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Life-long learning

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Published: 16 August 2021

A student and a lecturer at a computer

For many students at the University of Sunderland in London, learning is something that lasts a lifetime.

You may be coming back to education after years of working or raising a family. You could be joining us straight from school.

But one thing that unites everyone in our community is a love for education and a passion to learn.

Often, that goes well beyond the course you’re studying and can include general interests.

Whether that’s learning a new language, picking up some coding or trying your hand at marketing, it’s important to think about how you can work your learning around the rest of your life.

Create a plan

The first step, as always, is to work out your plan. When it comes to life-long learning there doesn’t need to be a goal in mind, but you do need to make sure you have space for it in your life.

One way of doing this is tying it into the other things you’re working on.

If your career goal is to own your own business, for example, why not take on one of the University’s short courses.

Choose from Marketing, Project Management and Business Enterprise, each of which will be directly relevant to any future career.

Plus, as structured courses, you’ll be able to put them into a plan which will help you achieve everything you want.


The most successful life-long learners are readers. You will, of course, be very familiar with the textbooks, journals and articles you can access in our Library.

But as a life-long learner, you should be trying to go beyond even this resource.

Spend time on Google Books and Google Scholar, look for news articles and non-fiction books about the thing you are interested in.

You’ll soon find that you have built up quite a library of your own!

Get a mentor

This is someone who can guide you through every step of your learning.

Much like your academic lecturers, they will have experience and knowledge you can use to inform your own path.

You don’t need to follow what they did exactly, but often a great mentor is someone who encourages you to find your own path.

For a discussion on how to get the most from yours, check out our article on finding your mentor.

Look through old textbooks

Once you’ve finished a course or module is tempted to put it aside and forget about it.

But a life-long learner would never do that simply because no knowledge is ever work forgetting.

Instead, be someone who likes to go through their old notes and revisits that article you read in your first year.

You will be surprised how relevant the information you learned in the past is to what you’re studying or learning about now.

At the University of Sunderland in London, we encourage you to be a life-long learner, whether that’s going for your postgraduate degree, Professional Doctorate or simply a short course.

Share your experiences with the community on FacebookTwitter and Instagram #WeAreSunLon.