Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts

Start writing fiction

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

Free course
12 hrs
An introduction to music theory Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts

An introduction to music theory

Gain an understanding of the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation. This free course, An introduction to music theory, will introduce you to music staves, clefs, rhythmic and pitch values, rhythmic metre and time signatures. This OpenLearn course provides an introduction to music theory pitched at a level equivalent to Grades 1–3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams. You can test your understanding as you proceed by completing simple multiple-choice questions.

Free course
8 hrs
Writing what you know Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts

Writing what you know

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 about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.

Free course
8 hrs
Exploring books for children: words and pictures Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Courtesy of Jackie Tuck free course icon Level 2 icon

History & The Arts 

Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Many people have fond memories of the stories they encountered in childhood, perhaps especially of those wonderful picture books and illustrated tales which fired our young imaginations and transported us to magical worlds. To an adult’s eye, some picture books may seem remarkably simple, even oversimplified. However, in this free course, Exploring books for children: words and pictures, you will learn how children’s books use words and pictures together in remarkably sophisticated ways to communicate both to young and older readers, drawing on examples from the classics, such as Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit, and from contemporary children’s authors such as Anthony Browne, author of Gorilla.

Free course
8 hrs
Witches in popular culture Creative commons image Icon Matthew under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license video icon

History & The Arts 

Witches in popular culture

Western culture can't seem to shake off portraying women as witches. Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley wonders why.

Video
5 mins
Ramadan Mubarak! Creative commons image Icon By vetman [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

Ramadan Mubarak!

27th May - 25th June marks the Muslim observance, Ramadan. Discover how this isn't just a time for abstaining but a time for celebration while showing devotion to Islam.

Article
Election days: 1779 - Save Britain from crisis! Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Library Of Congress article icon

History & The Arts 

Election days: 1779 - Save Britain from crisis!

Following the death of MP Sir Simeon Stuart, 'Cato' circulated a flier imploring those who could vote to save Britain from what appeared to be terminal decline.

Article
The debate on the origins of the First World War Creative commons image Icon By Edward N. Jackson (US Army Signal Corps) (U.S. Signal Corps photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

The debate on the origins of the First World War

The way historians have viewed the causes of WWI has changed in the hundred years since war broke out.

Article
The Somme: The German perspective Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

History & The Arts 

The Somme: The German perspective

How do Germans view the Battle of The Somme?

Article
Death on the eve of Armistice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC audio icon

History & The Arts 

Death on the eve of Armistice

Flu and a last gasp of fighting claimed lives even as the First World War was coming to a close. Michael Palin spoke to two experts to find out why.

Audio
10 mins