In the article the basic directions of pedagogy of adults that were developed in the context of Soviet pedagogy in the 50-s – 80-s years of the twentieth century have been described. The essence of the concepts «adult education», «continuous education» has been specified. The author has paid attention to the term «andragogics». It has been found that in the 1960-70-s unique in scale comprehensive study on education for working youth and adults by domestic scientists was done and as a result some actual research directions were formed. The sociological, psychological and pedagogical directions of adult education have been characterized. Special attention is paid to their integrated, interdisciplinary character. Sociological research has revealed the socialization function of education and educational and social value and potential of turning point in shaping the life experiences at the different stages of life. Psychological research provided the study of the evolution of the physiological functions as a foundation of adult education and learning the motivational and values basis of elections and benefits in the adult education sphere. The range of organizational, pedagogical and didactic problems of adult education has covered the adaptation process of adult learning to the social factors; the development and study of different organizational forms and methods of adult education; the relationship between training activities under the guidance of a teacher and self education. Much attention is paid to study of the effect life experience of adult on educational needs, capabilities and performance training. The analysis of the research has allowed to specify the achievements and contribution to pedagogy of adults of the Soviet period to the development of a general theoretical concept of lifelong adult education, to the creation of theoretical bases of its constituent subsystems (school and adult education, professional development of the teachers and administrative staff education sphere, psychology of adult study, sociology of education, didactics adults) that have laid the foundation of a new integrated humanities science – andragogics.