Adult Education: Return To Learn

A return to education at any stage in life gives you the chance to refocus on your future and reimagine the possibilities ahead of you.


SERC offers education for everyone, whatever your route to college. Our courses give learners the opportunity to gain qualifications and update their skillset, or even take a new direction completely and train for a different career.

As we emerge from the pandemic, the NI economy will need skilled workers of all ages and across a range of sectors to help build the recovery; you can be part of this and join the next generation of professionals at SERC.

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Our course areas are covered by our six schools:

  • Applied Science and Sport
  • Construction and Engineering Services
  • Computing and Engineering
  • Health and Early Years
  • Hospitality, Management, Tourism and Languages
  • Performing and Creative Arts

Through our Business Services team, we also offer short-term, intensive courses which update skills and lead to professional qualifications.

What course is right for me?

If you want to discover your talent

It’s never too late to make a fresh start, and never too late to discover your talents and find the right direction to make the most of them.

On our Restart courses, you’ll be supported to dip your toe in the water and find out where your strengths and interests lie. We will help you prepare for the next step, in work or further learning. With small classes and supportive staff, students quickly grow in confidence. SERC can help you gain qualifications you may feel you missed out on and gain skills which may have seemed out of reach.


Our Restart Education programme allows you to get a solid foundation of knowledge while also gaining a positive experience of learning in a way that is inviting and supportive.

 Restart Lite

The Restart Lite programme allows you try out some of the topics from the full Restart Education Programme and to get started on the skills in literacy, numeracy and back to study modules without having the do the whole thing.

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Kelly-Ann Allan

Kelly-Ann began with Restart, progressed to Access and now studying for a degree.

"Returning to education was a challenge, but at the College everyone is supportive.  They understand that you may need to get three other people out the door in the morning before you can think about yourself, so classes start a little later. There's a lot of flexibility and that goes hand in hand with encouragement and support. The tutors aren't concerned about how your education went in the past, they're focused on the future and helping you make a fresh start for yourself."

If you feel that university could be for you, if only you had the grades…

The Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies is tailored for adults who have been out of full-time education for two years or more. The courses lead to a qualification validated by Queen's University Belfast which can take you to onto Higher Education either here at SERC or in universities and colleges across the UK. If you have some qualifications and feel you missed out on university, or perhaps need a degree to move forward in your career, explore Access at SERC

Naoise Davey

Access Level 3 Diploma, now completing a law degree

“The campus at SERC is a very relaxed studying environment and a lot more tailored to individual personalities and learning styles than traditional school, which clearly wasn’t for me.  The course was also flexible enough for someone like me who was working full time in tandem with the course. The support I received around deadlines, completing assessments, and just generally adapting to academic life was a real confidence boost. There are lots of people at SERC to help and support you make the change you want to make for yourself.”

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If you need the skills to advance in your career

SERC can help you ensure that your skills meet the needs of employers with a range of part-time vocational courses to fit around work and family: choose from digital skills, leadership and management, professional certification and many more (View our Online Prospectus) and short intensive courses leading to recognised qualifications. (Learn more about Business Services)

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Brendan McCarthy

Data Analytics Graduate Programme, part of the Digital Futures initiative

“I discovered the Graduate Programme at SERC and felt it would give me the best option. The programme offered the chance to gain an industry-recognised qualification, a weekly training allowance of £150 per week and the opportunity of a work placement.“I have no doubt that the programme helped me secure my new role. I am getting to where I want to be - it took at little longer, but I have gained experience, a qualification and a career.”

How do I get started?

The next step is easy! Just give us a call on 0345 600 7555 or email


Explore our full range of courses through our website and online prospectuses Interactive Prospectus - SERC

You can choose from a huge variety of subjects including:

Courses run at all levels right up to university degrees and beyond.

Need Advice?

Our careers advisors are available to talk to anyone and guide you towards the right course for you.

If you want to discuss any costs involved, or any financial support available, our Student Finance team is here to help.

We want all our students to achieve and to reach their personal goals. We work hard to make this happen with our expert teaching staff ready to help and advise. We also provide a range of support services available to all students - whether school leavers or pensioners, whether full-time or part-time.

These services include pastoral and wellbeing support, and resource centres with the materials you need to study, and with staff to help you find and use them. You can find out more here Student Support - SERC 

We have a creche – Little SERC – for the children of Restart and Access students at our Newcastle campus and all students are automatically members of the SERC Students’ Union SERC Students' Union - SERC