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Why I'd say yes, yes, yes to the Bad Sex award

Why I'd say yes, yes, yes to the Bad Sex award Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Dec 2014
Is there a magic ingredient to writing good sex scenes? 

Speaking Shakespeare: How was Shakespeare pronounced when he was writing?

Featuring: VideoVideo
Speaking Shakespeare: How was Shakespeare pronounced when he was writing? Copyrighted image Credit: Production team
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 02 Dec 2014
How do we know what actors sounded like when they performed premieres of Shakespeare plays? The clues, as ever, are in the lines themselves...

2013 International Radio Playwriting Competition

2013 International Radio Playwriting Competition Copyrighted image Credit: Photochecker | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Nov 2014
The winners of the competition have been announced. Find out more and explore drama and dramatists with OpenLearn.

The Great Fall: The effect on the arts

The Great Fall: The effect on the arts Copyrighted image Credit: Alexander Vasilyev | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Nov 2014
The fall of the Berlin Wall had a great impact, especially in the world of the arts. 

So you've written your novel, what now?

So you've written your novel, what now? Copyrighted image Credit: Sabri Deniz Kizil | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Oct 2014
Literary agent Joanna Swainson shares her top five tips for hooking an agent. 

Download free eBooks

Featuring: ActivityActivity
Download free eBooks Copyrighted image Credit: © Enzodebe | Dreamstime.com - Ebook Reader Photo
Updated 29 Oct 2014
Inspired by the BBC Four series The Secret Life of Books, we have produced a collection of free eBooks for you to download and enjoy.

Outside the book

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Delve into the surprising world of literary theory with these five quirky animations, narrated by comedian Josie Long. 

Outside the book: The book

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: The book Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
What is a book? From scrolls and paperbacks to e-books, this video portrays the history and future of books. 

Outside the book: The author

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: The author Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Drawing on the cases of Byron, George Eliot and others, the concept of the author is outlined in this video. 

Outside the book: Two styles of love

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: Two styles of love Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
This video conveys how love expressed in Petrarchan and Libertine poetry says a lot about renaissance patriarchy.

Free OpenLearn courses.
Free extracts from OU course materials

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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...

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 17 Oct 2013
Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This unit will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see...

What is poetry?

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
What is poetry? Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
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 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....

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 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...

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...

Start writing fiction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This unit will give you an insight into how authors create their...

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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Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 18 Dec 2014
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 3000 hours Updated 18 Dec 2014
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 18 Dec 2014
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 18 Dec 2014
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 18 Dec 2014
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 Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 18 Dec 2014
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 18 Dec 2014
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 Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 18 Dec 2014
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 Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 18 Dec 2014 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 Updated content
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 12 Dec 2014 Register by 08 Jan 2015
This module uses the concepts of voices, texts and material culture to extend your understanding of specific disciplines in the arts and humanities...