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: 229 items Grid List
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
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
Introduction to cyber security free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Introduction to cyber security

This free course, Introduction to cyber security, 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
Natural intelligence Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Natural intelligence

One goal of artificial intelligence is to build machines that can operate in the real world, with all its noise and uncertainty. Much of what we want machines to do (see, recognise, navigate, move, coordinate) is already done very well by simple creatures. In this free course, Natural intelligence, we look at how such creatures achieve these goals and start to understand how we can build machines with the same capabilities.

Free course
10 hrs
Returning to STEM free course icon Level 3 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Returning to STEM

This free badged course, Returning to STEM, offers useful skills and solutions to help you get back into a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

Free course
24 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

Smart cities

This free course will help you to navigate your own path through the complex landscape of smart cities. You’ll hear from smart city innovators and entrepreneurs, city leaders, communities and business, connecting with learners from around the world to reflect on issues facing smart cities of different sizes and situations.

Free course
18 hrs
An introduction to interaction design free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

An introduction to interaction design

From apps, phones and business systems to wearables, the Web and the Internet of Things, interactive products have become part of everyday life. But how can interactions be designed to best meet their purpose and offer good user experience? This free course, An introduction to interaction design, explores this topic. You will learn: what interaction design is; the importance of user-centred design - with its goals and principles; how interaction design focuses on the characteristics of the user, their activities and environment; and the core activities and methods of the interaction design process.

Free course
10 hrs
Digital forensics free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Digital forensics

Digital evidence features in just about every part of our personal and business lives. Legal and business decisions hinge on having timely data about what people have actually done. This free course, Digital forensics, is an introduction to computer forensics and investigation, and provides a taster in understanding how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences. It also outlines the tools to locate and analyse digital evidence on a variety of devices, how to keep up to date with changing technologies, and laws and regulations in digital forensics.

Free course
8 hrs
Manufacturing Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Manufacturing

How are designs turned into products? What resources, materials and methods are used and what set of activities goes under the heading of 'manufacturing'? This free course will introduce manufacturing as a system and will describe some of the many different ways of making products. We will illustrate how the required properties of the materials in a product influence the choice of manufacturing process used.

Free course
20 hrs
Design thinking Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Design thinking

Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better? This free course, Design thinking, will show you how to structure your natural creativity to come up with solutions to all kinds of problems, and have fun in the process too!

Free course
10 hrs
Transport and sustainability Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: S.Potter free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Transport and sustainability

This free course, Transport and sustainability, explores the issues around sustainable transport and how the role of technology and society can interact to lower the overall impact of transport.

Free course
12 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
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