Lifelong Learning Centre


We have tried to answer the most common questions here, but if there is anything else you need to know please call us on 0113 343 3212 or email

What should I expect university to be like?

There are several ways to get a feel for university life before you arrive.

Through our outreach work we run open events and taster sessions, both on and off-campus, designed to raise aspirations and improve understanding of what university study will entail.

We also welcome individual enquiries and can arrange for anyone interested in part-time study to visit the University and meet for an informal discussion with a member of LLC staff. Please call us on (0113) 343 3212 or email in the first instance.

One of the best ways to find out what studying at Leeds will be like is to talk to someone who has already done it. As part of our peer support scheme we can put you in touch with a student already studying here so that you can find out what it’s really like and get some early questions answered.

Alternatively, have a look at what some of our current and former students have to say about studying at Leeds.

Am I ready for university study?

If you are unsure about studying at university you can always take advantage of our free, confidential and impartial pre-entry information, advice and guidance service which will provide you with the opportunity to discuss your options in a confidential setting.

What is meant by ‘credits’, ‘semesters’ and other jargon?

The language used in universities can be quite confusing at first, although you will soon pick it up. The following explanations may be helpful.

  • Programme: A programme (or programme of study to give the full title) is another word for your course. The terms programme and course are often used interchangeably. At the University, qualifications and courses are usually referred to as programmes of study and are broken down into individual levels. The number of levels you need to complete a programme depends on the qualification you are aiming for. Each level of study is further broken down into a series of individual units known as modules.
  • Module: Programmes are usually divided into units of study known as modules. Each programme consists of several modules focusing on different aspects of the programme. Each module carries a credit rating of either 10, 20, 30 or 40 credits, although most are 20, and you take a set number of modules each year to build up to a specific qualification.
  • Discovery modules: If you are studying for an undergraduate degree programme you will be required to take some modules as an essential requirement of your degree and you may also have a choice of options. In addition, you can choose some modules, known as discovery modules, from a very broad range of subjects that are of more general interest.
  • Credits: Each module is worth a certain number of credits, which are put towards the total number of credits you would need to study to complete a level. When you successfully pass a module you will be awarded that number of credits.
  • Level: This refers to the level of difficulty of the module or programme, starting at Level 0 for foundation and preparatory programmes and ranging up to Level 3 for the highest undergraduate level. For full-time students, each level is roughly the same as one year. For part-time students, each level may take two years.
  • Terms and semesters: Although the academic year is broken into terms as at school, most teaching takes place over longer time periods referred to as semesters. These run from September through to January and February through to June. Some programmes also have summer schools or courses.

How will I be taught?

Although you will have formal taught sessions in classrooms these form only a small part of the study week. Most programmes tend to have a combination of lectures, where you listen to the tutor and take notes, and seminars where smaller groups discuss the subject in more detail.

University study is designed to stretch your mind and teach you to develop your own opinions about the subject. In between classes you are expected to read about your subject, think about it, talk about it if possible, show an interest in it and work on assignments that will be assessed.

How can I juggle study with other responsibilities, such as my family?

Most students find they need to be very organised and to manage their time well – we have a wide range of specialist support services run by friendly and experienced staff to help you to do this.

How do I apply?

Please note, these answers refer to Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) courses. If you are interested in applying to other courses please contact the relevant University department in the first instance. If in doubt please call us on 0113 343 3212 or email and we will be happy to direct you to the right person.

For part-time courses you apply directly to the University and for most part-time courses this means calling us on 0113 343 3212 or emailing for an application form, but it’s best to double check with the Course Directory.

For full-time courses applications are made through UCAS.

When do I have to apply?

This depends on the course you are applying for. The majority of our courses start in late September and for most part-time courses you are advised to apply as early as possible, preferably by August. Conversely, some degrees have earlier application deadlines. You are advised to check the Course Directory for the deadline for the course you are interested in applying for.

The deadline for on-time applications to full-time courses is January 15th, however in some cases you can still apply after this. If you are in any doubt check the Course Directory.

What if I have a disability or health-related issue?

The LLC is keen to encourage diversity and promote equality and welcomes applications from students with disabilities or health-related issues. All applications are dealt with according to the selection criteria specified in our Admissions Policy, so disclosure will not adversely affect your application. We encourage you to complete all the sections of the application form and contact Paul Devlin if you need any further information or support.

What qualifications will I need to start a course?

Entry requirements will differ according to the programme chosen and there are various methods of assessing your potential such as a written personal statement, taster or introductory courses, an interview or writing an essay. We accept a wide range of formal qualifications – not just ‘A’ Levels – and offer alternative ways to meet our entry requirements even if you don’t have any formal qualifications.

You are advised to check the Course Directory or our How to apply section for specific information about our different courses.

Will I be interviewed?

If you are applying for Interdisciplinary Studies (formerly known as PHE), a Foundation Degree or part-time Certificate of Higher Education or an Honours degree then yes, in most cases you will be interviewed. The interview is an opportunity for you to ask us questions and find out more about what the course entails and for the admissions tutor to find out more about you and your academic potential.

What if I’m not successful?

You will be informed of the outcome of your interview and, if you are not successful, you will be given brief feedback on the reasons for this decision. You may also be offered an appointment with our Guidance Officer to discuss your next step.

I haven’t written an essay for years – how will I cope?

Before you start your course you can attend our free academic skills support workshops, which will provide a range of tools to help you tackle key areas of studying such as essay writing, time management, IT, note-taking skills and how to use the Library. Those needing more systematic development of academic skills should consider one of our part-time or full-time foundation courses.

Once you have started your course we run a series of drop-in workshops in the first semester and have a dedicated member of staff to help and advise you.

I’m not great with computers – is there any help available?

The Lifelong Learning Centre produces a booklet which can help explain the basics and provide information about the technical specifications you will need if you want to buy a computer to help with your studies. Our academic skills support workshops also include sessions to help improve your IT skills. If you prefer one-to-one support, personalised for your needs, we can provide that too.

I have some concerns about the cost of study – can I get any advice?

Although the cost of study is a major concern to many, our courses are competitively priced and many have generous bursaries or concessionary fees. Have a look at our financing your study pages, which provides summary information about the financial support you may be entitled to. For more information please see our student support section.

Will I meet other students like me?

The LLC hosts a number of social events each year – usually in December, March and June. These are open to all part-time, mature and foundation level undergraduates across the University and provide an opportunity for students to meet and socialise with each other. We also run a peer support scheme for mature undergraduates. For more information please see our student support section.

Will there be other students who are also parents?

Many of our students on courses across the University are also parents and we have many resources, facilities and groups especially designed to help student parents access the relevant information and the support they need. There are also groups and events set up to help you meet other student parents. For more information please click here and keep an eye on our Events page for the next student parent social event.