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.

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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: 107 items Grid List
Drug development process: combating pain free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Drug development process: combating pain

Drug development process: combating pain, is a free course offering a brief introduction to the process of new drug discovery; from identification of a suitable candidate drug molecule to the development of a commercial drug product available in the clinic for pain relief or as an anti-inflammatory.

Free course
2 hrs
The family at the centre of early learning Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Courtesy: Karen Horsley. free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

The family at the centre of early learning

This free course, The family at the centre of early learning, focuses on the positive learning relationships that can exist in any family and how ordinary, everyday domestic activities can sustain learning. You will consider how the traditions and cultural practices of the community to which the family belongs filters through to the child’s experiences. In doing so you will think about why such influences may not have a uniform impact from family to family. You will also explore how learning is a two way experience for both children and their parents or carers, in situations both within and beyond the home.

Free course
9 hrs
Starting with psychology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Starting with psychology

The most 'important and greatest puzzle' we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56). Humans are a puzzle, one that is complex, subtle and multi-layered, and it gets even more complicated as we evolve over time and change within different contexts. When answering the question 'what makes us who we are?' psychologists put forward a range of explanations about why people feel, think and behave the way they do. Just when psychologists seem to understand one bit of 'who we are' up pops some new evidence to show a different side! It is not easy to pin down all the many influences. This free course, Starting with psychology, makes a start.

Free course
5 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 ----- in social work practice.

Free course
15 hrs
An introduction to social work Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

An introduction to social work

Do you want to learn more about the social work role and develop your understanding of some of the theory associated with social work practice? This free course, An introduction to social work, begins by introducing key ideas, values, the social work process and the skills needed for social work practice. You will then move on to look at social work with individuals. Finally this OpenLearn course considers reflective practice.

Free course
15 hrs
Exploring sport coaching and psychology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © SolStock/iStock free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Exploring sport coaching and psychology

This free course, Exploring sport coaching and psychology, investigates how scientific and management ideas contribute to success while also taking you on a journey through unique sporting case studies and insights that will change how you view and study sport. You will consider how the mind, the body, the environment and training techniques all contribute to optimum fitness.

Free course
24 hrs

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Social psychology and politics

Why are social psychologists interested in politics, and how can they help us understand things like social movements, protest and activism? This free course, Social psychology and politics, moves away from a state-centric study of politics and, using insights from social psychology, explores the role of identity, personality and culture for political action. The course introduces a critical perspective considering how psychologists themselves can be activists and interrogating the norms of ‘good citizenship’ in Western societies.

Free course
8 hrs
Supporting and developing resilience in social work Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © istockphoto.com/Aldo Murillo free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Supporting and developing resilience in social work

What does it take to become a resilient practitioner in social work? This free course, Supporting and developing resilience in social work, will guide you through some important concepts. An understanding of ‘emotional resilience’ and ‘professional leadership’ will help to guide you through taking a positive approach to problems that ----- in social work practice. You will also be introduced to some ideas about leadership in social work practice.

Free course
10 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
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
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
Exercise and mental health Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Exercise and mental health

Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enhancing mood.

Free course
2 hrs
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