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Why study a free course on OpenLearn?

Our courses have been proven to increase confidence and develop the skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning.

You can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects. Some are based on Open University course materials. Others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

What are the advantages?

  • OpenLearn free courses are available immediately

    Our courses do not have a start and end date. You can start right away or at a time that suits you.

  • You can work through at your own pace

    You can spend as long as you like on an OpenLearn course, plus, if you sign up you can track your progress and work towards a statement of participation.

  • There are around 1000 courses to choose from

    The courses always focus on a specific area of learning. Some focus on important and fascinating academic subjects, whilst others help you develop skills needed for study or work.

  • You can try out what's on offer from The Open University

    If you're interested in taking an Open University course but are not sure what to study or if distance learning is right for you, then OpenLearn lets you get a feel for what's on offer.

Hear from OpenLearn users about why they study with us, how they’ve used free learning to further their studies and careers, or have become inspired by a new subject, in our collection of learner stories.

Gain a free Statement of Participation

Gain a free statement of participation

On successful completion of our free courses, you will be able to access and download a free statement of participation to use alongside your digital badge (if the course offers one).
You can print or email the statement of participation to demonstrate your successful completion of a course. It can help show your interest in a subject and a commitment to your career or provide evidence of continuing professional development.
Please note: Our free courses do not carry any formal credit towards a qualification.





Course information box breakdown

What do the icons mean?

Search results on OpenLearn display our content in boxes with icons. Here we explain the icons.

  • icon free course

    This icon tells you that this is a free course with a statement of participation available.

  • icon level

    This shows you the learning level. There are 3 levels on offer: Level 1 Introductory, Level 2 Intermediate and Level 3 Advanced.

  • icon badged

    This icon shows that the course offers a digital badge on completion. See badged OpenLearn courses for more information.

  • icon clock

    This icon indicates the suggested study time to fully complete the course.

OpenLearn has 3 levels of study for courses


Level 1 Introductory

For those new to a subject. Learn the basic and essential concepts across a range of subjects.


Level 2 Intermediate

If you have some familiarity with a subject area but want to know more, Level 2 courses are for you.


Level 3 Advanced

Want to gain a more critical understanding of a subject and take your learning further? Level 3 courses are for you.