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: 132 items Grid List
Early years team work and leadership free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Early years team work and leadership

This free course, Early years team work and leadership, explores aspects of teamwork and leadership for early years practitioners.

Free course
8 hrs
Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Sakonboon Sansri/Shuttterstock.com free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world

This free course, Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world, will develop your confidence and skills for life online, whether study, work or everyday life. It explores a range of digital skills and practices, including digital identity, digital well-being, staying safe and legal, finding and using information and online tools, and dealing with information overload. The importance is emphasised throughout of developing a critical approach to life online, whether consuming or creating information. Learners are encouraged to reflect on their own situation and to apply what they learn to real-life scenarios, using a digital skills plan to keep a record of progress.

Free course
24 hrs
English grammar in context Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

English grammar in context

What are the differences between spoken and written English? Is use of grammar more or less complex than it appears? This free course, English grammar in context, looks at the way grammar can be used as a tool for adapting our communications (both written and spoken). This OpenLearn course will help you to see how language is intertwined with both describing a view of the world and interacting with others in that world.

Free course
15 hrs
The digital scholar Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © alengo/iStockphoto.com free course icon Level 2 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

The digital scholar

Digital scholarship is a shorthand for the intersection of three technology related developments: digital content, networked distribution and open practices. It is when digital, networked and open intersect that transformational practice occurs. In this free course, The digital scholar, you will explore the impact of digital technologies on scholarly practice.

Free course
24 hrs
Involving the family in supporting pupils' literacy learning Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

Involving the family in supporting pupils' literacy learning

Teaching children to read is one area where collaboration between teachers and parents/carers is of vital importance. In this free course, Involving the family in supporting pupils' literacy learning, you will examine how families and schools work together to establish the links that underpin childhood literacy development and the ways in which educational institutions respond to the diversity of needs amongst students.

Free course
10 hrs
What is language?: an applied linguistic perspective Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

What is language?: an applied linguistic perspective

This free course, What is language?: an applied linguistic perspective, serves as an introduction to the discipline of applied linguistics. It examines what is meant by 'language', what its main characteristics are, and how human language differs from communication between other animals. It also asks whether theoretical knowledge about language can be applied to professional practice.

Free course
6 hrs
Leadership and context Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

Leadership and context

This free course, Leadership and context, introduces you to the potential impact of context and culture, both internal and external, on educational organisations and its implications for leadership.

Free course
9 hrs
Engaging with educational research Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

Engaging with educational research

This free course, Engaging with educational research, introduces you to the theoretical toolkit that is an essential part of engaging in educational enquiry. You will consider the types of theories and what their role is in the research process. Two very influential research perspectives are examined to identify differences in ways we think about and study the social world.

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
Encouraging book talk in the school library Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Encouraging book talk in the school library

As adults we sometimes struggle to justify our feelings about particular books, but children are quite clear about what they like and don't like. It is possible to get children to discuss why they liked or did not like particular books and to encourage them to think more deeply about the books they've read. This free course, Encouraging book talk in the school library, offers ideas and activities to engage pupils in discussing books. It is aimed at librarians, teaching assistants and other adults working with pupils in school libraries.

Free course
4 hrs
The world of the primary school Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © BSIP SA / Alamy Stock Photo free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

The world of the primary school

Primary education is a dynamic and exciting area to study and become involved in. This free course, The world of the primary school, introduces the various members of a primary school community, and considers the nature of their involvement and how this has evolved in the UK over recent years. It explores ideas about the primary school curriculum and the role of teachers and support staff in supporting children's learning.

Free course
8 hrs

Education & Development 

Get started with online learning

This free course will explain how you can study online without putting the rest of your life on hold.

Free course
6 hrs
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