What are the advantages of studying a free OpenLearn course?
- Courses are either adapted extracts from The Open University courses - the same as the ones studied by our students - or complete courses exclusive to OpenLearn
- If you're interested in taking an Open University course, but not sure it's for you, you can get a feel for what's on offer before signing up
- Free courses are available now, whenever now is - you can start right away, or whenever suits you
- You can work through at your own pace - if you want to do a burst of ten hours in one sitting - be our guest. Want to spread studying over a longer period? That's your choice. Just use the 'enrol' button, and we'll remember how far you've got through for you
- Share what you've learned - build your MyOpenLearn profile, download records of activity and - later this year - earn badges on selected courses
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Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This unit will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and the settings for their work. You will also... Try: Start writing fiction now
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. This unit is designed to help you develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes. You will learn how to interpret... Try: Essay and report writing skills now
Renewable energy sources are gaining an increasing share of world energy supplies. In the next eight weeks we’ll cover the physical principles underlying the various renewables, their economics,... Try: Can renewable energy power the world? now
This unit provides an introduction to music theory pitched at a level equivalent to Grades 1-3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams. The material will provide you with... Try: An introduction to music theory now
Latin is the basis for many languages in the world. This unit will provide you with a general introduction to learning Latin allowing you to assess whether you would like to learn more. You will... Try: Getting started on Classical Latin now
This unit provides an introduction to the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. It also explains the fundamental rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how they are... Try: Introduction to Bookkeeping and Accounting now
Do fractions and decimals make you apprehensive about maths? Do you lack confidence in dealing with numbers? If so, then this unit is for you. The unit will explain the basics of working with... Try: Numbers, units and arithmetic now
This is the third of four units which comprise the course 'Learning to teach'. Critical reflection is crucial to becoming a successful teacher. This unit explains what is meant by reflective... Try: Learning to teach: Becoming a reflective practitioner now
Headline news scares about stolen or missing data are becoming a frequent occurrence as organisations rely more and more heavily on computers to store sensitive corporate and customer information.... Try: An introduction to information security now
Looking to brush up on your study skills? Check out this list of skills-related courses.
What are free courses?
Our free courses are study materials either created for OpenLearn or adapted from actual Open University courses. These are materials from the same courses our registered students take – but online and free to the world! With over 650 free courses, spread across a range of subject areas, we hope you'll find something that interests you.
Free courses from OpenLearn can take anything from 1-50 hours to work through and are available from introductory to postgraduate level. Each has clear learning outcomes, and many have activities and sample answers to help you assess your progress. You can even download an activity statement when you have finished. To take advantage of our free courses, sign up for a free OU account and enrol on as many as you like.