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U3A stands for the
University of the Third Age,
which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment.


It consists of local U3As all over the UK, which are charities in their own right and are run
entirely by volunteers.


Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership.   


The teachers learn and the learners teach. Between them U3As offer the chance to study over 300 different subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking.


A typical U3A has about 250 members but could be as small as 12
and as large as 2000.


The U3A approach to learning is – learning for pleasure.


There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications
to be gained.

The University of the Third Age
There's first age learning
At school, college and university
There's second age learning
The skills learnt at work
And there's third age learning
When people learn whatever they want!
That's what happens in U3A.
Learning is interpreted in the broadest possible sense.

Learning is for Life
There is NO curriculum - people learn what they wish
and if they see an interesting angle they follow it.
• There are NO entrance qualifications - a desire to learn
is all that is needed.
• There are NO exams or certificates - people enjoy their learning : they do not need to prove they've done it.
• There are NO terms. U3A groups decide about their own times to meet.
• There are NO lecturers.
• The U3A embark on voyages of discovery.
• There is NO campus and NO buildings.
• Sometimes the U3A uses public buildings,
sometimes a members own home.
The U3A provides learning opportunities for people in their third age
that is, those who no longer have full time employment or responsibility
for dependent children, regardless of age. MEMBERSHIP DETAILS