Postgraduate courses in Adult Education

Working in adult education you will work with those from 16 years old and older who are aiming to improve their education, skills and knowledge. 

In order for you to help them be at their best, you also have to be at your best! A postgraduate course in the area of adult education will help you get where you need to be to take on the role of an adult educator. 

We are here to give you an idea of courses you can do and to give you examples of the work involved in this field.

What is adult education?

Adult education is exactly what it says on the tin. It involves educating adults through their engagement in systematic and and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new skills and knowledge in different areas. It may also help adults to develop new attitudes and values.

Adult and community education often come hand in hand and includes careers in teaching, sports coaching, activities management, training and development are all part of the adult education field. 

What does an Adult Education Teacher do?

Adult education teachers may carry out different roles from day to day as they can differ. Some duties carried out may include:

  • Coordinate programmes
  • Plan, prepare and research lessons
  • Teach programmes 
  • Design programmers specific to adult learners
  • Encouraging personal development 
  • Liaise with other employees and professionals in the area
  • Assess students work and progress and give feedback 
  • Work on evening and weekends
  • Prepare teaching materials

Courses

There are a few courses in adult education courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study part time and full time and under current Covid-19 restriction, some universities may have their own plans. It is important to research a specific course in full. Examples of courses on offer are:

Educational Studies for Adult, Youth and Community Contexts

Courses in this area will give students the opportunity to look at theoretical dimensions of adult education, community development and youth studies. Those who study these courses will have the chance to study a specialism of their choice as well as focusing on gaining a foundation in educational and social research. Other skills such as analytical skills, research skills will also be developed alongside the attributes needed to work in adult education. 

Community Education

Courses in community education cover a broad area including working with children, youths and adults. They are generally work based courses where you will study online and take part in online workshops and tutor groups. Students will be encouraged to look into the processes of active learning. These courses are often aimed at those who already have a qualification in  community education and or community learning. 

Entry Requirements

Each course may differ in their specific entry requirements. Most of the time, you will be required to have a degree in you area of expertise, a formal education qualification (eg. PGCE) or experience within the area you would like to take a course in. It is important to look into each course individually as there can often be many different entry requirements from course to course. 

Employers

Employers in this area may include:

  • Community centres
  • Further education schools/colleges
  • Outreach centres
  • Voluntary educational bodies
  • Community and local organisations
  • Sports clubs
  • Creative and Art centres
  • Prison services
  • The armed forces

Salary expectation

The average salary for an adult education teacher is £25.90 per hour. This can change depending on location and experience. For example, the salary for an adult education teacher in London is believed to be around £33 per hour while the average in Manchester is around £23. All figures are based on estimates gathered from salary samples.

Skills and requirements

Helpful skills for working within this field include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • A friendly, welcoming manner
  • Literacy skills
  • Numeracy skills 
  • Compassionate 
  • Critical thinker
  • Passion
  • Creativity 
  • Organization 
  • Technical skills
  • Patience
  • Passion for learning and teaching
  • Inspiring
  • Mindful
  • An understanding nature
  • Strong leadership skills

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