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Try our free courses

Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2016

Whether you're looking for a taste of university study, or to expand your skills for work, there's something for you in our free course section.

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Why study a free course on OpenLearn?

Statement of participation with badge

OpenLearn free courses are available immediately

– you can start right away or at a time that suits you.

You can work through at your own pace

– if you want to do a burst of ten hours in one sitting, then you can, or spread your studies over a longer period.

You can gain a free Statement of Participation

– a great way to share your achievements with friends or employers.

There are around 800 courses to choose from

– you can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects. 

You can try out what’s on offer from The Open University

– if you're interested in taking an Open University course, but not sure it's for you, you can get a feel for what's on offer before signing up.

Many of our free courses are based on Open University course materials. Others are written specifically for OpenLearn. They always focus on a specific area of learning: some on important and fascinating academic subjects, others offer new skills for study or work.

Enrol to get more

When you enrol on one of our courses you’ll be able to review your activity and progress in your My OpenLearn profile.

If you don't have a My OpenLearn profile, no problem, you can sign up for a free account in minutes.

Enrolling also enables you to earn a Statement of Participation or badge, where available, and these will also appear in your My OpenLearn profile. You can set your profile to public or private (the default is private). 

Badged OpenLearn courses

Some of our courses allow you to display and share your learning achievements by gaining a free Open University digital badge. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes. You can download your badge, share it through LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or send it to a badge aggregator such as Mozilla backpack. It also appears on your Statement of Participation and in your My OpenLearn profile.

Read more about OpenLearn badges.

Please note: Our free OpenLearn courses do not carry formal credit towards a qualification but our badges and Statements of Participation are a great way to share your achievements with friends or employers.

Browse through our list of course descriptions ... or ... choose from our full course catalogue




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