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McGill Community for Lifelong Learning

For people who want to learn for the joy of it!

** The Spring Semester has been postponed until further notice. Instead, MCLL is offering a series of free online study groups. For more information, click here. **


Give to MCLL


Discover MCLL

Welcome to the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL). Led by volunteers and managed by a council elected from among its members, MCLL is a within the McGill School of Continuing Studies. MCLL is for people who want to continue learning for the joy of it, in an informal setting, and who wish to share their knowledge, ideas, experience and interests with others. Based on a peer-learning concept, our small study groups are led by our volunteer moderators. Our informal small-group approach makes our programs accessible. No exams or grades to worry about, and no age limits. There are four terms to a year. Fall, winter and spring are 10-week terms with a complete program of study groups, lectures, workshops, outings and social activities. A lighter program is presented, on Wednesdays only, in the summer. The study groups and lectures are usually given in English.


The MCLL Difference

Peer learning and active participation are two cornerstones of MCLL’s curriculum; these principles differentiate its programs from traditional university courses and classes. The form of participation varies according to the subject matter and the approach chosen by the moderator. The level of involvement can range from mere presence, to advance preparation/research, participation in group discussions and presentations to the class.


Our Study Groups

Study groups are offered Monday to Thursday at:

  • 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
  • 2-4:00 p.m.
  • on occasion, 4-6:00 p.m.

While most study groups run for 10 weeks, some have a shorter duration. All are held on the 2nd floor, in rooms 225, 241, 243 and 245. Schedules are posted on the noticeboards.



Participants look at works of art, read books or magazine articles, watch movies or videos, listen to music, or write journals. The moderator then facilitates discussion among the participants.



Participants are encouraged to choose themes and make presentations, although these are not mandatory.



The group moderator makes the presentations and facilitates the discussions that follow the presentations.


Study groups focused on addressing practical or life-style issues rather than intellectual pursuits.



Our Lectures

Most lectures are presented on Fridays at 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. In the summertime, lectures are presented on Wednesdays only, at the same times. Lectures are held either on the 2nd floor or in room 1041. Schedules are posted on the noticeboards.


Tech-Savvy Workshops

Participants can use lab PCs; they can also use their own portable devices, provided they have activated their Wi-Fi connection ahead of time. A McGill username and password is necessary to connect to the Wi-Fi; these can be obtained by setting up a McGill email account on Minerva.



Occasional outings to various locations in and around the City of Montréal are held on a Friday or Saturday in the fall, winter and spring, and on Wednesdays in the summer.



After taking early retirement from McGill in 1996, a friend told me about the then McGill Institute for Learning in Retirement. I joined and never looked back. Not a university graduate, I had language and organizational skills and have been driven by curiosity and love for learning all my life. So rich is the variety of MCLL study group topics, that it is hard to select any two each term. Not only have I found MCLL stimulating, challenging and also fun but have met people with unexpected and amazing life stories. I will certainly participate in MCLL as long as my brain works!

Thea Pawlikowska


After retiring I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do: catch up with my reading, indulge in some travelling, and, do more to keep fit. I ran into an old friend who told me, with much enthusiasm, about MCLL. It took a couple more encounters before I took the plunge and discovered all the great benefits that MCLL has to offer. Since joining around eight years ago, it has been a pleasure meeting interesting people with such a wide variety of backgrounds. The other great boon has been experiencing the peer learning process, contributing to study groups and giving lectures, all of which continue to be enjoyable and enriching experiences.

Hassan Elshafei

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