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Canals: The Making of a Nation - Find out more

Canals: The Making of a Nation - Find out more Copyrighted image Credit: © BBC New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Aug 2015
Find out more about how the history of canals shaped a nation's financial system, workers' rights and civil engineering.

Canals: The Making of a Nation

Canals: The Making of a Nation Copyrighted image Credit: © BBC New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Aug 2015
Liz McIvor looks at who built the nation's canal network, who funded it, those who worked on it and how they were regenerated following WWII.

Learning about sex, a shilling a time: Aristotle's Masterpiece

Learning about sex, a shilling a time: Aristotle's Masterpiece Copyright free image Credit: US National Library of Medicine New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 21 Aug 2015
Not written by that Aristotle, the Masterpiece nevertheless found a huge market desperate for sex education in 18th Century Britain and America.

Timewatch: The Princess Spy

Timewatch: The Princess Spy Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission New content
Updated 21 Aug 2015
Timewatch tells the tale of "Nora Baker"'s wartime bravery. Meet the princess spy.

Did Waterloo prevent a fresh Anglo-American war?

Did Waterloo prevent a fresh Anglo-American war? Copyright free image Credit: Public domain image New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 20 Aug 2015
Believing Bonaparte to be resurgent in France, some Americans pushed President Madison to reignite the recently quelled hostilities of the 1812 War...

Building the first Thames sewer system

Building the first Thames sewer system Copyright free image Credit: Punch New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 20 Aug 2015
The original Thames sewer system became a pressing need following the clean-up of London streets. But even the stench of the river overpowering the...

What did Plato believe about the human soul? The one minute guide

What did Plato believe about the human soul? The one minute guide Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Pony image public domain by SaeKawaii New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 20 Aug 2015
What is Plato's chariot analogy? How did Plato explain the soul using a chariot and two horses? We've got a really simple guide...

World-changing women: Order your free booklet

World-changing women: Order your free booklet Copyrighted image Credit: BBC Updated content
Updated 19 Aug 2015
Order your free world-changing women booklet to accompany the BBC2 series The ascent of woman.  

Why are people upset about the Stonewall Movie?

Why are people upset about the Stonewall Movie? Creative commons image Credit: New York Public Library under CC-BY-SA licence New content
Updated 14 Aug 2015
A film celebrating the Stonewall riots and the birth of LGBTQ pride would, you'd think, be welcomed by those it claims to champion. But the...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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The body in antiquity

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
The body in antiquity Copyright free image Credit: Science Museum, London
Masters level Duration 5 hours Updated 27 Jul 2015
This free course, The body in antiquity, will introduce you to the concept of the body in Greek and Roman civilisation. In recent years, the body...

Getting started on Classical Latin

Free CourseFree Course
Getting started on Classical Latin Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 20 Apr 2015
Latin is the basis for many languages in the world. This free course, Getting started on classical Latin, will introduce you to learning Latin. You...

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 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...

Health, disease and society: Scottish influence in the 19th century

Free CourseFree Course
Health, disease and society: Scottish influence in the 19th century Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 06 Nov 2013
This unit examines the role that Scots played in contributing to the developments in healthcare during the nineteenth century. The radical...

Medicine transformed: On access to health care

Free CourseFree Course
Medicine transformed: On access to health care Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Access to healthcare is important to all of us. Did the arrival of state medicine in the twentieth century mean that everyone had access to good...

The history of medicine: A Scottish perspective

Free CourseFree Course
The history of medicine: A Scottish perspective Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the approach to medicine was vastly different from today. Health is now recognised, at least in most...

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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 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 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) History

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) History Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
With this degree course you will develop and deepen your knowledge of different periods of history from antiquity to the twentieth century....

Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity

CourseCourse
Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This module introduces Europe’s economic, social, medical and cultural history, as well as political and military developments from the First World...

Voices, texts and material culture

CourseCourse
Voices, texts and material culture Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Aug 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...

MA History part 2

CourseCourse
MA History part 2 Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Masters level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015 Register by 30 Jan 2016
This course focuses on the planning and writing of a dissertation which will test your ability to present a sustained academic argument in clear,...