Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Introducing the voluntary sector

Introducing the voluntary sector

Introducing the voluntary sector is a free badged course which lasts 8 weeks, with approximately 3 hours’ study time each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.

There may be several reasons for you studying this course – perhaps you’ve been thinking about volunteering or working in the voluntary sector and wanted to find out more about it; or you already work or volunteer and are seeking to build on your existing knowledge or skills. You may of course have just have a general interest in voluntary organisations or were looking to develop your study skills for further learning.

You’ll start with an overview of the voluntary sector, how it is defined and what the ‘distinctive’ features might be. You’ll then move on to look at values, organisations, functions, stakeholders, power and the role of volunteering. All these aspects will be explained so don’t worry if they seem unfamiliar at the moment. You’ll use plenty of real-life examples to help with this and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to practise your new understanding and skills.

Part of this practice will be the weekly interactive quizzes, of which Weeks 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of what is meant by the voluntary sector, its values, contribution and distinctive features
  • recognise and use some of the terms and concepts associated with understanding the voluntary sector
  • use and apply your knowledge about the voluntary sector to your own work or volunteering experience
  • link your learning with your own personal or career goals.

Moving around the course

The easiest way to navigate around the course is through the ‘My course progress’ page. You can get back there at any time by clicking on ‘Go to course progress’ in the menu bar. From the quizzes click on ‘Return to Introducing the Voluntary Sector’.

It's also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

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If you enjoy this course and want to learn more about the voluntary sector, particularly in terms of skills for working or volunteering in an organisation, or if you find you are already familiar with most of the material in the course, you might like to take a look at Working in voluntary organisations (available soon).

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