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
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

Education & Development 

Dance skills

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, whilst developing a wide-ranging movement vocabulary. The use of different dance techniques can be an effective way of building vocabulary and developing different kinds of skills and abilities. Technical dance skills can form the foundation on which to develop and enhance each individual's performance. As dance teachers, we may have a range of skills, but it isn't always possible to possess expertise in every type of dance style and technique. Having the knowledge and experience to teach African Dance forms, Jazz Dance or Hip Hop to students is a great way of introducing them to a variety of styles and can be a rich and rewarding process. However, many teachers in schools and colleges work within a Contemporary Dance style because it will have been the basis of their education and training. In this free course, Dance skills, it is also the main point of reference.

Free course
12 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
Continuity and learning free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Continuity and learning

This free course, Continuity and learning, has a practical and professional development focus. You will explore interactive dimensions of workplace learning: how people and workplace cultures create formal, informal, planned and unplanned opportunities to learn. You will read about 'biographical learning' research, where adults develop narratives to better understand key points of their learning lives. You will plan and carry out a brief, informal interview with a colleague, and your colleague will interview you, on themes of learning and work. To complete this OpenLearn course you will write a short draft of the key points of the interview and reflect on your own learning biography.

Free course
12 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. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own situation and to apply what you learn to real-life scenarios, using a digital skills plan to keep a record of progress.

Free course
24 hrs
English: skills for learning Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © PepitolPhotos/Istockphoto.com free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

English: skills for learning

English: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop the English reading and writing skills needed to succeed. You will learn through a range of engaging activities aimed at extending your existing language skills.

Free course
24 hrs
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
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
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
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