Free courses

Free courses

Produced by The Open University, a world leader in open and distance learning, all OpenLearn courses are free to study. We offer nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

Free badged courses

A growing selection of our courses offer a free Open University digital badge. Badges demonstrate your interest in a subject, a commitment to your career or provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Lunchtime learning

Got a few spare minutes? Brush up on your knowledge with our range of free bite-size courses and activities.

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Results: 106 items Grid List
The science behind wheeled sports Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The science behind wheeled sports

This free course, The science behind wheeled sports, focuses on cycling and wheelchair racing: what we might collectively call wheeled sports. The Scientific concepts such as force, acceleration and speed are also useful for understanding these sports. However, cycling and wheelchair racing differ from other sports in that technology more obviously plays an important role.

Free course
8 hrs

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The lottery of birth

This free course, The lottery of birth, will look at both the big picture of the ‘lottery of birth’ and the smaller, human stories. You will examine the inequalities of birth, particularly being born rich or poor and being born female or male.

Free course
12 hrs
Childhood in the digital age Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © boggy22 (via iStockPhoto.com) free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Childhood in the digital age

This free course, Childhood in the digital age, delves into the lives of children and discuss the potential benefits and limitations of technology in their lives.

Free course
12 hrs
Investigating psychology free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Investigating psychology

One of the keys to understanding psychology is to know about its history and core questions. This free course, Investigating psychology, allows you to explore psychology using an interactive resource. You can follow links to people, contexts, perspectives and methods to discover information, images and links from across psychology. The resource also links each of these people, contexts, perspectives and methods so you can see how each element is connected in the history of psychology.

Free course
3 hrs

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Applying social work skills in practice

In this free course, Applying social work skills in practice, you will explore the social work role in working with vulnerable and socially excluded individuals and groups. You will learn about risk and the assessment of need in social work practice, and explore the wider context of social work practice and responses to social work. You will also explore the application of relevant knowledge, skills and values in social work, and think about the place of research in supporting social work practice.

Free course
7 hrs
Exploring family health Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Iakov Filimonov/Dreamstime.com free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Exploring family health

How can families support healthy living and cope with illness? This free course, Exploring family health, will provide an understanding of what is meant by socialisation. You will recognise how a family can learn and support good and poor health behaviours alongside government interventions, such as the 5 A DAY strategy. Identification of people with Alzheimer's disease is steadily increasing and you will consider key features and research. Caring within a family will be considered through reading about Sheila who cares for her husband and son. Finally, the course will look at the plight of young carers, often hidden from view, and losing part of their childhood due to their caring responsibilities.

Free course
8 hrs
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

Most of us have a very vague and narrow concept of what autism is, based mainly on such stereotypes as Dustin Hoffman's character in the film Rain Man. In this free course, The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice, you will discover that there is a wide spectrum of disorders associated with autism, and an equally wide range of approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

Free course
20 hrs

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Population ageing: a global health crisis?

This free course, Population ageing: a global health crisis?, focuses on two major issues of our time – ageing societies and global health. It provides you with an introduction to ageing societies and their implications for global health – implications which are only just beginning to be fully understood. The course will help you to deepen your understanding of ageing societies across the globe and the different components of the concept of global health. You will also explore the ways in which population ageing is often framed as a crisis and begin to develop your own ideas about the implications of population ageing.

Free course
6 hrs
Becoming a critical social work practitioner Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Becoming a critical social work practitioner

What does it take to become a critical practitioner in social work? This free course, Becoming a critical social work practitioner, will guide you through some important concepts. An understanding of 'critical perspectives' will help you take a positive and constructive approach to problems that arise in social work practice.

Free course
15 hrs
Improving aerobic fitness Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Improving aerobic fitness

Aerobic fitness is integral to successful sports performance and to maintaining good health. But what sort of exercise should you be doing to develop your aerobic fitness? This free course, Improving aerobic fitness, will help you to answer this question by introducing you to principles of aerobic exercise prescription.

Free course
2 hrs
Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control

What should we eat before and after exercise? This free course, Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control, examines the importance of nutrition in physical activity, sport and weight management. The role that physical activity has alongside nutrition in controlling body weight will be discussed, as will considerations for pre-exercise and post-exercise nutrition and hydration.

Free course
6 hrs
Work and mental health Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: iStock free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Work and mental health

Although being at work during periods of mental illness can be difficult for those with mental health problems, most people with these difficulties could take paid employment if it were not for numerous barriers in the workplace and the wider community (Centre for Mental Health, 2013). In this free course, Work and mental health, you will look at some of the ways in which employment affects mental health and what can be done to support people in finding and keeping work.

Free course
5 hrs
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