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
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
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
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
Introducing international development management Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Introducing international development management

If you wonder why, when so much development action is taking place, life seems to stay so bad for so many people and you want to be involved in managing development better, this free course, Introducing international development management, is for you.

Free course
40 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
Finding information about society Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Finding information about society

This free course, Finding information about society, will help you to identify and use information in society, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of organising your own information, and learn how to reference it properly in your work. Finally, discover how to keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of interest by using tools such as RSS and mailing lists.

Free course
9 hrs
Sexuality, parenthood and population Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Sexuality, parenthood and population

Sexuality and parenthood encompass some of the most ordinary and yet most profound experiences that life has to offer. In this free course, Sexuality, parenthood and population, we look at how attitudes to parenthood and sexuality, and the links between the two, have changed, with specific reference to the fertility decline that began in the mid-nineteenth century.

Free course
10 hrs
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