Free courses

Free courses

Produced by The Open University, a world leader in open and distance learning, all OpenLearn courses are free to study. We offer nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

Free badged courses

A growing selection of our courses offer a free Open University digital badge. Badges demonstrate your interest in a subject, a commitment to your career or provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Lunchtime learning

Got a few spare minutes? Brush up on your knowledge with our range of free bite-size courses and activities.

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Results: 49 items Grid List
Language in the real world Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Courtesy © Neil Mitchell free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Language in the real world

This free course, Language in the real world, explains and illustrates why a knowledge about how language works (i.e. ‘linguistics’) is helpful – some might say essential – for different aspects of our everyday lives. It provides an introduction to ideas around what language is and to the field of Applied Linguistics, which is dedicated to exploring and addressing situations where language plays a crucial role.

Free course
6 hrs
Gaelic in modern Scotland Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Gaelic in modern Scotland

Modern Scotland is a multi-lingual country. Gaelic, Scots and English, along with newer introductions from Europe and beyond, all influence the way Scotland's people now speak to each other and to the rest of the world. Created with the positive encouragement of Brd na Gidhlig and with support from BBC Alba, this free course, Gaelic in modern Scotland, is available in both Gaelic and English. The course has been designed to provide a resource for people with a personal or professional interest in increasing their knowledge and understanding of the development and impact of Scottish Gaelic and its culture. It aims to surprise and challenge where necessary; to provide links and ideas for further research; and, for some, to kick-start a journey into learning a language which is integral to Scotland's national identity.

Free course
15 hrs
English grammar in context Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

English grammar in context

What are the differences between spoken and written English? Is use of grammar more or less complex than it appears? This free course, English grammar in context, looks at the way grammar can be used as a tool for adapting our communications (both written and spoken). This OpenLearn course will help you to see how language is intertwined with both describing a view of the world and interacting with others in that world.

Free course
15 hrs
Getting started on classical Latin Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Art Archive/Alamy free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Getting started on classical Latin

This free course, Getting started on classical Latin, has been developed in response to requests from learners who had had no contact with Latin before and who felt they would like to spend a little time preparing for the kind of learning that studying a classical language involves. The course will give you a taster of what is involved in the very early stages of learning Latin and will offer you the opportunity to put in some early practice.

Free course
10 hrs
Learning a second language Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Learning a second language

In this free course, Learning a second language, we will consider how students learn how to make meaning through learning additional languages which could be second, third or even fourth languages. This course is likely to appeal to teachers; that is, educators of any type.

Free course
4 hrs
French: Le quatorze juillet Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Languages 

French: Le quatorze juillet

This free course, French: Le quatorze juillet, is taken from Ouverture, a language module that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their language skills in order to communicate more easily and effectively in French. French: Le quatorze juillet focuses on the French national holiday of 14 July which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison (la prise de la Bastille) in 1789.

Free course
10 hrs
French: Ouverture free course icon Level 2 icon

Languages 

French: Ouverture

This free course, French: Ouverture, is taken from Ouverture, a language module that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. The course will be of interest to all those who want to improve their language skills in order to communicate more easily and effectively in French. French: Ouverture focuses on the French on holiday.

Free course
20 hrs
Beginners’ French: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Ian Shaw/Alamy. free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Beginners’ French: food and drink

Improve your language skills by learning to communicate more easily and effectively in French. In this free course, Beginners' French: Food and drink, you will also gain an insight into French societies and cultures through focusing on food and drink. You will listen to French speakers in a variety of situations, and you will be provided with some skills for coping with reading texts.

Free course
5 hrs
Language and creativity free course icon Level 2 icon

Languages 

Language and creativity

This free course is an introduction to the relationship between language and creativity, to the roles that linguistic creativity plays in culture and society, and to the different approaches to its study.

Free course
8 hrs
Grammar matters free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Grammar matters

Grammar matters because, combined with vocabulary choice, it is our main way of making meaning. This free course introduces you to one approach used to understand how meanings relate systematically to different aspects of grammar and shows how this deeper understanding can be applied to make everyday communication more effective.

Free course
8 hrs
Visions of protest: Graffiti free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Visions of protest: Graffiti

This free course, Visions of protest: Graffiti, introduces students to contrasting understandings of graffiti. It draws on a wide range of graffiti examples, including mystery zebras in Hackney, fish graffiti in Morecambe, 'tags' in a Milton Keynes underpass, a McDonald's advert and exhibits at a highly established art gallery, the Tate Modern. Students will consider different arguments for and against the perception of graffiti as a form of art or as vandalism and explore how graffiti has been used as a form of communication and as an articulation of protest.

Free course
8 hrs
Discovering Wales and Welsh: first steps free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Discovering Wales and Welsh: first steps

This free course, Discovering Wales and Welsh, introduces you to who the Welsh people are via a brief look at history and two significant figures, Owain Glyndŵr and Llywelyn the Last. You will also learn the basics of Welsh pronunciation and how to greet people in Welsh.

Free course
4 hrs
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