Informal studio photograph of a four smiling Open Learning students with a mix of gender,age and ethnicity

1916 and a great deal else: we launch our Spring Open Learning Programme


The events of 1916 and their legacy, including the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising, will be explored through a series of short courses in our Open Learning Programme.

Dr Cathal McManus, Co-director of the Programme, offers new insights into the ‘Ulster crisis’ as it developed in response to the third Home Rule Bill.  Dr Christopher Loughlin, drawing on materials from the internationally acclaimed Nerve Centre, will introduce students to the debates around history, memory and divided pasts.  Harry Graham focuses on the three military offensives of World War One, which defined the history of the Irish and Ulster Regiments. The course will explore life in the trenches, why men served, the consequences for their families and the role of women who served in the Nursing Corps.

Dr Tess Maginess, Co-director of the Programme, said: ‘Our Open Learning Programme aims to connect with the debates and issues that are being thought about in wider society.  We provide courses which appeal to a wide variety of interests – from cosmology to first aid, personal finance to wine tasting, languages to creative writing and photography to complementary therapies.  Many of the courses run for five weeks, with some short weekend courses on offer.

For those who prefer to make their journeys through music, the programme features a course called ‘Poetry, and the Singer/Songwriters Since the Sixties’.  For anyone wanting to get closer to nature, ‘Bird Watching for Beginners’ includes field trips that promise to engage with the great outdoors. Or those keen to picture the beauty of the seasonmay want to try ‘Creative Photography Skills’ or one of the painting or drawing courses on offer.’

Enrolment on an Open Learning course is available online at, by visiting the Open Learning office at 20 College Green, Belfast BT71LN, or by calling 028 9097 3323/3539.

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