Courses don’t have to last for years to be worthwhile. Short courses are flexible, affordable, and just as valuable. In fact, many of the courses available for adults at New College Durham are free*.

If you’re looking for a new hobby, would like to upskill or test a new career; or even just learn for fun! There is a mix of courses available at NCD. Courses range from a few weeks to several months, through to full year-long qualifications. They typically take place on an evening to fit around your schedule.

The college’s industry focused courses can help you upskill in your current role. Many of the courses are validated by renowned awarding bodies and come with a certificate on completion. Popular choices include Computer Aided Design, Understanding Autism and First Aid at Work.

Career changers can choose from a range of courses that can help provide entry to the construction trades, the business sector, accounting, housing, counselling, health and social care and more.

You can explore your creative side with NCD’s fun hobby and leisure courses which include photography, interior design and patisserie and confectionary.

The Northern Echo:

So why take on an adult course? Here are the top six reasons why studying a short course can be the perfect way to make the most of your free time.

1. Turn your spare time into productive time
A short leisure course could help you discover a new interest or learn more about your current passion. The right course could even help you turn your favourite hobby into an exciting new business.

2. Dip you toe into a new career
If you dream of changing your job but don’t have the time to commit to years of studying, a short course can give a chance to explore a potential new career before you take the plunge.

3. Make your CV shine
Want to make your CV stand out from the crowd? Learning something new shows employers that you can take the initiative and are keen to keep up to date with the latest trends in your sector.

4. Grow your social circle
Get together with like-minded people who have a common interest in your chosen subject and a shared desire to learn.

5. Upskill
Plugging a gap in your skills or knowledge can help you gain promotion or progress in your current role.

6. Kickstart your learning
A short course could be the first step of your learning journey. If you’ve been away from education for a while, a short course can ease you back in gently and give you the confidence to progress to the next level.

The Northern Echo:

If this has inspired you to start learning, check out New College Durham’s wide selection of short courses for adults.

There is no need to worry about costs as many of the short courses at New College are free*. The friendly college staff will advise you if you meet the eligibility criteria for free courses when you enquire or enrol.

Courses start from January 2022 onwards. You can view the full course list or enrol at You can also contact the college by email or call 0191 375 4040.

*Depending on your circumstances