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Oliver Sacks: "You are in the hands of a master storyteller"

Oliver Sacks: Copyrighted image Credit: Steve Jurvetson under CC-BY licence New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 01 Sep 2015
The writer Josh Bernoff hails Oliver Sacks' ability to engage readers from the start.

Language on the move: Migrating literature and Zachary Richard’s Cajun tales

Language on the move: Migrating literature and Zachary Richard’s Cajun tales Creative commons image Credit: Jeangagnon under CC-BY-SA licence New content
Advanced level Duration 15 mins Updated 27 Aug 2015
The musician and poet Zachary Richard has kept the Cajun tradition alive. But how has the migration of his stories affected them? Mathilde Köstler...

Sylvia Plath and the linguistics of depression

Sylvia Plath and the linguistics of depression Creative commons image Credit: John Phelan under CC-BY licence
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 14 Aug 2015
Could the type of language people use reveal something about their state of mind? A close reading of Sylvia Plath's journals suggest it might be...

Festival fever

Festival fever Creative commons image Credit: Beth under CC-BY-NC-2.0 licence
Introductory level Updated 13 Aug 2015
Celebrate the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with our range of free courses, audio and video outlining areas to do with the arts. 

OpenLearn Live: 11th August 2015

OpenLearn Live: 11th August 2015 Copyright free image Credit: Public domain image
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 11 Aug 2015
The Google rebrand; continuing our week of Japanese Nobel laureates; plus more free learning.

The legend of the Pied Piper

The legend of the Pied Piper Copyright free image Credit: Public domain
Duration 5 mins Updated 22 Jul 2015
The story of the Pied Piper dates way back into German history - way back before Robert Browning got involved...

A use of fiction: How 'Requiem For A Dream' helped shape a psychologist

Featuring: VideoVideo
A use of fiction: How 'Requiem For A Dream' helped shape a psychologist
Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Jul 2015
Hubert Selby's Requiem For A Dream is a bleak tale of descent into addiction. It inspired Dr Amy Milton and shaped her career.

The Evolution of English debate

The Evolution of English debate Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 30 mins Updated 21 Apr 2015
The 23rd April marks English language day 2015; we look at what has been the biggest influence on the English language over the past 100 years...

Collecting Shakespeare: Crowd funding and rediscovered plays

Collecting Shakespeare: Crowd funding and rediscovered plays Copyright free image Credit: Public domain
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
A benefit gig, a rediscovered lost play and a beef with Alexander Pope: Lewis Theobald's 18th Century edition of Shakespeare plays could have...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Start writing fiction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 27 Jul 2015
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...

Writing what you know

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Writing what you know Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 21 Jul 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...

What is poetry?

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
What is poetry? Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 23 Apr 2014
Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This unit is designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the...

Approaching poetry

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching poetry Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 11 Dec 2013
Do you want to get more out of your reading of poetry? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of...

Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
This unit considers some of the different ways of reading Great Expectations, based on the type of genre the book belongs to. This is one of the...

Approaching prose fiction

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching prose fiction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Do you want to get more out of your reading? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary...

Approaching plays

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching plays Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Do you want to get more out of drama? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary plays....

What is good writing?

Free CourseFree Course
What is good writing? Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Does the idea of essay writing put you off the idea of studying? This unit will help you to realise that essays are not to be feared. You will...

Working with dilemmas

Free CourseFree Course
Working with dilemmas
Masters level Duration 4 hours Updated 16 Aug 2013
Dilemmas are part of the fabric of organisational and individual life; these are often presented as the choice between two (or more) equally...

Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’

Free CourseFree Course
Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’ Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 04 Jul 2013
Accounts of Caravaggio's life are filled with suggestions of murder and intrigue. But does knowing more about this dark artist's experiences help...

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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
Duration 1200 hours Updated 02 Sep 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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 02 Sep 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
Duration 1200 hours Updated 02 Sep 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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 02 Sep 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
Duration 2400 hours Updated 02 Sep 2015
The Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities will help you refine your skills of debate and analysis while developing your cultural literacy. It...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 02 Sep 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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 02 Sep 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) English Language and Literature

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) English Language and Literature Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 02 Sep 2015
This degree course offers a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to English language and literature. You’ll have the opportunity to...

Children's literature

CourseCourse
Children's literature Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 02 Sep 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
A broad introduction to the vibrant field of children’s literature studies encompassing eighteenth-century fairy tales to examples of contemporary...

Voices, texts and material culture

CourseCourse
Voices, texts and material culture Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 02 Sep 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This module uses the concepts of voices, texts and material culture to extend your understanding of specific disciplines in the arts and humanities...