Discovering chemistry
Discovering chemistry

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Discovering chemistry

Session 1: Atoms – the building blocks of matter


Atoms are the basic building blocks of all the substances around you, rather like letters are used to construct words and hence a language. And a look ‘inside’ an atom is perhaps your best starting point when studying chemistry for the first time. As you will learn from this course, it’s the components of the atom that are crucial to understanding how substances behave in chemical reactions, and the behaviour of particles on the atomic (and sub-atomic) scale is often not what you would expect.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371