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.

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  1. IT skills for the office: real and virtual (intermediate)
    Course Date:  Wed 7 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working or wanting to start work in an office but lacking the confidence and digital skills to perform some of the more advanced office tasks? Are you already working as an administrator and wanting to progress in your profession? This course will help you develop your digital skills to be able to complete more complex office tasks with confidence whether face to face or online. You will engage in various projects to learn how to use the internet to research and find informatiion effectively in order to create report documents containing detailed information, spreadsheets, and charts. You will learn how to analyse and visually represent your data as well as send personalised emails and use mail merge.

    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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  2. Learn English - learn about London, entry 2 - entry 3
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to improve your English and learn about London at the same time? This course will help you feel more confident about living in London and using your English. You will visit interesting places and learn about the history of the city and the people who live there. You will also learn about important events in the city in the past and now. You will improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing. You will learn a lot of new words to describe people and places and how to express yourself fluently and correctly.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  3. Learn English - discover London, its history, culture and people, level 1 - level 2
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to improve your English and learn about London, its history, culture and people at the same time? On this course, you will visit places of interest and learn about the history of these places especially about the different people and cultures who have lived there, and about important events which have shaped the city. You will do your own research and so improve your reading and writing skills as well as your speaking and listening. In addition, you will feel more at home in London and able to participate in its rich and diverse life.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  4. ESOL pronunciation: stage 2 (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £42.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  5. ESOL: Develop your listening skills (level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you tired of asking people to repeat themselves? Do you nod and smile when you don't understand? Do you wish you could understand the TV better or follow phone conversations more easily? Good listening skills are essential to your English language development and students often never learn specific listening techniques. This course will help you change your experience of listening to English. It will change from being a stream of meaningless sounds into one in which you can identify the words and focus on the meaning of what you are hearing. You will be able to relax when you are having conversations and enjoy films without subtitles!

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £56.00
  6. Getting ready for English Language GCSE
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you excited by the English language? Do you want to gain an English language GCSE but are not ready yet to achieve this in a single year? Do you need to test your abilities before attempting the qualification course? Then this Getting Ready for English Language GCSE is the course for you. It will prepare you for the accreditation and familiarise you with its content, level and expectation.

    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.

    After you have completed your assessment, please also click on the following link and tell us more about yourself -https://forms.gle/WpjbXEsfBRtByVjz5.

    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
  7. Develop your English: grammar foundation (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Apr 2021

    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 of 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 £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £32.00
  8. Develop your writing and language skills (level 1-level 2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you been learning English for a long time but find your writing just doesn’t seem to improve? Are you quite a fluent speaker but find formal speaking difficult? Do you feel ‘stuck’. This course will release you! You will focus on how to improve the structure of your writing both the whole text, paragraphs and sentences. You will work on understanding the grammar of the language, and the skills you learn to develop your writing will help you improve your more formal speaking whether this is for job interviews, meetings at work or giving presentations. This course is ideal if you have been living in the UK for several years, feel quite comfortable in speaking English as a second language, but lack confidence in your literacy skills.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £20.00
  9. Develop your writing and reading: spelling, punctuation, vocabulary (Entry 3-Level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Practise or practice? I before E except after C? How do you spell 'friend'? If you struggle with spelling, then this is the course for you. It will help you understand and apply spelling rules and use different memory techniques to make spelling easier. This course is for those who speak English very fluently. It is aimed at E3/Level 1 learners.

    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
  10. Office skills for ESOL students (entry 3 - level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to work in an office? Not sure if your English or computing skills are good enough? Perhaps you already work in an office but want to improve your administration skills? Join this course and learn the English you need to answer the phone correctly, write good emails, letters and memos, and spell common words. At the same time, you will improve your digital computer skills including your word processing, file management, and emailing.

    You need to have an initial assessment before joining this course. You can come in person. See www.citylit.ac.uk/esol for dates. Or you can do an on-line assessment.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £20.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Prepare for IELTS and improve your academic writing
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you need to improve your academic writing for university? Do you need proof of your English level to study at university or for professional purposes? This course will help you develop your essay writing and prepare for the IELTS Academic test, which is recognised as evidence of proficiency in English by more than 10,000 education and training providers worldwide. The IELTS Academic test is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English language is used, and reflects some of the features of language used in academic study.

    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 £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £140.00
  12. ESOL entry 2-entry 3
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you quite confident about your everyday English? Can you have some short conversations and read and write simple emails? Can you go shopping, talk about simple subjects and write a letter? But do you make quite a lot mistakes? Is it difficult to speak, read or write about more complicated topics? This course will help you learn more vocabulary and grammar so you can talk, read and write about more interesting everyday things and make fewer mistakes. Your will practise your speaking, listening, reading and writing so you can understand people better, talk about most daily topics, read a simple news story, and write a long email or letter.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £32.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Outlook 2016 for the workplace: integrating Outlook, Excel and Word (advanced)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working as a Secretary, PA or an Administrator or thinking of becoming one? Do you need to learn more about Outlook 2016? This course is for Outlook users who needs to become more expert in work related Outlook tasks. Join this course and learn how to: create advanced message rules, create and manage categories, apply advanced filtering, create and copy group contact lists, share contacts, copy calendars, use a scheduling tool to create appointments, create advanced signatures as lists and emails, use advanced mail merge using MS Word and how to archive your mail box.

    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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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
  14. Business: find the right word (advanced)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 27 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you already working at a good level of English but still not sufficient for the needs of your workplace or to develop your career? Do you need to find just the right word, the correct tone, the exact phrase' This course will help you develop the right English for the right situation particularly in the world of work. Learn about different styles of writing, and effective and appropriate communication.

    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 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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £115.00
  15. Grammar in practice: advanced (level 2+)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Apr 2021

    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 receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. 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 £109.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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