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Free course

A freelance career in the creative arts

Free statement of participation on completion
A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

Do you have creative skills, services, an idea or a product that you want to showcase, sell or market? Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of working for yourself and find it difficult to know where to start? If you do, then this free course, A freelance career in the creative arts will support you in your first steps, helping you to identify useful sources of advice and exploring the emotional, practical and legal implications of your choices. Working through this course will allow you to investigate the options available to you and make more informed decisions about your next steps.

To whet your appetite and inspire you to find out more, watch the following video of several creative freelancers explaining why they chose a freelance path and what they most enjoy about it. You'll hear more from them throughout the course, sharing their own experiences and top tips.


This course is endorsed by the Creative UK.

Creative UK logo
Creative UK said: 'Freelancers and the self-employed make up over a third of the creative workforce, and are a driving force of the UK’s creative industries. This free OpenLearn course is a brilliant resource for those who are considering pursuing their creative passions and careers, and forging their own paths.'

Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn statement of participation – which also displays your Open University badge.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our start-of-course survey68. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our end-of-course survey69. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office. It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded 24 CPD points. Evidence of your CPD achievement is provided on the free Statement of Participation awarded on completion.

Anyone wishing to provide evidence of their enrolment on this course is able to do so by sharing their Activity Record on their OpenLearn Profile, which is available before completion of the course and earning of the Statement of Participation.

A freelance career in the creative arts

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the highs and lows of self-employment, from winning that first contract to filing a tax return
  • reflect on the skills and strengths a freelancer needs, and identify where to find additional support when required
  • understand the practicalities of running a small business and know where to look for sources of investment
  • recognise the value of audience segmentation, market research and targeted marketing
  • develop a business plan, identifying next steps and strategies to manage both setbacks and success.

First Published: 03/11/2021

Updated: 03/11/2021

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