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What does it mean to be me?

Featuring: VideoVideo
What does it mean to be me? Copyrighted image Credit: BBC New content
Intermediate level Duration 30 mins Updated 17 Apr 2015
Watch these short and snappy animations on the subject of me: the individual, memory, 'self' and existential ideas.

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015 Creative commons image Credit: Daniel.Stark under CC-BY-NC-SA licence Updated content
Duration 5 mins Updated 15 Apr 2015
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) 2015 begins in the evening April 15th and ends on the evening of April 16th. Find out more about one of the...

What does a kiss mean?

What does a kiss mean? Copyrighted image Credit: Shiningcolors | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 14 Apr 2015
The kiss has changed its cultural meaning across the century - from a sign of favour to a marker of desire. How did that happen?

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo Sum

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo Sum Copyrighted image Credit: The BBC New content
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 14 Apr 2015
Stephen Fry explains Rene Descartes argument 'Cogito Ergo Sum' - 'I think, therefore I am'. 

Before The Windrush: How did Liverpool become such a poorly-integrated city?

Before The Windrush: How did Liverpool become such a poorly-integrated city? Creative commons image Credit: Rodhullandemu under CC-BY-SA licence New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
A century ago, Liverpool revelled in its cosmopolitan character. Nowadays, though, the city is far less ethnically mixed. What happened?

The late-modern hipster

The late-modern hipster Copyright free image Credit: Cheryl18 New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
Unloved and shunned by sociologists. Bjørn Schiermer considers the plight of the elaborately bearded youth cult.

The science behind forensics

The science behind forensics Copyrighted image Credit: BBC Updated content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
"Forensic science is just recent archaeology", says Allan Jamieson, Director of the Forensic Institute, Glasgow, as he explains how the same...

What is justice?

Featuring: VideoVideo
What is justice? Copyrighted image Credit: BBC New content
Intermediate level Duration 30 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
This series of animations explores the question: What is justice?

The purpose of war

The purpose of war Copyright free image Credit: ArmyAmber New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
War! What is it good for! Actually, Ian Morris suggests that it might make life generally less violent. He explained how to Laurie Taylor.

The illicit world of Indian dance

The illicit world of Indian dance Copyrighted image Credit: Vonora | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
Although Bollywood has brought social change, the history of dancers in India is a story of shaming. Anna Morcom visited Thinking Allowed to...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Writing what you know

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Writing what you know Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission Updated content
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 15 Apr 2015
Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world...

Start writing fiction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 25 Mar 2015
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free OpenLearn course, 'Start writing fiction', will give you an...

Plato on tradition and belief

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Plato on tradition and belief Copyrighted image Credit: The Bridgeman Art Library
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 09 Feb 2015
How can we settle questions of morality or ethics? This unit explores Plato's dialogue, the Laches, to discover why Plato thought that we should...

The Holocaust

Free CourseFree Course
The Holocaust Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 12 hours Updated 27 Jan 2015
This unit explores the Holocaust, as the destruction of European Jewry is commonly known. The mass killing represented by the Holocaust raises many...

Library of Alexandria

Free CourseFree Course
Library of Alexandria
Masters level Duration 7 hours Updated 11 Dec 2014
One of the most important questions for any student of the ancient world to address is ‘how do we know what we know about antiquity?’ Whether we’re...

Looking at, describing and identifying objects

Free CourseFree Course
Looking at, describing and identifying objects Copyrighted image Credit: © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Introductory level Duration 2 hours Updated 10 Dec 2014
This unit will enable you to practise and develop your skills of observation and description of objects. It will also enable you to interpret...

The moral equality of combatants

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
The moral equality of combatants
Advanced level Duration 16 hours Updated 03 Dec 2014
The unit introduces and explores the idea of the moral equality of combatants and discusses the question of the basis of liability to killing in...

Visions of protest: Graffiti

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Visions of protest: Graffiti
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 18 Nov 2014
This unit introduces students to contrasting understandings of graffiti. It draws on a wide range of different examples of graffiti, including...

An introduction to material culture

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
An introduction to material culture Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 2 hours Updated 24 Sep 2014
This unit is an introduction to the study of material culture. It asks why we should study things and outlines some basic approaches to studying...

The incredible shrinking chip

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
The incredible shrinking chip Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 15 Sep 2014
One of the most important technologies in use today is also one of the smallest. The microchip was invented in Scotland in 1947 and is now at the...

Become an OU student.
Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 19 Apr 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 19 Apr 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...

Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
Why study the arts? Apart from sheer enjoyment, these subjects give you an enormous breadth of cultural literacy while training you to think and...

BA (Honours) Humanities

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of...

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
The Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities will help you refine your skills of debate and analysis while developing your cultural literacy. It...

BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about us, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe....

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 19 Apr 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) English Literature

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) English Literature Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
English literature is a broad and accessible subject that is important in its own right and offers connections to a wide range of other kinds of...

BA (Honours) History

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) History Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
With this degree course you will develop and deepen your knowledge of different periods of history from antiquity to the twentieth century....

BA (Honours) English Language and Literature

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) English Language and Literature Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Apr 2015
This degree course offers a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to English language and literature. You’ll have the opportunity to...