Adult Learning and Education Diploma

Adult Learning and Education Diploma Program

This program is designed for professionals wishing to acquire new skills or to build on their current knowledge base regarding adult learning. The Diploma in Adult Learning and Education is particularly appropriate for those who do not want to pursue a graduate degree but are interested in developing skills and knowledge in organizing, conducting, evaluating or administering programs for adult learners. Typical students range from business people to government workers to healthcare professionals to community organizers to independent consultants and other professionals whose practice, in some way, includes designing and running learning experiences for adults.

Applicants should have two years of experience designing and delivering learning experiences for adults which could include adult learning that occurs in workplaces, community organizations, civil society groups, international development, and government services, to name a few. This experience can be paid or voluntary or a mix of the two. Because adult education occurs in diverse business, community and numerous other settings, applicants for this program do not need to be qualified teachers; however, teachers are also welcome. Persons with relevant experience will be considered even if they do not have an undergraduate degree.

Admissions to the Adult Education Diploma program take place on a continuous basis.

Admission information can be found on the Professional Development & Community Engagement (PDCE) website, under “Admission & Registration Information”.

Admissions information at Professional Development & Community Engagement


  1. Can I complete the program requirements online? Yes, all of the required ALE Diploma courses ( ADHE 327, 328, 329 & 412) are offered online. For the remaining 18 credits of course work there are many different options to choose from, many of which are online (e.g. ADHE 328). For advice about online course options contact Dr. Keith McPherson ( She is the Advisor for all the Faculty of Education Undergraduate Diploma and Certificates.
  2. How often are courses offered? The required ALE Diploma courses are offered every term: Winter I (Sept-Dec); Winter II (Jan-April) and Summer (May-June).
  3. Can I take the Diploma while working full time? Yes, many of our Diploma students are working either full or part-time. And taking one course per term is manageable. Depending on your work, family and community commitments, students could possibly take more than one course per term. It really depends on the specific situation of each individual student just how much academic work they can comfortably complete along with their other commitments.
  4. How long will it take to complete the program? This depends on how many courses you can take per term. As noted above, most of our students are working either part or full-time and if students take 1 course per term you would complete the ALE Diploma requirements in about 3 years.


Admissions to the Adult Education Program

Admissions to the Adult Education Diploma program take place on a continuous basis.

Admission information can be found on the Professional Development & Community Engagement (PDCE) website, under “Admission & Registration Information”.

Admissions information at Professional Development & Community Engagement

Program Requirements

Students must complete a combination of 12 Credits in Core Courses and 18 Credits in approved Elective Courses (of the 300 Level and above). Please note, all of the required courses are offered online.

Core Courses: 12 credits

ADHE 327 (3) Teaching Adults
Planning, conducting and evaluating instruction for adults. Consideration is given to different beliefs and ways of thinking about teaching.

ADHE 329 (3) Developing Short Courses, Workshops and Seminars
Organization and administration of adult education events such as short courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and institutes.

ADHE 330 (3) The Community Practice of Adult Education
Community-based adult education with particular emphasis on the application of knowledge of the social, economic, cultural and political environment in developing and conducting adult education programs with an for individuals and groups.

ADHE 412 (3) An Overview of Adult Education
Survey of adult education theory and practice in Canada and the world. The focus is on the purpose and participation in, adult education, characteristics of learners, and the training of adult educators.

Elective Courses: 18 credits

In addition to the above core courses, students must take 18 credits of approved elective coursework. Elective courses must be from a 300 Level course or higher. We have developed two online electives (ADHE 328 & EDST 493- see below).

ADHE 328: Institutions of Adult Education

The history, roles, and activities of institutions in the field of adult education. Institutions in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States are emphasized, and some experiences in other countries are examined.

EDST 493: Introduction to the Study of Higher Education

This online course is intended to provide an introduction to the study of higher education. The field of higher education focuses on the study of all facets of institutions of higher learning. That is, it is the study of the institutions of higher education and everything that happens within them and in relation to the larger society.

Elective courses could include those chosen from the online University Calendar which contains courses such as CNPS (Counselling Psychology) 363, 364, 365, 433 and EPSE (Education Psychology and Special Education) 303.

For more information about the courses go to:

For more information about the diploma, contact Dr Keith McPherson.

How to Register in Courses

  • Using your CWL ID and password, log in to the Student Service Centre (SSC).
  • Pay the registration deposit.
  • Follow the prompts to register in your course section(s).

For additional information on registering for courses, please visit the UBC Courses & Registration website.

For more information please contact:

Dr Keith McPherson, Advisor for Faculty of Education Undergraduate Diplomas and Certificates