to gain an Oxford qualification part-time. All are designed with flexibility in mind, since many of our students study alongside work and family commitments, and some have online study options.
  • Already have an undergraduate qualification? Our flexible postgraduate programmes (certificates, diplomas, master's degrees and DPhils) are a great way to to continue your studies and further your knowledge, progress in your career or learn for personal enrichment. 
  • Our professional development programmes are geared for working professionals in many fields, including the health sciences, technology, business, environment and sustainability.

> View all courses

Student support

If you are new to higher education or have not studied for some time, you may feel worried about writing an assignment, taking an exam or juggling study, family and work commitments. Whatever your study needs, we hope that you will take advantage of the support and guidance provided by the department and University.

Advice for those who are returning to study can be found on our study skills webpage.

Information for prospective and current students on facilities, support, funding, assessments and student representation can all be found on our studying with us webpages.

Student spotlights

Discover how lifelong learning has enriched the careers and personal lives of current and former students. A selection of spotlights can be found below, with more available on our dedicated student spotlight webpage

Charles Bush

Charles Bush

Charles Bush published his debut young-adult novel thanks to the skills and experience gained from completing the Undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education.

Sally Taylor

Sally Taylor

A chance conversation with friends pushed Sally into taking the first step to become an archaeologist. Sally has since progressed from a master's to a part-time DPhil.

Jason Frangoulis

Jason Frangoulis

Jason, 98, is the quintessential lifelong learner - taking classes throughout his working career and retirement at several different universities around the world before finding our online short courses.


Upcoming courses

Online - live • Short courses • Hybrid teaching
  • Sat 21 May 2022 – 22 May 2022
  • 09.45-17.00
Weekend • Short courses
  • Sat 21 May 2022
  • 9:45am - 5:00pm
Short intensive • Short courses • Professional development
  • Mon 23 May 2022 – 25 May 2022
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm
Short intensive • Short courses • Professional development
  • Thu 26 May 2022 – 28 May 2022
  • 9:00am – 5:00pm
Online - live • Short courses
  • Fri 27 May 2022 – 08 Jul 2022
  • 6 meetings
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm