There are over 1,000 courses to choose from with no start-dates, so you can begin right away or at a time that suits you. Some courses are based on The Open University degree materials and others are made specifically for OpenLearn, but all are designed to help boost your confidence and gain new skills.
Whatever your ambition, start by exploring our range of courses and content to find a topic that inspires you. As pioneers of distance learning for over 50 years, we’re here to keep on moving you forwards.
Distance learning can open up opportunities for study. You might have not studied for a while, you might be returning to education, or you might not have had the chance to study at a higher level before. This free course, Am I ready to be a distance learner?, will help to boost your confidence. You'll explore useful skills so you can discover how ready you are to study and how to develop your study skills in six steps to become a successful distance learner.Learn more ❯Am I ready to be a distance learner?
It seems to be a buzzword in education and one that gets thrown around quite a lot these days. But what does 'interdisciplinary' study really mean? And why is it so desirable?Read now ❯What are the benefits of interdisciplinary study?
Have you ever wondered how the internet gets into your home, school, college or workplace? How do all the computers, phones, tablets, printers and other devices connect and work together? In this free course, Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab, you can explore how computer networks operate, discover how data is sent around the internet, put your understanding into practice using an inbuilt network simulator to create your own – simulated – computer networks.Learn more ❯Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab
This free course shows you how to navigate the night sky, and introduces the wide variety of objects it contains. You will develop a hands-on understanding of telescopic observations using the Open University’s own robotic telescope facility COAST sited on the island of Tenerife. Supported by your own measurements we illustrate how stars evolve, and study variable stars. For those new to astronomy and/or the use of robotic telescopes this course provides a practical introduction and will prepare you for further OU study where remotely operable telescopes feature.Learn more ❯Astronomy with an online telescope
Plagiarism comes in all shapes and forms. Step into the shoes of a university student to learn the challenges and temptations facing her during her assignment, and help make it all her own work.Take part now ❯All my own work
This free course, Developing good academic practice, is intended to help you develop good academic practices in your studies and when producing assignments and completing assessments. Although designed as a course to work through, the content can also be used to dip in and out of, if you feel you need to improve your skills in a particular area.Learn more ❯Developing good academic practice
In this free course you will focus on how to be a critical reader. Reading critically is an essential skill at university. It means being aware of your own purposes and opinions as you read and being able to recognise the writer's purposes and opinions in their writing.Learn more ❯How to be a critical reader
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This free course, Essay and report writing skills, is designed to help you develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes.Learn more ❯Essay and report writing skills
Ever since the very beginning of humanity, tools have played a pivotal role in who we are and what we do. Tools for recording, processing and communicating information have a time-honoured history – from the clay tokens used in Mesopotamia to mechanical calculating machines. The invention of the digital computer has boosted the scale, speed and reach with which thinking tools extend our natural capabilities. This free course, Digital thinking tools for better decision making, starts by placing thinking tools in their historical context and concludes with an examination of their future. During the course, you’re introduced to a wide variety of digital thinking tools. You will apply these tools in many practical activities and case studies, solving problems that involve finding and evaluating information, performing calculations and drawing reasoned conclusions.Learn more ❯Digital thinking tools for better decision making
This free course, Managing my money for young adults, will help you start to think about managing your finances. You will learn how to budget effectively, and will be encouraged to start thinking about your financial future.Learn more ❯Managing my money for young adults
Why do students suffer from higher levels of depression and anxiety when compared to those who are not at university? Dr Jonathan Leach investigates...Read now ❯Is being a student good for your mental health?
It's well-documented that loneliness can cause depression and have negative effects on health and lifespans, equal to that of smoking. Explore why friends are good for your wellbeing, then invite them round for a catch up - it's important!Read now ❯Why friendships are vital to your wellbeing
Whether you’re a full or part-time student, studying is likely to mean adding another commitment to your life. Having a lot to balance can sometimes affect our wellbeing and leave us feeling overwhelmed.Read now ❯Time management and study