Explore.
Watch, listen, debate & discover with our experts

RSS Icon

Urbanism in Blade Runner

Urbanism in Blade Runner Creative commons image Alan under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Jan 2016
As well as being a science fiction classic, you could read Blade Runner as a movie about town planning. No, really. Let Ryan Schleeter explain.

OpenLearn Live: 11th December 2015

Featuring: VideoVideo
OpenLearn Live: 11th December 2015 Copyright free image Copyright free: Patrice Audet
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 11 Dec 2015
The man who shaped Barcelona - lovely, sweeping shapes; why dark matter isn't so weird; and a polar bear gets a check-up. Then more free...

Why would you want to make a bee wear a backpack?

Why would you want to make a bee wear a backpack? Creative commons image Gilles San Martin under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Dec 2015
It's not the first time that researchers have put tiny backpacks on bees... but this time, the technology has improved.

OpenLearn Live: 30th November 2015

OpenLearn Live: 30th November 2015 Creative commons image Russian Presidential Press and Information Office under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Nov 2015
The man who went into space and became the Cosmos; back on Earth, why do people hate airports? Then more free learning through the day.

OpenLearn Live: 12th November 2015

OpenLearn Live: 12th November 2015 Copyright free image Copyright free: Public domain
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 12 Nov 2015
How do you run a railway uphill? Then more free learning through the day.

Are NHS-recommended mental health apps actually doing any good?

Are NHS-recommended mental health apps actually doing any good? Creative commons image Sebastiaan ter Burg under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 29 Oct 2015
The NHS has endorsed a number of apps promising better mental health. Trouble is, says Simon Leigh, there's no real evidence they can deliver.

Are women under-represented at tech accelerators?

Are women under-represented at tech accelerators? Creative commons image Kevin Hale under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 29 Oct 2015
Tech accelerators are successful at helping start-ups power forward - but are they just creating new boys' networks?

What can you do with leftover coffee grounds?

What can you do with leftover coffee grounds? Copyright free image Copyright free: Skitterphoto
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 29 Oct 2015
If your office is anything like the OpenLearn one, you'll be generating a load of waste coffee grounds everyday. Maybe we shouldn't be throwing it...

Never trust a pirate: Christiaan Huygens’s Longitude Clocks

Never trust a pirate: Christiaan Huygens’s Longitude Clocks Creative commons image The Royal Society under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Intermediate level Duration 10 mins Updated 26 Oct 2015
As a tribute to the historian Lisa Jardine, who died on October 25th, we're republishing her essay on the shady history of 17th Century timekeeping.

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

RSS Icon

Introduction to finite element analysis

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Introduction to finite element analysis Copyright free image Copyright free: Red Bull Racing
Advanced level Duration 7 hours Updated 21 Oct 2015
What is finite element analysis (what is it and why do we carry it out? This free course, Introduction to finite element analysis, introduces the...

Innovation through representation

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Innovation through representation
Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 06 Oct 2015
Innovations are realised through design, and some of the most useful tools in the designer's toolbox are the representations that are used to move...

Seeing the light

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Seeing the light Copyrighted image Copyright: © audioundwerbung/iStockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 27 Jul 2015
This free course, Seeing the light, will teach you about how the Sun affects your home, both in terms of light and warmth and the energy it...

Introducing engineering

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Introducing engineering Copyright free image Copyright free: VIADGRIN shutterstock
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 29 Jan 2015
Engineering encompasses a broad range of disciplines from design to manufacturing. This free course, Introducing engineering, introduces a number...

Design thinking

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo ActivityActivity
Design thinking Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 13 Oct 2014
Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better? This free course, Design thinking, will show you how to structure...

Invention and innovation: An introduction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Invention and innovation: An introduction Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 55 hours Updated 19 Aug 2014
This free course, Invention and innovation: An introduction, is for designers, engineers, technologists and anyone interested in designing and...

People-centred designing

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo ActivityActivity
People-centred designing Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 05 Mar 2014
Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This free course, People-centred designing, focuses firmly on usability...

Design

Free CourseFree Course
Design Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 28 hours Updated 10 Dec 2013
This free course looks at the process of design, from assessing the complexity of design as an activity to exposing the difficulty in making...

Manufacturing

Free CourseFree Course
Manufacturing Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 19 Jul 2011
How are designs turned into products? What resources, materials and methods are used and what set of activities goes under the heading of ...

Design for beginners

Featuring: VideoVideo
Design for beginners Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University 2011
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 27 May 2011
How do you create depth and tone on paper? How do you create a cd case from scratch? Steve Garner, Professor of Design at The Open University...

Become an OU student.
Change your life with a qualification

RSS Icon

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 06 Feb 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

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 Feb 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...

Diploma of Higher Education in Computing&IT&Second Subject

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Computing&IT&Second Subject Creative commons image Sam I Are under CC-BY-NC-SA under Creative-Commons license
Duration 2400 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016
Computing and IT skills are hugely valued in the modern workplace; studied together with a second complementary subject they can give you an...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

BSc (Honours) Computing&IT and a second subject

CourseCourse
BSc (Honours) Computing&IT and a second subject Creative commons image Sam I Are under CC-BY-NC-SA under Creative-Commons license
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016
Computing and IT skills are hugely valued in the modern workplace; studied together with a second complementary subject they can open up careers in...

BA/BSc (Honours) Design and Innovation

CourseCourse
BA/BSc (Honours) Design and Innovation Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016
Design and innovation play a central role in society, finding solutions to problems of all sizes in many aspects of our lives, not just the...

Web technologies

CourseCourse
Web technologies Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 07 Feb 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This module explores architectures, protocols, standards, languages, tools and techniques, dynamic and mobile content, and shows you how to analyse...

Design essentials

CourseCourse
Design essentials Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
Gain the skills for research, planning and development of a design project as well as the ability to translate your design ideas into well...

Innovation: designing for change

CourseCourse
Innovation: designing for change Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 06 Feb 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This project-based module looks at how successful innovations emerge, and how innovation can be directed towards ensuring a socially, economically...