Writing what you know free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Writing what you know

Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.

Free course
8 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Trustees of the British Museum
Art and life in ancient Egypt free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Art and life in ancient Egypt

Around 1350 BC, the Egyptian grain accountant Nebamun commissioned the walls of his tomb-chapel to be painted with scenes depicting his afterlife, and the world in which he lived. Nebamun worked in the temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Amenhotep III (c. 1390-1352 BC). Amenhotep was one of the most important kings of the 18th Dynasty, one of the high points of Egyptian wealth, but his reign preceded a period of dramatic upheaval in Egyptian society. In 1820 eleven pieces were removed from the walls of the tomb-chapel, location now unknown, and were acquired by the British Museum, where they are now iconic masterpieces of the collection. This free course explores the history and meaning of these paintings.

Free course
30 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
Start writing fiction free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Start writing fiction

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

Free course
12 hrs
Simone de Beauvoir and the feminist revolution free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Simone de Beauvoir and the feminist revolution

In this free course you will study the ideas of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986). In doing so you will also briefly study the philosophy of Beauvoir’s lifelong partner, philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. The type of philosophy that links them is called ‘existentialism’. Beauvoir and Sartre are the foremost philosophers of French existentialism. You will read extracts of Beauvoir’s work and learn about the existential view of the human being as free and responsible for his or her actions. You will discover that Beauvoir argues that women are generally conceived of as ‘Other’, that is different from a supposed neutral human being. This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A113 Revolutions63and is part of a set of four OpenLearn courses, covering Revolutions of the Sixties64. Transcript

Free course
4 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Kristina Alexanderson under CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license
Star Wars: Myth and fairy tale article icon

History & The Arts 

Star Wars: Myth and fairy tale

What storytelling styles and genres can be applied to Star Wars? Sara Haslam investigates...

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC

TV, Radio & Events 

Genius of the Ancient World

Historian Bettany Hughes travels to India, Greece and China on the trail of three giants of ancient philosophy 

TV Programme
Creative commons image Icon By Edward N. Jackson (US Army Signal Corps) (U.S. Signal Corps photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license
The debate on the origins of the First World War article icon

History & The Arts 

The debate on the origins of the First World War

The way historians have viewed the causes of WWI has changed in the hundred years since war broke out. This article explores the origins of the Great War.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
The Somme: The German perspective article icon

History & The Arts 

The Somme: The German perspective

How do Germans view the Battle of The Somme? This article explores reactions to the most famous battle of the First World War. 

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Death on the eve of Armistice audio icon

History & The Arts 

Death on the eve of Armistice

Flu and a last gasp of fighting claimed lives even as the First World War was coming to a close. Michael Palin spoke to two experts to find out why.

Audio
10 mins