Latest from OpenLearn

History & The Arts 

Civilisations

Simon Schama, Mary Beard and David Olusoga explore the visual culture of societies around the globe.

Nature & Environment 

Hugh's Wild West

Lifelong nature-lover Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pursues his fascination with the wildlife of the West country.

TV Programme
Visions of protest: Graffiti free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Visions of protest: Graffiti

This free course, Visions of protest: Graffiti, introduces students to contrasting understandings of graffiti. It draws on a wide range of graffiti examples, including mystery zebras in Hackney, fish graffiti in Morecambe, 'tags' in a Milton Keynes underpass, a McDonald's advert and exhibits at a highly established art gallery, the Tate Modern. Students will consider different arguments for and against the perception of graffiti as a form of art or as vandalism and explore how graffiti has been used as a form of communication and as an articulation of protest.

Free course
8 hrs

Money & Business 

Leadership and followership

This free course, Leadership and followership, will help you to explore what makes a good leader, recognise common leadership challenges, and identify the skills you need to develop if you want to enhance your own leadership experience.

Free course
24 hrs

Money & Business 

First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship

This free course provides you with a short introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship, clarifying some key themes and terminology and helping you to examine your own views about these important subjects.

Free course
8 hrs

Money & Business 

What is leading to a decline in trust in charities?

Even before the damaging run of allegations of sexual impropriety amongst some Oxfam staff, trust in the charity sector was falling. Jonathan Garton suggests why this might be.

Article
Am I ready to be a distance learner? free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Am I ready to be a distance learner?

Distance learning can open up opportunities for study. You might have not studied for a while, you might be returning to education, or you might not have had the chance to study at a higher level before. This free course, Am I ready to be a distance learner?, will help to boost your confidence. You'll explore useful skills so you can discover how ready you are to study and how to develop your study skills in six steps to become a successful distance learner.

Free course
3 hrs

Education & Development 

Social media - fake news, filter bubbles and sharing wisely!

Meet Frank and travel with him on his adventures through the (sometimes foggy) realms of social media. Explore sharing, filter bubbles and fake news- maybe you can learn from Frank's mistakes with the help of Josie Long.

Article
Becoming an OU student free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

Becoming an OU student

This free course, Becoming an OU student, is currently only available to students who are new to the OU and starting the Open Degree qualification. Students in this group have received an email with an enrolment key code. The course is a pilot and we hope to roll it out to all new students in the near future. In the course, you’ll get a flavour of what OU study is actually like, learn about how you’ll be supported, the technologies you’ll use and start to develop the skills you’ll need to succeed.

Free course
24 hrs
Forensic psychology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: RichLegg free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Forensic psychology

In this free course, Forensic psychology, you will discover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and prevent miscarriages of justice.

Free course
24 hrs
Exploring sport coaching and psychology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © SolStock/iStock free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Exploring sport coaching and psychology

This free course, Exploring sport coaching and psychology, investigates how scientific and management ideas contribute to success while also taking you on a journey through unique sporting case studies and insights that will change how you view and study sport. You will consider how the mind, the body, the environment and training techniques all contribute to optimum fitness.

Free course
24 hrs

Health, Sports & Psychology 

For some people, staying awake might help fight depression

Triple chronology appears to have positive results in treating some people with depression. Staying awake for better mental health might sound odd, but - as Linda Geddes reports - for some people, it can have great results.

Article

History & The Arts 

Civilisations

Simon Schama, Mary Beard and David Olusoga explore the visual culture of societies around the globe.

Visions of protest: Graffiti free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Visions of protest: Graffiti

This free course, Visions of protest: Graffiti, introduces students to contrasting understandings of graffiti. It draws on a wide range of graffiti examples, including mystery zebras in Hackney, fish graffiti in Morecambe, 'tags' in a Milton Keynes underpass, a McDonald's advert and exhibits at a highly established art gallery, the Tate Modern. Students will consider different arguments for and against the perception of graffiti as a form of art or as vandalism and explore how graffiti has been used as a form of communication and as an articulation of protest.

Free course
8 hrs

History & The Arts 

Life on the wall: Vindolanda

Excavation of a fort on Hadrian's Wall is revealing stories of everyday life on the edge of the Roman Empire, explains Robin Birley.

Article
Grammar matters free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Grammar matters

Grammar matters because, combined with vocabulary choice, it is our main way of making meaning. This free course introduces you to one approach used to understand how meanings relate systematically to different aspects of grammar and shows how this deeper understanding can be applied to make everyday communication more effective.

Free course
8 hrs
Beginners' French: in the city Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Beginners' French: in the city

This free course, Beginners' French: in the city, helps you to acquire the basic language to find your way around a French town. You will learn how to understand and give directions, ask about accommodation, book a hotel room at the tourist information office and get information about what to see and do in the local area. You will visit some museums in Avignon and buy a film for your camera. The course also deals with telling the time and making liaisons in speech. By the end of the course, you will feel more confident understanding and giving information about towns, seeking clarification and dealing with numbers. You will also have developed your oral fluency and your reading skills.

Free course
15 hrs
Intermediate French: Le quatorze juillet Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Languages 

Intermediate French: Le quatorze juillet

This free course, Intermediate French: Le quatorze juillet, is taken from Ouverture, a language module that concentrates on French as a tool for communication, but it also provides some insights into French society and culture through authentic printed, audio and video materials. It will be of interest to all those who want to improve their language skills in order to communicate more easily and effectively in French. Intermediate French: Le quatorze juillet focuses on the French national holiday of 14 July which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison (la prise de la Bastille) in 1789.

Free course
10 hrs

Nature & Environment 

Hugh's Wild West

Lifelong nature-lover Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pursues his fascination with the wildlife of the West country.

TV Programme
Animals at the extremes: Polar biology Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Animals at the extremes: Polar biology

The extreme challenges of life in the polar regions require the animals who make their habitat there to make many adaptations. This free course, Animals at the extremes: Polar biology, explores the polar climate and how animals like reindeer, polar bears, penguins, sea life and even humans manage to survive there. It looks at the adaptations to physiological proceses, the environmental effects on diet, activity and fecundity, and contrasts the strategies of aquatic and land-based animals in surviving in this extreme habitat.

Free course
14 hrs
The science of evolution Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Nature & Environment 

The science of evolution

This free course debates the issues surrounding the science of evolution and religion.

Free course
5 hrs
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online Creative commons image Icon Atomic Taco in Flickr under Creative-Commons license free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

This free course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.

Free course
24 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology 

Flatpack Empire

Explore IKEA’s design studios, factories and stores around the world for the very first time.

TV Programme

Science, Maths & Technology 

John Perry Barlow: An Appreciation

John Perry Barlow, who died on February 7th, helped shape how we think about digital rights. Here, the OU's Mike Richards introduces a short obituary by John's friend, Cory Doctorow.

Article
Human rights and law Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Human rights and law

Human rights now seem to take precedent over many areas of our lives, but where do these rights come from and how did they develop? This free course, Human rights and the law, looks at the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights and its influence on law in the UK and examines the Human Rights Act 1998.

Free course
20 hrs

Society, Politics & Law 

The impact of Jacob Zuma on the ANC and South Africa

South Africa struggles with a leader who knows he must relinquish office, but refuses to go. The misery of such a situation is tarnishing his party and his country, says Cheryl Hendricks.

Article
The value of coffee free course icon Level 1 icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The value of coffee

This free course explores the economic and cultural value of coffee. You will follow the chain of processes that connect the drink you enjoy on a daily basis with circuits of economic and cultural value, hearing from coffee farmers and consumers in different parts of the world.

Free course
3 hrs