Running a course

Almost all our courses are delivered by our members. They range from formal classroom-based sessions or activities, through discussion groups with a coordinator and series of outings or lectures, to fitness classes.

If you have knowledge or expertise you would like to share with other U3AC members, we would like to hear from you!


Planning for the next academic year starts in March, when members submit proposals for new or repeated courses. We provide support and training, as well as the equipment you might need.

If you are interested in running a course, please contact the Office or call 01223 321587.

Information for tutors when submitting a course proposal

Important dates for tutors

  • By 31 March: Proposals for courses should be submitted to U3AC Office
  • May /June: U3AC books venues, sends draft entry for the Programme to tutors for approval, sends approved Programme to printers
  • July: Programme sent to members and prospective members
  • By 1 August: Members complete their applications for courses (online or on paper)
  • August: Allocations made to courses, preliminary course lists sent to tutors, course allocation letters sent to members
  • The week before term starts: Final registers of class members sent to tutors of Autumn Term courses
  • October: Start of academic year
  • End of December: Final registers of class members sent to tutors of Spring Term courses
  • April: Final registers of class members sent to tutors of Summer Term courses


Tutor Support Handbook

The Tutor Support Handbook is a useful resource for all tutors and potential tutors. Part one covers planning and delivering a course, including advice on tutoring online with Zoom. Part two provides administrative support, with useful guidance about such things as registers, data protection and the use of premises and equipment.

The section of the Handbook that deals with Zoom is available as a separate document: The Zoom Cribsheet.

Log in to download a copy of these documents.


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A resource bank of tutor mentors

This is a valuable resource for all tutors who feel that it would be good to have a chat with a fellow tutor about leading their courses.

Click to view the information


Report on Tutor Forum June 2022

This report was compiled by members of Courses Committee as a record of the proceedings and outcomes from the Tutor Forum held on June 22nd 2022. These personnel were Sheila Bennett, Judith Braid, Tim Ewbank, Sally Livesey and Maggie Balshaw.

Forum Programme and format

This Forum was the first one held face-to face, after several between 2020 and 2022 conducted solely on Zoom. There was evident pleasure in the room about this more sociable experience.

Tutors had been invited to the Forum and were asked to suggest topics for discussion. The overall theme was a review of the academic year and a look forward to 2022-23.

The two most often suggested topics were the experiences tutors had of hybrid working and managing interactive groups during the last year.

The curriculum areas represented in the whole group were current affairs, history, music, literature, economics and investments, languages, art, philosophy, creative writing, science and geology. This was a very representative spread of topics across many of our courses.

Two interest groups discussed the two topics. Each group reported back with ideas and advice drawn from their tutoring experiences which were offered to the whole group as a record of their discussions. These reports are offered verbatim rather than edited down as many comments were so ‘real’ and evocative. Tutors will recognise this!

These two reports form the following appendices to this record of proceedings.

Appendix one

Appendix two

Report on Tutor Forum January 2023

The Tutor Forum on 12 January 2023 considered the subject of sociability in classes and activities and indeed, outside those settings. Since the experiences of lockdown we recognised the need to focus on the social aspects of learning.

The tutors who attended were asked to consider how they set the ‘tone’ and expectation that their class or activity would be a sociable experience as well as a learning one; how they described the course in the course brochure; what they said to class members before the term started; how they encouraged social aspects of learning during their classes and activities; what, if any, social ‘follow-ups’ they encouraged after sessions/the end of the course.

The following is a record of what the three discussion groups produced in the way of ideas, advice, guidance for other tutors, drawn directly from their own experience as tutors.

We hope that all tutors will find this useful when planning and running their courses/activities.

We would like to thank all those tutors who offered their words of wisdom, built up from personal experiences of tutoring with U3AC.

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3




Tutor communications

Communications from the U3AC Office

To keep costs to a minimum we will generally contact you by email (e.g. to advise you of amendments to your register).

  • Please check your email regularly.
  • If you change your email address please inform the Office.


Contacting the U3AC Office

If you need to contact the Office staff urgently please call or text 07542 150965 (between approximately 9 am and 5 pm, term time only)
If your call is not urgent please call the Office on 01223 321587; if you are calling outside the Office hours of 10 am–2 pm please leave a message.


Communicating with class members

Members’ contact information can only be used when you are contacting them about matters pertaining to the U3AC.

  • If writing to members, please do not mention other members in a defamatory manner.
  • If you wish to contact members about anything that is not related to U3AC, you must have each member’s express permission to use their contact details for this purpose.

Further information about how the data protection regulations apply to tutors is given in the Tutors’ FAQs and in the Tutor Support Handbook.



If someone is injured during your class you must complete an Accident Report Form. These can be obtained from the Office or downloaded here.

Download the Accident Report Form