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: 233 items Grid List

Science, Maths & Technology 

A tour of the cell

This free course, A tour of the cell, contains a blend of text and a multimedia interactive component to look at the uniformity and diversity within cells. Fundamental to understanding how cells 'work' is a knowledge of the subcellular components and how they are arranged. This is introduced through a series of in-text and self-assessment questions.

Free course
12 hrs
Vaccination Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Vaccination

Vaccinations are now considered a part of everyday life, but how do they work? Vaccination is a free course that will help those with a background in biology understand the historical development of vaccination, assess the various types of vaccines used today, examine their production and explore the limitations that are placed on vaccination programmes.

Free course
14 hrs
Water and human health Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Water and human health

Water is a natural resource that is vital for human survival and health, although only a tiny fraction of the Earth's supply is available to humans and terrestrial animals. In this free course, Water and human health, we look at threats, such as pollution, to water's capacity to support life around the world.

Free course
9 hrs
Gene therapy Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Gene therapy

Following on from the advances made in diagnosing disorders using genetic testing, this free course, Gene therapy, looks at the possibilities for genetic therapies. Two approaches to gene therapy are discussed: correcting genes involved in causing illness; and using genes to treat disorders. Before closing on a discussion of the issues around 'designer babies' somatic gene therapy and germline gene therapy are discussed.

Free course
4 hrs
The digital scholar Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © alengo/iStockphoto.com free course icon Level 2 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

The digital scholar

Digital scholarship is a shorthand for the intersection of three technology related developments: digital content, networked distribution and open practices. It is when digital, networked and open intersect that transformational practice occurs. In this free course, The digital scholar, you will explore the impact of digital technologies on scholarly practice.

Free course
24 hrs
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online Creative commons image Icon Atomic Taco in Flickr under Creative-Commons license free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

This free course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

Free course
24 hrs
Can renewable energy power the world? free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Can renewable energy power the world?

Renewable energy sources are gaining an increasing share of world energy supplies. In the next eight weeks well cover the physical principles underlying the various renewables, their economics, their environmental impact, their present status and future prospects. When youve completed this free course you should be able to give your own answer to the course question: Can renewable energy power the world?

Free course
24 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

Succeed with maths – Part 1

If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this free course is for you. It will guide you through how numbers are put together, give you confidence with using percentages, fractions and negative numbers and provide you with problem solving skills for your everyday life and the wider world.

Free course
24 hrs
Moons free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Moons

In this free course, Moons, explore the many moons of our Solar System. Find out what makes them special. Should we send humans to our Moon again?

Free course
24 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

Nutrition: vitamins and minerals

Both vitamins and minerals are essential in the diet in small quantities. Learn about the two main vitamin groups and the major mineral elements. This free course, Nutrition: vitamins and minerals, looks at the two main groups of vitamins: the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K; and the water-soluble vitamins, the B group and vitamin C. It also examines the major mineral elements, and the importance of fluid balance in the body.

Free course
10 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

In the night sky: Orion

In this free course, In the night sky: Orion, you will explore the night sky, discover how stars formed and find out about exoplanets, all through the constellation of Orion.

Free course
24 hrs
Hearing Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Hearing

Hearing is a familiar and important human sense that is a topic naturally of interest to those who are curious about human biology. This free course will enable you to relate what you read to your own sensory experiences and indeed many of the questions asked have exactly that function. This course will be best understood by those with some biological understanding.

Free course
15 hrs
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