Alternative learning looks at how you can complement what you are learning at school or college. These are available online, and many of them are free. They include:

  • Pre-university Courses - aimed at school and college students and covers topics such as how to apply for university, what it's like to study at university, how to study and how to research to help prepare for university life.
  • Academic Courses - aimed at school and college students who want help with their homework, or want to further their understanding in a subject. They are also useful if you are looking to apply to university and want to understand how you are taught and learn, and as a taster to see whether a subject is for you and whether you want to take it to a deeper level of understanding.
  • Skills-based Courses - courses where you can learn a specific skill, such as building a website, which you may want to do for fun, but can also add to your CV/personal statement
  • Creative Courses - courses where you can learn creative skills, such as knitting, photography, a language, etc., which you may want to do for fun, but can also add to your CV/personal statement

This sections also looks at Distance Learning, which refers to courses that you can do either online, in the summer (where you might attend a summer school) or every week over the course of a term. On these courses you could learn absolutely anything and everything, although there are some specifically designed for 16-19 to give you a taster into university life, help you with your portfolio if you are looking to apply to art school, or give you insight into a subject you might want to do after school/college, but which is not offered at a lower level, such as Fashion Design.

Distance learning will often cost, and if you go to summer school away from home you will also have to factor in accommodation and transport costs, however the course links are often free. 

Study Skills offers you a list of apps which can help you in your self-directed learning, including dictionaries, planners, note taking software, and reference guides (e.g. for mathematical or chemical formulas). If you are looking for information to help you study better, please see the Study Skills page in the Education section.