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Are old voting machines a threat to democracy?

Are old voting machines a threat to democracy? Creative commons image Joebeone under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 May 2016
Although e-voting might seem like a modern way of running an election, in the US the current infrastructure is already sliding into obsolesence -...

Was Alcibiades the Athenian Donald Trump?

Was Alcibiades the Athenian Donald Trump? Creative commons image Sailko under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 May 2016
A roistering, rabble-rousing politician from the birth of democracy bears comparison with the former host of The Celebrity Apprentice, suggests...

What does toilet paper teach us about poverty?

What does toilet paper teach us about poverty? Creative commons image paul under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 25 May 2016
The purchasing pattern of a bathroom staple has a lot to teach us about how poverty works. Atif Kukaswadia explains.

Timeline: Marx, Nietzsche and Freud

Featuring: Activity Activity
Timeline: Marx, Nietzsche and Freud Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker New content
Introductory level Updated 24 May 2016
Explore the lives and works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud with our interactive timeline. 

Banking crimes without end

Banking crimes without end Copyrighted image Copyright: Artwork by Gary Edwards © The Open University New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 23 May 2016
Has the UK financial sector become the 'serial offender' of corporate crimes with mis-selling of products like PPI and pensions...

Is cleaning a route to a better life for migrants?

Is cleaning a route to a better life for migrants? Copyright free image Copyright free: Unsplash New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 18 May 2016
New research in Finland suggests that the time demands, insecurity and relative isolation of cleaning work may make the dream of integration harder...

Sovereignty and the EU

Sovereignty and the EU New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 17 May 2016
What does sovereignty mean for the UK and what impact does the the UK’s and EU relationship have on it?

PodMag May 2016

Featuring: Audio Audio
PodMag May 2016 Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 13 May 2016
PodMag is the monthly update of news, views and interviews from the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University.

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Constitutions in transition

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Constitutions in transition
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 10 May 2016
This free course, Constitutions in transition, explores and compares the development of four nation-state constitutions from around the world:...

China and the USA: cooperation or conflict?

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio
China and the USA: cooperation or conflict?
Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 08 Apr 2016
This free course explores the relationship between China and the United States and analyses whether China’s rapid rise will lead to greater...

Modern slavery

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Modern slavery Copyrighted image Copyright: © Richard D Kaplan
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 21 Mar 2016
This free course, Modern slavery, is designed to develop an understanding of the international system of human rights protection in relation to...

The law-making process in England and Wales

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
The law-making process in England and Wales Creative commons image Recardo Andre Frantz in Wikipedia made available under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 21 Mar 2016
This free course, The law-making process in England and Wales, introduces you to the sources of law in England and Wales. It examines the...

Introducing ageing

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Introducing ageing Copyrighted image Copyright: Copyright © Debbie Crouch
Introductory level Duration 11 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
Everyone is ageing, whatever their current age, and we live in a world where many people are living much longer than previous generations. This is...

Psychological research, obedience and ethics

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Psychological research, obedience and ethics Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 5 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
In this free course, Psychological research, obedience and ethics, you will learn about the importance of ethics in research that is undertaken by...

Contemporary Wales

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Contemporary Wales Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
This free course provides an accessible and lively social science account of contemporary Wales. It introduces key aspects of the economy, society,...

Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio
Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency Copyright free image Copyright free: Copyright © Sam Scott-Hunter/Photofusion (Jaguar 32785)
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
This free course, Discovering disorder: young people and delinquency, will introduce two approaches to understanding juvenile delinquency. The...

The USA, power and international order: Foreign policy under Obama

Free Course Free Course
The USA, power and international order: Foreign policy under Obama Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 12 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
President Obama's inauguration in 2009 seemed to herald a new era in US foreign policy and international relations. But the Bush years had left a...

Exclusion clauses

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Exclusion clauses
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 08 Mar 2016
This free course focuses on the use of exclusion clauses in contracts. Exclusion clauses are terms of a contract which seek to exclude or limit a...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 May 2016
Are you interested in what shapes the lives we lead and the decisions we make? Have you wondered why people continue to smoke when they know the...

Foundation Degree in Financial Services

Course Course
Foundation Degree in Financial Services Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 May 2016
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 May 2016
The value of counselling to improve well-being and quality of life is increasingly recognised in society. From everyday worries to serious mental...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 May 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...

Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 May 2016
With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and...

Foundation Degree in Counselling

Course Course
Foundation Degree in Counselling Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 May 2016
The value of counselling to improve well-being and quality of life is increasingly recognised in society. From everyday worries to serious mental...

BA/BSc Open degree

Course Course
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 May 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...

BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies

Course Course
BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 May 2016
Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about us, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe....

Diploma of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 May 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) Economics and Mathematical Sciences

Course Course
BSc (Honours) Economics and Mathematical Sciences Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 May 2016
Graduates who understand the commercial and economic environment and who are also highly numerate are in short supply. If you enjoy solving...