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Planning Retirement Online

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Learning in Later Life

There has never been such an opportunity as there is currently to learn about new things and extend our horizons, whatever our stage of life. Simply browsing the Web can extend our knowledge and views dramatically. However in today’s technically driven age there is also specialised video content and Apps that can offer improved learning facilities.

In addition, there are increasingly niche websites, blogs and tutorials available which can support a more focused and extensive interest in a particular subject area. Whether your interest is intellectual, practical, or for fun, learning can be very rewarding and extend your circles of friends, or even identify business opportunities.

Below is a collection of useful Websites, Apps, and Adult Education for to get you started with broadening your knowledge.

For more information about learning in later life, check out our Adult Education Guide.


Click on the name of the Website to be linked straight to them


Memrise is a community of people helping other people. You can share your own knowledge or follow someone else’s course. It works through a mix of flashcard mems and prompters, whilst using the ‘Memrise Garden’ to help grow and water your memory till you learn something new. It can also send handy emails to remind you and by following other people you can unleash your competitive side if it’s in your nature! They support learning for a range of categories including languages, maths and science, entertainment, the natural world and general trivia.


Video tutorials can be a quick and easy way to learn and it is becoming an increasingly common method so why not take advantage now? If you find reading boring then this is definitely a good option for you.
The Monkeysee way is to search, watch and discover. It is a host site of professional videos which all aim to teach the viewer something new and boasts using experts only. They have over 11,000 videos specifically made to inform across a vast range of categories, from Auto & Mechanical to Travel.


Alternatively YouTube has a vast array of tutorials on their website and is particularly renowned for hair and beauty, music lessons and tips and tricks for online games.


If these sites don’t have the answers you are looking for then The BBC have a comprehensive help facility for anyone who wants to get back into learning. Have a look at it at For an extensive archive of learning features.


We have included links to the App websites but to download them you can visit the iTunes, Google Play and any other Application software store.



A similar concept to Memrise, however Duolingo is specifically made for smartphones and tablets and “An independent study found that Duolingo trumps university-level language learning.” With clear evidence that this gamified way of learning works, you can take on the challenge of a new language with confidence. It also, we think helpfully, warns you when you haven’t used the App and by practising with it a few minutes a day it can be a speedy way of learning a new language. The languages currently available for English speakers are Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese.


This is an App to help you learn guitar. With the use of leader boards it encourages you to keep learning with its easy displays demonstrating the fret board and this teamed with its pitch detection technology can really hone in your skills.

How To Draw:

A tablet would be the preferred medium for this App due to its size but How To Draw has a range of images that you can use to trace or copy. It can also help you to draw with step by step guides. The drawing takes place directly onto the tablet and can later be used as a guide for drawing images onto paper. It can offer a good guide into getting perspective.


Adult Education

Here you can find a mix of online and offline options for learning.

We also have a specific Guide relating to the subject of Adult Education which can be viewed here.

The Open University home page

National U3A UK:

The University of the Third Age is dedicated to promoting lifelong learning for those no longer in gainful employment. There is a description of their services and regional listings for contacts. It has over 600 branches and you can study whatever you wish to providing you can find people in your group to share it with you.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education:

An organisation promoting lifelong learning. It has an interesting web site; in particular, go to their 'Older Learners' page and look at some of the links that it has.


(Formerly known as Adult Residential Colleges Association - ARCA)

Is an association of colleges offering residential courses for adult education.


You can learn on-line through learndirect, a government sponsored scheme. They do languages, IT skills, business and management courses, and personal development skills.


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Visit Amazon for books, videos and software that can help you to learn.

For more information...

All of the above demonstrates the range of different learning styles and subjects being catered for online and hopefully it will kick start you into learning something new. If you want to learn a hobby not included here then why not search for a website, App or community that will teach you the skills you are after. Whatever your subject, you can learn at your own pace and get a solid start in an area that interests you. There is more information about online learning on our lifelong learning page.


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