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: 98 items Grid List
The value of coffee free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The value of coffee

This free course explores the economic and cultural value of coffee. You will follow the chain of processes that connect the drink you enjoy on a daily basis with circuits of economic and cultural value, hearing from coffee farmers and consumers in different parts of the world.

Free course
3 hrs
Introducing research in law and beyond free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Introducing research in law and beyond

This free course, Introducing research in law and beyond, is designed to introduce you to the skills required to develop and complete a legal research project. You will learn about the complexities of research, how to identify a research topic, how to conduct a literature review and how to develop research questions. This course also considers the uses and applications of information and data, research methods, the process of analysing information to draw valid conclusions, and explains how to write up a research proposal.

Free course
10 hrs
Psychology in the 21st century Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Psychology in the 21st century

Psychology is not a simple subject. This free course, Psychology in the 21st century, examines how different aspects of human behaviour provide the focus for different psychologists. Using learning as an example, you will discover how many different approaches can be adopted, thus illustrating that there is no single way of answering psychological questions.

Free course
12 hrs
Changing cities free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Changing cities

Urban processes are increasingly held to be responsible for causing a variety of problems environmental destruction, social injustice, global financial instability. They are also identified as harbouring the potential to meet these challenges through urban experiments in sustainable living, creative culture and alternative economies. This free course, Changing cities, explores how contemporary processes of urbanisation challenge how we think about political agency, providing a framework for the analysis of the causes, implications and responses to issues of common concern.

Free course
15 hrs
The use of force in international law free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The use of force in international law

This free course, The use of force in international law, is designed to provide you with an introduction to one of the contentious topics in public international law: the use of force. In this course, you will explore international rules governing the use of force, including an introduction to the laws of war (International Humanitarian Law). Finally, you will also consider the dilemma of humanitarian intervention, which you can later apply in the game Saving Setrus.

Free course
10 hrs
Parliament and the law Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Parliament and the law

How are rules made and who can influence this procedure? This free course, Parliament and the law, will introduce you to the rule-making processes in of the UK Houses of Parliament in Westminster. You will examine how laws are enacted and how it is possible for unelected bodies and people to influence the content of such laws.

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

Society, Politics & Law 

OpenLearn Scotland

This free course, OpenLearn Scotland, is intended to be of interest not only to people living in Scotland, but to anyone wishing to know more about Scottish society and culture. It brings together a collection of free educational resources relevant to Scotland. The resources within this unit cover a wide range of subject areas, including education, environment, technology, history, law, literature, politics, social care and social sciences.

Free course
3 hrs
The meaning of crime Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The meaning of crime

Tough on the causes of crime'. A famous phrase, but what is crime? This free course, The meaning of crime, examines how we, as a 'society', define crime. You will look at the fear that is generated within communities and what evidence is available to support claims that are made about crime rates.

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

Society, Politics & Law 

Starting with law

This free course, Starting with law, explores key legal concepts such as legal capacity and the rights and responsibilities of the individual. You will examine how laws are made, and how they affect us at different points in our lives. It is an ideal course if you are a beginner or returning to study.

Free course
3 hrs
An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland

Many aspects of the law in Scotland are different from those of England and Wales. Centuries of development and growth have been influenced by factors unique to Scotland, resulting in a legal system that is distinct from those of its neighbours. This free course, An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland, explores the legal history of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament and its relationship with the UK Parliament.

Free course
10 hrs
The body: A phenomenological psychological perspective Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The body: A phenomenological psychological perspective

The body has traditionally been treated as a biological object in psychology. However, is there more to our bodies than that? Some psychologists recognise that we relate to other people and the world about us through our body. This free course, The body: A phenomenological psychological perspective, explores the theoretical perspective on embodiment: the phenomenological psychological perspective.

Free course
15 hrs
Crimes of the powerful free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Crimes of the powerful

This free course examines the complexities of, and barriers to, setting new criminological research agendas by considering the difficulties associated with conducting research on crimes of the powerful.

Free course
2 hrs
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