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Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone

Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards New content
Duration 5 mins Updated 12 May 2015
Nicky Morgan has returned as Secretary Of State For Education in the new cabinet. It's an opportunity, says Jacqueline Baxter, to try leaving other...

The spectre of 'British values' and education policy

The spectre of 'British values' and education policy Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 23 Apr 2015
The next government needs to think carefully about what is to be done with the spectre of British values or wake up with a severe post...

There’s more to primary school place shortages than the cost of free schools

There’s more to primary school place shortages than the cost of free schools Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 22 Apr 2015
Is the crisis over primary school places solely due to the Conservative's free school programme? Jacqueline Baxter discusses all the factors that...

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary study?

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary study? Copyrighted image Credit: Wavebreakmediamicro | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
It seems to be a buzzword in education and one that gets thrown around quite a lot these days. But what does 'interdisciplinary' study really mean?...

Education and the General Election of 1979

Education and the General Election of 1979
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
Dr Frank Monaghan looks back at the immediate run-up to the 1979 general election which led to a massive shake-up in education, the consequences of...

How much government funding do universities get?

How much government funding do universities get? Creative commons image Credit: Stephen McKay under CC-BY-SA licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
John Brennan explains the latest statistics on state funding for universities.

Left or right? What should we do about political bias in the Social Sciences

Left or right? What should we do about political bias in the Social Sciences Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Duration 10 mins Updated 13 Mar 2015
The question of bias in academic disciplines is one that has resurfaced in recent years, particular in relation to the Social Sciences. 

Beyond formal learning – supporting communities of life-long learners

Beyond formal learning – supporting communities of life-long learners Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Mar 2015
The OU fostered the collective construction of knowledge by helping learners build social connetctions, and by offering realistic objectives and...

An OU Vision for the 21st Century?

An OU Vision for the 21st Century? Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Duration 10 mins Updated 13 Feb 2015
As the OU prepares to welcome new VC, Peter Horrocks, later this year, it might be a good moment to ‘take stock’ and reflect on both where we have...

Badges come to OpenLearn

Badges come to OpenLearn Copyrighted image Credit: Main image © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com / Badges and montage Open University
Updated 09 Feb 2015
Using our free courses but want to show others what you've learned? We've got great news for you...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Partnerships and networks in work with young people

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Partnerships and networks in work with young people Updated content
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 14 May 2015
The term ‘partnership’ is used to describe a wide range of organisational arrangements and ways of working: from informal networking between...

Essay and report writing skills

Free CourseFree Course
Essay and report writing skills Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 28 Apr 2015
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment...

English grammar in context

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
English grammar in context Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 28 Apr 2015
What are the differences between spoken and written English? Is use of grammar more or less complex than it appears? This free course, English...

Teaching assistants: support in action

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Teaching assistants: support in action Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 4 hours Updated 21 Apr 2015
Teaching assistants are an important resource in education. This free course, Teaching assistants: support in action, looks at how the role has...

Taking your first steps into higher education

Free CourseFree Course
Taking your first steps into higher education Copyrighted image Credit: Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 15 Apr 2015
[BETA] What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this badged course is for you. ...

English: skills for learning

Free CourseFree Course
English: skills for learning Copyrighted image Credit: © PepitolPhotos/Istockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 15 Apr 2015
[BETA] This course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop the English reading and writing...

Succeed with learning

Free CourseFree Course
Succeed with learning Copyrighted image Credit: EBLokhina/iStockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 15 Apr 2015
[BETA] Succeed with learning is an informal, introductory course for people who want to feel more confident about their learning skills. This...

Continuity and learning

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Continuity and learning
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 10 Feb 2015
This OpenLearn course has a practical and professional development focus. You will explore interactive dimensions of workplace learning: how people...

Dance skills

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo ActivityActivity
Dance skills Creative commons image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 12 hours Updated 09 Dec 2014
Dance communicates ideas through movement and is an expressive art form. Students need to learn how to use their body in a safe and healthy way,...

New Free OpenLearn Courses

Free CourseFree Course
New Free OpenLearn Courses Copyrighted image Credit: © mattjeacock/istock
Introductory level Duration 1 hour Updated 11 Oct 2014
This collection highlights the new free OpenLearn courses that have recently been published.

Become an OU student.
Change your life with a qualification

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Top-up BA Early Years

CourseCourse
Top-up BA Early Years Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 25 May 2015
This pathway enables experienced practitioners with a Foundation Degree in Early Years (normally sector endorsed) to enhance their professional...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 25 May 2015
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

CertHE in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools

CourseCourse
CertHE in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Do you work in a primary school supporting children’s learning? This is one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the UK. If you’re a...

Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning

CourseCourse
Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Teaching assistants and classroom support staff represent one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the country. If you’re a teaching...

Diploma of Higher Education in Primary Teaching and Learning

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Primary Teaching and Learning Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Classroom and teaching assistants and classroom support staff represent one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the country. If you’re a...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

BA (Honours) Early Years

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Early Years Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 25 May 2015
Do you work with young children? Do you want to boost your career and develop your practice? This degree course provides a solid, practical...

Youth: policy in practice

CourseCourse
Youth: policy in practice Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 25 May 2015 Register by 17 Sep 2015
This online course continues the development of the critical, practical and analytical skills you need to work proactively within the youth...

The early years: developing practice (APEL route)

CourseCourse
The early years: developing practice (APEL route) Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 25 May 2015 Register by 07 Jan 2016
This APEL route and its assessment will enable you to consider the knowledge and understanding you have gained through your experience of working...