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Ralph Waldo Emerson on Shakespeare's craft

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Shakespeare's craft Copyright free image Copyright free: Library of Congress New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 21 Apr 2016
The American poet and essayist pays tribute to the skill of the British poet and playwright.

Mark Twain on whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare

Mark Twain on whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare Copyright free image Copyright free: Napoleon Sarony / New York Library Digital Collections New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 21 Apr 2016
Was the work of Shakespeare really cooked up by Bacon? Mark Twain recounts a long journey and a longer argument.

Leo Tolstoy on King Lear

Leo Tolstoy on King Lear Creative commons image Mat Fascione under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 20 Apr 2016
In this extract from 'A critical essay on Shakespeare' - published in English in 1906 - Tolstoy suggests King Lear shows Shakespeare up as...

Queen Victoria on William Shakespeare

Queen Victoria on William Shakespeare Copyright free image Copyright free: The Royal Collection New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 20 Apr 2016
What did the Queen of England think of the Bard of Avon? We dip into her diaries to find out...

How did Newcastle celebrate the 200th anniversary of Shakespeare?

How did Newcastle celebrate the 200th anniversary of Shakespeare? Copyright free image Copyright free: New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 20 Apr 2016
The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare is being well marked around the nation, and around the globe (and the Globe). But how was the 200th...

OpenLearn Live: 20th April 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 20th April 2016 Creative commons image Dutch National Archive under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 20 Apr 2016
The book that captured civilisation in collapse. Then more free learning through the day.

OpenLearn Live: 13th April 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 13th April 2016 Copyright free image Copyright free: Public domain
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Apr 2016
The Sussex schoolboy who reinvented himself as a First Nation environmentalist, and Arnold Wesker remembered. Then more free learning across the...

Shakespeare Live! From The RSC

Shakespeare Live! From The RSC Copyrighted image Copyright: Royal Shakespeare Company
Updated 13 Apr 2016
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, David Tennant and Catherine Tate host a live TV event celebrating Shakespeare...

OpenLearn Live: 23rd March 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 23rd March 2016 Creative commons image David Rix under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 23 Mar 2016
Cutting open a thunderegg, and the mystery of Shakespeare's missing head. Free learning from across the day.

400 years of Shakespeare

400 years of Shakespeare
Introductory level Updated 21 Mar 2016
It's been 400 years since Shakespeare died, but his works still 'play on' today. Explore the life, times and legacy of the Bard of Avon...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Writing what you know

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Writing what you know Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 23 Mar 2016
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...

History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past

Free Course Free Course
History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 17 Mar 2016
This free course, History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past, consists of a series of essays, drawn from material contained in the...

Reading

Free Course Free Course
Reading Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 09 Mar 2016
Reading is an essential skill for all of us and developing our skills in reading is a good investment. This free course is packed with practical...

What is good writing?

Free Course Free Course
What is good writing? Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 09 Mar 2016
Does the idea of essay writing put you off the idea of studying? This free course, What is good writing?, will help you to realise that essays are...

Start writing fiction

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Start writing fiction Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 26 Feb 2016
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...

History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in the past

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Activity Activity
History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in the past Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 2 hours Updated 16 Feb 2016
How do we know what people read in the past, and how they read it? This free course, History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in...

History of reading tutorial 2: The reading and reception of literary texts – a case study of Robinson Crusoe

Free Course Free Course
History of reading tutorial 2: The reading and reception of literary texts – a case study of Robinson Crusoe Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 16 Feb 2016
How have famous books been read and received by audiences in the past? This free course, History of reading tutorial 2: The reading and reception...

History of reading tutorial 3: Famous writers and their reading - Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Vernon Lee

Free Course Free Course
History of reading tutorial 3: Famous writers and their reading - Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Vernon Lee Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 16 Feb 2016
Have you ever wondered about the reading tastes and habits of famous writers in the past? This free course, History of reading tutorial 3: Famous...

Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’

Free Course Free Course
Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’ Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 08 Feb 2016
Accounts of Caravaggio's life are filled with suggestions of murder and intrigue. But does knowing more about this dark artist's experiences help...

The poetry of Sorley MacLean

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
The poetry of Sorley MacLean Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 10 hours Updated 05 Feb 2016
Sorley Maclean (19111996) is regarded as one of the greatest Scottish poets of the twentieth century. This free course, The poetry of Sorley...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
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

Course Course
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
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

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 1200 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
Why study the arts? Apart from sheer enjoyment, these subjects give you an enormous breadth of cultural literacy while training you to think and...

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
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

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
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) Humanities

Course Course
BA (Honours) Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of...

BA (Honours) English Literature

Course Course
BA (Honours) English Literature Creative commons image
Duration 3600 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
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

Course Course
BA (Honours) English Language and Literature Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
This degree course offers a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to English language and literature. You’ll have the opportunity to...

MA English part 1

Course Course
MA English part 1 Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Advanced level Duration 1200 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
Expand on your previous study and prepare for your dissertation through an exploration of a rich variety of literary texts, from the ancient past...

20th century literature: texts and debates

Course Course
20th century literature: texts and debates Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
Gain a new appreciation and understanding of great twentieth-century literature – both the writing itself and the excitement and controversy it...