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About Adult Continuing Education

About Us

ACE (Adult Continuing Education) at University College Cork (UCC) has been offering part-time education programmes to Cork, Munster, and beyond since 1946 and is proud to celebrate 75 years of educational services to the community. With approximately 3,000 students every year, we offer a distinctive educational experience for part-time adult learners through promoting both lifelong and life-wide learning. Currently, ACE sits within the Office of the Vice President for Learning and Teaching (OVPLT). We offer and deliver programmes in collaboration will all four of UCC’s Colleges (Medicine & Health; Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences; Science, Engineering and Food Science; Business and Law) in addition to collaborative courses with external organisations (e.g. the Health Service Executive (HSE); Mental Health Ireland (MHI)) as well as bespoke courses with numerous industry partners. Within the ACE model of programme delivery, we mix adult education approaches with flexible part-time course provision. 

Our Ethos

ACE’s ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion for all is evident in our leading role in developing fair access to higher education for adult learners. ACE courses provide access to higher education by actively engaging with non-traditional learners and removing barriers to participation. We provide an accessible route into higher education to those who might not otherwise access such programmes due to any number of factors including negative previous experiences of formal education; socio-economic barriers; family, community and personal factors; geographic and cultural remoteness from university; motivation, confidence and awareness of potential benefits and opportunities. The culture of ACE programmes is to break down these barriers by providing support through community outreach, academic development and pastoral care. Equally, the promotion of wellbeing is core to our mission and philosophy, underpinning our learning objectives and outcomes.

Community Delivery

With our commitment to grassroots and community delivery, our programmes reach out to communities across the country, and connect with a diversity of adult learners. We offer progression opportunities to adult learners through the provision of qualifications from Level 6 through to Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) which facilitate the development of knowledge, skills and competencies that enhance personal fulfilment and also allow participants to further their studies and enhance their employment opportunities


Partnership is a central mission of ACE, which we seek to embrace in our relationships both inside the university and in the wider community. We endeavour to ensure that those that work with us gain tangible benefits. We also endeavour to ensure that all learners on ACE programmes gain tangible benefits.  Our partnerships include other educational providers, public sector institutions, community and neighbourhood organisations, the voluntary sector, industry, professional associations and international agencies like UNESCO and ASEM.

ASEM Lifelong Learning

ACE currently hosts the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub), funded by the Government of Ireland, which supports research and policy development on lifelong learning in partnership with 53 Asian and European countries, the EU and ASEAN. Click here for further details.

Adult Continuing Education

Aosoideachas Leanúnach

The Laurels, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, T12 EH31