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Pathways to employment, training or higher education

Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2015

This guide will take you on a learning journey through a range of free online resources from The Open University's award-winning OpenLearn website.

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Each of these courses will allow you to gain a free digital badge on completion. We refer to these courses as 'badged open courses'. They will help you:

  • tailor some informal study to your own interests and goals
  • prepare for employment
  • gain an insight into higher education study

How do I know which course to choose?

Well, there are initially six courses which you can choose from depending on your interest or your needs at this moment. All of these courses will help you to develop knowledge and skills and may help you gain employment or further education and training. They should certainly all be enjoyable!

What next?

After you have tried one or two of these courses, you may be thinking of doing more. You may not be sure of where your interests lie or you may already have some ideas. For this reason a series of short 'tasters' in different subject areas are available below. You can dip into whichever ones interest you and then progress to other units in your chosen area of study.

Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities covers a range of subjects that give you the opportunity to explore human culture through its art, history, literature, music and religions. This pathway should give you more understanding of the world we live in and how we got to where we are.

Try out our Arts and Humanities 'tasters' here

Social Science and Psychology

Social Science and Psychology tackles some of the key question in the study of society and individuals. Why do places carry meaning for people? What are our rights as citizens? Why are we so fascinated by crime? What shapes our identity and why? This pathway will stimulate your curiosity, encourage you to challenge assumptions, to understand yourself and the world we live in. 

Try our Social Science and Psychology 'tasters' here


Science is all around us, continuously unfolding and giving us the chance to improve our world’s social and economic future. Studying the Science will enhance your understanding of the world, and contribute to your intellectual and personal development. 

Try our Science 'tasters' here




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