Free courses

Produced by The Open University, a world leader in open and distance learning, all OpenLearn courses are free to study. We offer nearly 1000 free courses across 9 different subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

Grid List Results: 135 items
Exploring ancient Greek religion free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

Exploring ancient Greek religion

The ancient Greeks did not have a term equivalent to the English word ‘religion’. However, their world was populated by numerous figures they both recognised and worshipped as divinities. Among these figures was Amphiaraos, an ancient Greek hero who was later worshipped as a god and popularly associated with healing through the medium of dreams....

Free course
6 hrs
Empires: power, resistance, legacies free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

Empires: power, resistance, legacies

Empires have existed throughout most of human history. They have spanned the globe. They have influenced the way we are governed, our systems of trade, how we use technology, our relationships with the natural world. They have shaped how we have seen, mapped and divided the world. They have profoundly affected how we have understood and ...

Free course
8 hrs
Exploring Homer’s Odyssey free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

Exploring Homer’s Odyssey

This free course introduces Homer’s ancient Greek epic poem, the Odyssey, which tells of Odysseus’ long journey home after fighting in the Trojan War, and his eventual reunion with his wife Penelope. Odysseus is famous for his cunning and his courage, and for the exploits he undertakes on his travels; meanwhile Penelope is renowned for her ...

Free course
6 hrs
Introduction to music theory 1: form free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

Introduction to music theory 1: form

In this free course, you will learn how to identify musical form through close engagement with recorded of music, and studying examples of folk, popular, and classical music from several world traditions. You will explore a number of methods of representing form, including alphabetical designations (e.g., AABA), genre-specific terminology (e.g.,...

Free course
8 hrs
Teaching the First World War free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Education & Development

Teaching the First World War

This free course, Teaching the First World War, is designed for history teachers and their pupils. It provides a wide range of visual, textual and oral sources to enrich the teaching of the First World War. It covers familiar and less familiar aspects of the history of the First World War, ranging from the debate on the origins of the war and ...

Free course
12 hrs
What do historians do? free course icon level 3: advanced icon

History & The Arts

What do historians do?

What do historians do? In this free course you will explore some of the ways that historians work to develop our understanding of the past. You will learn about three aspects of the historian’s craft through three topic areas: landscapes, infant health and criminal justice. Through the activities in the course, you will experience a wide range ...

Free course
6 hrs
Agatha Christie and the golden age of detective fiction free course icon level 3: advanced icon

History & The Arts

Agatha Christie and the golden age of detective fiction

In this free course you’ll examine one of Agatha Christie’s most significant works, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), and explore the evolution of British detective fiction in relation to Christie’s background, literary modernism and the development of middlebrow fiction.

Free course
8 hrs
A short introduction to the English language free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Languages

A short introduction to the English language

This free course, A short introduction to the English language, will look at the role language plays in our lives, with a particular focus on the English language. It will examine the history and the future of the language, from the Anglo-Saxons and Shakespeare to social media communication and stand-up comedy.

Free course
5 hrs
Diversity in religion: Islam free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

Diversity in religion: Islam

In this short course, Diversity in religion: Islam, you will explore how attitudes and opinions within a single religious tradition can be internally diverse. You will look at Islam in particular, considering the diversity of Muslim attitudes to same-sex relationships. This will focus mainly on relationships between men because Muslim legal ...

Free course
1 hr
The Byzantine icon free course icon level 1: introductory icon

History & The Arts

The Byzantine icon

This course is a short journey into the rich world of Byzantine artistic production via its most illustrious representative – the icon.

Free course
8 hrs
Exploring the history of prisoner education free course icon level 1: introductory icon Badge icon

History & The Arts

Exploring the history of prisoner education

This free course, Exploring the history of prisoner education, looks at the history of prison education in the British Isles. It will examine the motivations behind the provision of education, the types of learning that were offered and the experiences of prisoners over the first 100 years of education in prisons.

Free course
24 hrs
George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Society, Politics & Law

George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four

This course will introduce you to the work and writings of George Orwell through a study of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). By studying the book, well-known for its depiction of a totalitarian state, and the techniques, language and oppressive methods used by such states, you will gain a wider understanding of the meaning of ...

Free course
10 hrs