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 8 different subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

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Grid List Results: 129 items
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What happens to you when you read? free course icon Level

Health, Sports & Psychology

What happens to you when you read?

Ever wondered about the psychology of literature or stories? Or how a certain narrative might change our attitude or perspective?

Free course
3 hrs
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Listening for form in popular music free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Listening for form in popular music

This free course, Listening for form in popular music, explores form, or how music is organised in time. It looks at three strategies for communicating form – through the use of specialist terms (such as ‘chorus’ and ‘bridge’), alphabetic designations (for example AABA), and visual diagrams. It also considers how the form of a song works with ...

Free course
10 hrs
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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 ...

Free course
4 hrs
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The history of female protest and suffrage in the UK free course icon Level

History & The Arts

The history of female protest and suffrage in the UK

This free course focuses on one example of democratic protest: the campaign to extend the vote to women in the UK. In the course you'll be introduced to two key figures in the campaign, Ada Nield Chew and May Billinghurst, and you'll look at the ways in which the Women's Social and Political Union, the National Union of Women's Suffrage ...

Free course
10 hrs
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Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution

This free course, Janis Joplin and the Sexual Revolution, will introduce you to issues around the sexual revolution and how this, and other contemporary social revolutions of the 1960s, impacted upon American rock musician Janis Joplin (1943-1970). You will investigate the extent to which the contemporary sexual revolution brought about ...

Free course
3 hrs
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Digital humanities: humanities research in the digital age free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Digital humanities: humanities research in the digital age

This free course will prepare you for the challenges of doing research in an increasingly digital world. It introduces the methods of digital humanities and explains how research methods in the humanities can be combined with digital media and technologies. After completing the course, you will be able to analyse, understand and use digital ...

Free course
10 hrs
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A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s free course icon Level

History & The Arts

A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s

This free course, A spiritual revolution? Wicca and religious change in the 1960s looks at the ‘crisis’ of traditional religion in the Sixties in the Western world. It explores the process of religious renewal, looking at the development of Wicca, the prototypical form of modern Paganism. Originally presented as a Goddess religion of great ...

Free course
3 hrs
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The ethics of cultural heritage free course icon Level

History & The Arts

The ethics of cultural heritage

This free course, The ethics of cultural heritage, provides the basic theory behind the protection of cultural property in war zones and is presented in three parts: the protection of cultural property; the legal basis for that protection; and accounts of proportionality (that is, on deciding whether or not there is a feasible alternative to ...

Free course
12 hrs
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Discovering music through listening free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Discovering music through listening

This free course, Discovering music through listening, will introduce you to the musical elements used by musicians to create a piece of music: pulse, tempo, metre, harmony, structure, texture, timbre and dynamics. You'll learn how to identify the different musical elements by taking a particular approach to listening to the music, known as ...

Free course
9 hrs
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Y Gymru Gyfoes free course icon Level

Society, Politics & Law

Y Gymru Gyfoes

Drwy edrych ar wahaniaethau a chysylltiadau, mae'r cwrs yn gofnod awdurdodol a diweddar o economi, cymdeithas, gwleidyddiaeth a diwylliant Cymru gyfoes ac mae'n cynnwys amrywiaeth eang o astudiaethau achos diddorol.

Free course
15 hrs
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Discovering music: the blues free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Discovering music: the blues

This free course, Discovering music: the blues, will introduce you to a musical tradition with roots in the nineteenth century but which is still relevant to making music today. You will learn about how the lyrics of blues songs reflect the social environment in which they were created, and about the musical techniques that underpin the ...

Free course
6 hrs
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Exploring books for children: words and pictures free course icon Level

History & The Arts

Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Many people have fond memories of the stories they encountered in childhood, perhaps especially of those wonderful picture books and illustrated tales which fired our young imaginations and transported us to magical worlds. To an adult’s eye, some picture books may seem remarkably simple, even oversimplified. However, in this free course, ...

Free course
8 hrs