Essential Skills for the Workplace and Everyday Life

Free courses online and in London.

Join Essential Skills and learn the key skills you need to progress in work and participate fully in everyday life.

Our courses develop your communication, decision-making, problem-solving, team-building and analytical skills, at the same time as you improve your English, ESOL, maths, digital skills, and data literacy.

The classes are at all levels from beginner literacy to GCSE English, for new office-workers to experienced managers, from maths for life to data analysis in the workplace.

Join the courses below and develop the skills essential to your job success, well-being, and ability to express yourself in all settings, digitally and face-to-face.

Many of our courses are free to all UK and EU citizens living in London, and most are free if you are:

  • on a Low Wage or
  • on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), or
  • receiving other state benefits (including Universal Credit)

To find out more, please read this information pack. You can also apply to our bursary if you need help with fees.

For help or advice, please contact us on 020 7492 2511 or email universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk. Most of our classes are now live online. You will need a computer with a microphone, a camera, and a good internet connection. Some courses are taking place in the City Lit building in London.

Items 1-15 of 30

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  1. Grammar in practice: upper intermediate (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Unsure when to use present perfect or past perfect? Is reported speech still causing you problems? Do you need to practise your conditionals? Join this course and put your grammar into practice in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Gain confidence in using grammar effectively through high level and engaging tasks



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £75.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Getting Ready for Maths functional skills level 2
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Do you want to develop your mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems and make decisions? The Functional Skills Level 2 Maths qualification shows employers and others that your maths skills are at a good level and that you can use these to solving complex problems in a variety of situations.This introductory course will make sure you know what to expect from, and are ready to start, the full accredited course. You must pass this course before you can join the qualification course.



    (Assessments including mock tests will take place in the City Lit building and you need to be able to attend these in person as required).



    You also need to do an initial pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).







    At the same time you complete your pre-course assessment, please also complete our pre-course form and tell us more about yourself.

    .



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  3. Learning to use your iPhone
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Is your iPhone confusing you? Are you unsure how to make the most of its many features? This short course will help you understand your phone, troubleshoot problems and use some of its most popular features and apps. By the end of the course you will be confident you can use or find out how to use the key features of your phone.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £15.00
    Rating:
    92% of 100
  4. ESOL pronunciation: stage 2 (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    What are the different ways of pronouncing 'a'? Does 'for' always sound like 'four'? Is 't' always pronounced the same way? Learn the answers to these questions as you focus on fluent pronunciation practising linking, rhythm and stress and discover how context affects the pronunciation of English. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1), who have completed Stage 1. Please contact the department on 020 7492 2511 or universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk for more information. Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  5. ESOL pronunciation: stage 1 (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tired of people not understanding you? Would you like to sound 'more English'? Do you need to communicate well with people in your work? Then this specialist course will help you. Learn how to make the individual sounds of English, hear the differences between them, and read and write the phonemic script, a special alphabet of sounds. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1). Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  6. Grammar in practice: advanced (level 2+)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Is your grammar holding you back? Learn how to communicate more effectively by analysing, discussing and experimenting with English grammar. This course will help you realise that grammar is really about meaning: understanding better the meaning of what someone is saying and expressing yourself more meaningfully.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible. The course runs over three terms (though you may start any term, places allowing).



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    What’s the difference between a verb and a adverb, a subject and an object, a main clause and a subordinate clause? What is a compound sentence? What does a determiner do? Understanding and analysing grammatical structure is a key component in developing your English skills whether speaking, writing or even reading. This course will provide you with all the grammar knowledge you need to become familiar with the language you use everyday and will be a very effective foundation for other work you do to improve your English. It will also assist you when you learn other languages.



    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £70.00
  8. English for professionals: C1 Advanced (Cambridge English Advanced, CAE)
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Do you need proof of your ability to use English to study at graduate level or to work in a professional environment? Do you want to show yourself that you have reached a high level of competency in your new language? Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) is an internationally recognised in-depth test of English language skill for people with ESOL Level 2 (C1) or above. This course will develop your language skills as well as prepare you for the test and enable you to communicate at a very high level of English either in the UK or abroad. Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.
    Full fee £539.00 Senior fee £539.00 Concession £539.00
  9. English dialogue: speaking, listening, pronunciation, performance (level 1-2)
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you want to sound ‘more English’ when you speak? Do you want the chance to experiment with becoming expressive in English, playing with how you sound when you speak different dialogues? On this course, you will work on different dialogues from everyday speech and well known plays. And you will also create your own! The chance to work on how to perform and enact this speech will enable you to focus on how to link and ‘chunk’ words, develop your rhythm and stress, work on your fluency and ensure that the meaning of what you are saying becomes expressed. You will also be working with ‘real’ language, not the sometimes artificial language of English course books. Although you will be performing the texts, you do not need to be an actor, just willing to give it a go. By writing your own dialogues, you will also develop your writing skills so by the end of the course you can write and perform together with your classmates your own 5 minute play!.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £80.00
  10. Learning to use your smartphone (Android)
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Does your smartphone confuse you? Are you unsure how to make the most of its many features? Understanding and navigating your way round a smartphone is now as important as being able to use a regular computer. This short course will help you understand your Android smartphone, troubleshoot problems and use some of the most popular apps. By the end of the course you will be confident you can use or find out how to use the key features of your phone.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £15.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  11. Maths functional skills level 2
    Course start date:  Tue 8 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Do you need to gain a national maths qualification to show you have a good level of mathematical competence? Functional Skills Level 2 Maths shows employers and others that your maths skills are at a good level and that you can use skills to solve complex issues in a variety of situations. You will develop your maths to become a problem-solver, analyser and decision-maker.



    You must complete the Getting Ready for Maths functional skills (level 2) course before doing the full qualification course.



    (Assessments including mock tests will take place in the City Lit building and you need to be able to attend these in person as required).



    You need to complete a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).







    At the same time you complete your pre-course assessment, please also complete our pre-course form and tell us more about yourself.









    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.



    This course is free for learners who meet the residency criteria and have not achieved a GCSE grade C (4) and higher in Maths



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  12. Touch typing and keyboard skills
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you need to learn to type quickly and efficiently? Are you working or do you want to work in administration? Learn how to type with correct finger placement without looking at the keyboard. Build your speed with practice and speed tests. No previous experience required.



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  13. English and maths for life (pre-entry)
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person)

    Do you need help with reading and writing English? Can you write the letters of the alphabet or do you need to practise? Do you need to improve your spelling? Can you use numbers and count up to 100 or do you need help? On this course you will learn how to write individual letters, spell whole words, write simple sentences, read whole words, read simple sentences and understand notices. You will become confident in your speaking. And you will also practise the maths you need for everyday life so you can shop, use money and measure things correctly.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  14. Matters of opinion (level 2)
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Do you need to improve your fluency, your vocabulary and your pronunciation? Join this course and learn how to express your opinion and talk about important topics: love, politics, films, current affairs, morals. This course will help you develop your grammar and to talk in a more complex way.



    You need to do a pre-course assessment face-to-face or online. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £75.00
  15. ESOL entry 1
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    For students who can speak or write only a few words in English or maybe none at all. On this beginners' course, you will learn new words and grammar, how to ask and answer questions, how to read and write about yourself, your family, and friends, and how to complete forms and short emails. Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessmen online or face-to-face. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name).



    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you want to get a job or progress into a better job and you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit). For more information click here
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £80.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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