Regardless of what age you are, September brings with it that “back to school” feeling. The summer is over and your bodyclock starts gearing up to go back to work. But you can also harness and direct that “back to school” energy towards more recreational ends. September is a great time to try your hand at a new hobby.

Among the thousands of courses published on Alison are many dedicated to a diverse range of pastimes and activities. It’s not all skills training and career development! Our publishers range from educational institutions publishing courses on project management to passionate individuals seeking to share their hobbies and interests. So whether your new passion is baking or learning languages, interior design or literature, we have the courses to help you on your way this September.


There’s nothing more satisfying than learning a new language and feeling your vocabulary and confidence grow in a second or third tongue. Maybe you want to learn French to read your favourite French authors in the original, or perhaps you have taken an interest in Japanese and its rich history. Regardless of what has stirred your interest in learning a new language, Alison has a wide range of courses for learners of all levels across a host of languages, including:


Gardening is the ideal hobby: it gets you outdoors, allows you to be creative, and the end result brings endless enjoyment. The Diploma in Garden Design and Maintenance guides you through the basics of gardening, from the planning stage right through to garden maintenance. Completing this course will enable you to evaluate, plan, purchase, plant, and maintain a garden to suit your property’s natural environment and characteristics.


Literature offers us the chance to lose ourselves in other worlds and other times. It is a truly limitless hobby. If you’re feeling a desire to reach back beyond your favourite books and learn more about the ideas behind the stories, then we have the courses for you. From Aesop’s Fables to Virginia Woolf, you can explore the history of great books through our literature  courses.


The study of history is an endlessly fascinating pastime. By learning what happened in the past, you understand how it brought about the present. From World War One to Brexit, our history courses don’t just enlighten, they entertain and captivate, too.


Interior Design

Whether you’re redecorating your entire house or just redoing your spare room, a solid understanding of in interior design is a great life skill to have. The Diploma in Interior Design course provides you with an overview of interior design as a discipline. You’ll learn about project planning and the design principles and factors a designer considers when working within a space. The course also teaches you how to employ colour, use surface materials and textures, work with textiles and accessories, source and select furniture, and much more.


Alison offers a range of photography courses that will help you move past your digital camera’s automatic settings. From beginner classes that can teach you the basics of photography, to training courses that teach more advanced photography concepts such as bracketing, hyperfocal distance, and focal length, we have something for everyone.


Baking, with its exact measurements and precise recipes, can be a calming activity, as well as a delicious one! Baking and Desserts for Beginners will help new bakers understand the fundamental techniques and methods of baking and of preparing desserts. The course breaks down and walks you through various recipes, as well as teaching you about pastry and studying key ingredients like dairy, chocolate and sugar.

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