Explore.
Watch, listen, debate & discover with our experts

RSS Icon

OU on the BBC: Charles Darwin And The Tree of Life

OU on the BBC: Charles Darwin And The Tree of Life Copyrighted image Credit: Production team
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 10 Apr 2014
David Attenborough takes a passionate, personal journey through Darwin's discoveries.

How did teeth evolve?

How did teeth evolve? Creative commons image Credit: lincolnblues under CC-BY-NC-ND licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 24 Feb 2011
My dear, what big teeth you have... but how did you (or, indeed, fish) come to have them?

Milk: The secrets of the dairy

Milk: The secrets of the dairy Copyrighted image Credit: Dvkorn | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 07 Dec 2010
Never mind pots of gold - it should be udders of gold. Vicky Taylor salutes the dairy cow, and reveals why some scientists think mammals might not...

Look evolution in the eye: Join the debate

Look evolution in the eye: Join the debate Copyrighted image Credit: Oleg2910 | Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 27 Sep 2010
Proof of evolution? From the first light sensitive cells, to highly developed organs - patterns in the increasing complexity of the eye can be...

Consciousness and the limits of science

Consciousness and the limits of science Copyrighted image Credit: Production team
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 25 Feb 2010
Professor Russell Stannard asks how can we ever understand the relationship between consciousness and the physical brain.

ET, life and the universe

ET, life and the universe Copyrighted image Credit: Production team
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 25 Feb 2010
Is there intelligent life out there? Professor Russell Stannard examines various possibilities, and our chances of ever finding out about them.

Darwin Now pod 9: Living legacy

Featuring: AudioAudio
Darwin Now pod 9: Living legacy Creative commons image Credit: celerrimus via Flickr
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 08 Dec 2009
Find out how Darwin’s scientific legacy is being carried forward in this year of the bicentenary of his birth.

Tour of John Murray Publishers

Featuring: VideoVideo
Tour of John Murray Publishers Copyrighted image Credit: John Murray
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 24 Nov 2009
John Murray, descendent of Darwin's original publishers, gives us a tour of the offices where biology - and literary - history were made.

Darwin, 'The Origin' and the future of biology

Featuring: VideoVideo
Darwin, 'The Origin' and the future of biology Copyrighted image Credit: British Council
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 24 Nov 2009
On the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Professor E O Wilson, considered by many as Darwin...

Origin Day Lecture: Audience Question Three

Featuring: VideoVideo
Origin Day Lecture: Audience Question Three Copyrighted image Credit: British Council
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 24 Nov 2009
In 50 million years' time is the impact of modern man on biodiversity going to look significantly different from the meteorite strike which we...

Free OpenLearn courses.
Free extracts from OU course materials

RSS Icon

The science of evolution

Free CourseFree Course
The science of evolution Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 5 hours Updated 31 Aug 2012
This unit debates the issues surrounding the science of evolution and religion.

Obesity: Balanced diets and treatment

Free CourseFree Course
Obesity: Balanced diets and treatment Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 27 Jul 2011
The incidence of obesity is on the increase in affluent societies, and the phenomenon commands increasing attention from health professionals,...

Studying mammals: Chisellers

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: Chisellers Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 21 Jul 2011
Ever wondered why rats, mice and squirrels seem to reproduce at such an alarming rate? Rodents are among the most successful of all the mammal...

Studying mammals: Plant predators

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: Plant predators Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 21 Jul 2011
From the mouse-deer to the elephant, plant eaters come in all shapes and sizes. But how do they manage to flourish on a salad diet? In this unit we...

Studying mammals: Meat eaters

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: Meat eaters Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 21 Jul 2011
The powerful and majestic carnivores are the focus of many television documentaries. In this unit we will delve into the lives of these fearsome...

Studying mammals: A winning design

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: A winning design Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 21 Jul 2011
The term mammal encompasses a huge variety of animals, including humans. But what makes a mammal a mammal? This unit explores some of the features,...

Evolution through natural selection

Free CourseFree Course
Evolution through natural selection Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 4 hours Updated 09 Jun 2011
In this unit, we describe the theory of evolution by natural selection as proposed by Charles Darwin in his book, first published in 1859, On The...

Studying mammals: The insect hunters

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: The insect hunters Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 08 Jun 2011
From pygmy shrews to armadillos, a wide range of mammals survive on a diet made up largely of insects. Many of these have fascinating adaptations...

Studying mammals: The opportunists

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: The opportunists Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 08 Jun 2011
Many mammals are food specialists, with complex adaptations that gear them toward a particular food source. So how do the omnivores survive and...

Studying mammals: Return to the water

Free CourseFree Course
Studying mammals: Return to the water Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 08 Jun 2011
Some of the most unusual and versatile of all the mammals are the groups that live, feed and reproduce underwater. In this unit we will see how...

Become a student.
Change your life with a qualification

RSS Icon

Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science

CourseCourse
Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 600 hours Updated 25 Jul 2014
If you’re fascinated by astronomy and planetary science, this certificate course provides a good basic introduction and equips you with the skills...

Understanding the continents

CourseCourse
Understanding the continents Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 25 Jul 2014 Register by 11 Sep 2014
This wide-ranging course develops your knowledge of the continents, plate-tectonic processes and related issues in depth: its theme is crustal...

Infectious disease and public health

CourseCourse
Infectious disease and public health Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 25 Jul 2014 Register by 11 Sep 2014
This course approaches infectious disease from several perspectives and explores the underlying biology, epidemiology, ecology and evolution of...

Astrophysics

CourseCourse
Astrophysics Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 25 Jul 2014 Register by 11 Sep 2014
Explore the astrophysics of stars and exoplanets – planets beyond our solar system – examining their properties, structure, evolution and the...

Astronomy

CourseCourse
Astronomy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 25 Jul 2014 Register by 11 Sep 2014
This introductory astronomy course looks at the structure of stars and their life cycles, galaxies and quasars, and the origin and evolution of our...