Get on course: adult courses

Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks? Here’s a few adult courses available around the city if you’re in the market to take up a new pursuit, challenge or discover that hidden talent and add a new string to your bow…

University of Bristol
The University of Bristol welcomes mature students to apply for one of their three part-time pathway programmes, starting in January 2023. The courses are open to all, with no qualifications required to apply. Reading English Literature is designed to help students develop skills in literary study, critical thinking and essay-writing. Black History Revisited explores contemporary debates surrounding Black History, the transatlantic slave trade and the sociology of race. Mastering English Literature is for those who wish to sharpen their study skills and bridges the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate study.

These courses offer a taste of higher education and offer a variety of progression routes, with many students going on to study on the part-time BA English Literature and Community Engagement degree (ELCE), on one of Bristol’s Foundation courses or onto an MA at Bristol. Applications are still open to join the unique part-time ELCE degree, please visit
to find out more.

University of Bristol Arts Complex, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB | 0117 928 8924 |;

The Makershed
The Makershed mission is to provide space for making and learning, for everyone, no matter their level of experience, to be as creative as possible. You’ll receive a friendly welcome by their team of talented tutors who offer a vast range of skill sets, knowledge and experience to teach students. Based in their workshop spaces at St Paul’s Learning Centre they run a huge range of courses and workshops including Woodwork with hand or power tools, Upholstery, Sharpening, Wood Finishing, Wood Carving, Fabric Weaving, Lino Printing, Fabric Dyeing, Sewing and Pallet Wood Workshops. You can choose from daytime, evening and weekend courses. Book now for the Autumn/Winter terms via their website.

St. Paul’s Learning Centre, 94 Grosvenor Road, Bristol, BS2 8XJ | 07599 670365 |

Shift Bristol: The Practical Sustainability Course
One Year, Part-time, from Sept to July | Bookings open each January
“This Course will change your life” ; “Delivered expertly by passionate and knowledgeable Tutors”

Shift Bristol is a not for profit organisation providing innovative and training in meeting our needs sustainably and building resilience. With 20 years experience of teaching practical skills, design systems and collaborative approaches Shift Bristol invites you to find your passion, challenge yourself and take positive action. The Practical Sustainability Course is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an in-depth, hands-on and dynamic learning experience.

Ten modules: Permaculture Design, Woodland Management, Organic Horticulture, Soil and Ecology, Re-localisation, Green Energy, Green Building, Group Dynamics, Community Engagement, Creating Change. Cost: Sliding scale £3,595, £2995, £2,395 |

Nature Based Courses in Bristol

Practical Bird Field Skills
Get to know more about the wonderful birds that call our countryside home and how to get started on your birdwatching journey. This beginner course will cover basic fieldcraft and techniques including the use of binoculars and field guides and will give you a chance to get out into the beautiful woods and heaths surrounding Grow Wilder to put this theory into practice. Thu 08, September 2022 10am – 5pm

Botanical Folklore
Trees and wildflowers have been beneficial in terms of industry and medicine but also sacred to a variety of civilisations throughout time. This introductory folklore course will look at the history, mythology, and significance of a variety of trees and common wildflower species. Sun 18, September 2022 10am – 5pm

Field Studies Council at Grow Wilder, Frenchay Park Rd, Bristol BS16 1HB |

Lauren Holloway – Sewing Workshops
Lauren Holloway offers a range of sewing workshops in Bristol and the South West from beginner to intermediate level, where you can learn the basics of using a domestic sewing machine, brush up on existing sewing skills or develop new techniques to improve your craft, all in a relaxed, supportive and fun environment.

You’ll leave the workshop with new-found knowledge, confidence and inspiration for future projects plus you’ll take home a beautiful handmade bag you can enjoy for years to come.

With all materials and sewing machines provided, Lauren will guide you through the whole process, showing you how to use the machine, construct your bag, and also offering plenty of sewing tips and tricks along the way.

National Centre for Integrated Medicine (NCIM)
Integrative Medicine describes the intelligent combination of conventional, lifestyle and holistic approaches in one model of healthcare. It’s underpinned by key concepts of wellness, resilience and whole person health. NCIM is led by doctors and offers accredited training for healthcare professionals as well as learning events that members of the public can join. The centre also offers holistic healthcare services to individuals and community wellbeing workshops.

Book now to attend a one-day online event ‘Living Well in Later Life’ (23 September). It’s a day of cutting-edge learning that will help us explore how ready we are for our own or our loved ones’ old age and ask, ‘what does it mean to age well?’

Art classes for all abilities are back at RWA following a major transformation of the space. You can join them in their refurbished Studio in Clifton for courses and workshops that include woodblock printmaking, bookbinding, painting for beginners, life drawing and more. You can also head to Zoom for the popular ‘Dog Drawing’ with artist Sally Muir and they also run off-site classes. A few of the new courses draw on the themes of their summer exhibition ‘Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781 – 2022’. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a cuppa in their new Spicer+Cole cafe while you are there! Gift vouchers available.

Royal West of England Academy, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX |

Painting Birds: art courses on Exmoor by Moor and Sea Holidays
Taught by Samantha Buckley introducing students to the beautiful technique of Indian miniature painting. Taking inspiration from the surrounding Exmoor landscape and the Mughal art of capturing nature, in particular birds. Students will use traditional materials to create their own unique painting.

The first step will be paper preparation, staining and burnishing. Next, an introduction to pigments, how to prepare the Indian palette and paint using the traditional technique of colour flooding.

Finally, students will use the technique known as Prataj, or invisible shading, to create the fine detail using the unique squirrel brush found only in India.

During the 3 days there will also be an opportunity to explore the surrounding area for inspiration.

14-16 October. £220 per person including lunch, tea/coffee and cake. Accommodation extra.

Glass classes taught by Bridget Birse can also be arranged for anyone staying at Moor and Sea (subject to availability) please contact for details and to book | 07794594916 |