Skip to content
Science, Maths & Technology

Science, Maths & Technology

The rules of the universe and how we work with them.

Science, Maths & Technology

Free courses

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.

Free badged courses

A growing selection of our courses offer a free Open University digital badge. Badges demonstrate your interest in a subject, a commitment to your career or provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Lunchtime learning

Got a few spare minutes? Brush up on your knowledge with our range of free bite-size courses and activities.

All topics
Grid List Results: 278 items
Can renewable energy sources power the world? free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

We ask the question ‘Can renewable energy sources power the world?’ as a response to the growing awareness that increased use of renewable energy technologies is making a major contribution to global efforts to limit anthropogenic climate change. The course begins by examining the environmental concerns that have caused a rise in interest in renewable energy, introducing the main sources and technologies, and describing global efforts to increase the share of renewables. The course then looks at each of the principal renewable energy technologies and the contributions they might make to global energy demand. Finally, several future energy scenarios are analysed to show how combinations of renewable energy sources and technologies could provide a major share of global energy needs.

Free course
24 hrs
The science of nutrition and healthy eating free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The science of nutrition and healthy eating

This free course, The science of nutrition and healthy eating, looks at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics as well as giving some insight into healthier eating. Reading food labels, choosing healthier foods, hydrating appropriately and understanding how we taste food will allow you to be more informed about the choices you make about the food you eat.

Free course
24 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: smartboy10/Getty Images
Understanding antibiotic resistance free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Understanding antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat, compromising our ability to treat infections and increasing the risk of routine surgery. Resistant infections are increasing due to overuse of antibiotics and this has resulted in the emergence of 'superbugs' (bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics). This free course, Understanding antibiotic resistance, provides the science background underlying antibiotic resistance. It will cover the following questions. What are antibiotics? Why do we need them? How do they work? What is antibiotic resistance? Why is it a problem? What can we do about it?

Free course
24 hrs
Take your teaching online free course icon Level 2 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

Take your teaching online

In this free course, Take your teaching online, you will gain  knowledge fundamental to delivering effective teaching online. You will hear about the experiences of real educators, be introduced to cutting edge research, and understand the ideas and tools that shape how we teach and learn online. You will also learn useful methods that will guide you to test out these new ideas in your own practice.

Free course
24 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Atomic Taco in Flickr under Creative-Commons license
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online 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
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Iris Grace - irisgracepainting.com
Understanding autism free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Understanding autism

Learn about autism, one of the most challenging long-term conditions of the century. This free course, Understanding autism, introduces the autism spectrum, how it is experienced by individuals and families, and why it has become a global concern. The course explains how understanding of the autism spectrum and approaches to diagnosis and care have evolved. Key scientific approaches to studying autism are explained and illustrated, alongside substantial use of different personal perspectives. The course culminates with key topical issues such as autism in adulthood, and missed diagnosis in women. The course is suitable for all who need a clear, authoritative overview, and does not require prior knowledge of science or social science. It uses text, images and audio-visual media.

Free course
24 hrs
Simple coding free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Simple coding

Have you ever wanted to try out simple coding? Want to understand the basics of what it entails? This course introduces you to the skills, concepts and jargon of coding. 

Free course
2 hrs
Digital forensics free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Digital forensics

Digital evidence features in just about every part of our personal and business lives. Legal and business decisions hinge on having timely data about what people have actually done. This free course, Digital forensics, is an introduction to computer forensics and investigation, and provides a taster in understanding how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences. It also outlines the tools to locate and analyse digital evidence on a variety of devices, how to keep up to date with changing technologies, and laws and regulations in digital forensics.

Free course
8 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Peshkova/Getty Images Plus
Mastering systems thinking in practice free course icon Level 3 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Mastering systems thinking in practice

This free course, Mastering systems thinking in practice, provides a primer for someone wanting to take the postgraduate qualifications in Systems Thinking in Practice. It will help you develop new ways of thinking about and approaching situations that cross multiple discipline and skill boundaries. You will learn to think more holistically about complex and messy situations, understanding the roles other people play, taking account of the interconnectedness of all the components making up the problem situation and working more collaboratively

Free course
24 hrs
Infection and immunity free course icon Level 1 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Infection and immunity

In this free course, Infection and immunity, you will be introduced to infectious diseases and to the biological agents that invade our bodies and cause them: pathogens. You will also learn about the immune system, the human body’s vital defence against pathogens. Along the way you will learn about the scientific method and how it has helped scientists understand pathogens and aid the prevention of infectious disease. But the challenge is ongoing. Pathogens are everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. As you will see, the fight against infectious disease remains critical for global health today.

Free course
12 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © MichaelUtech (iStockPhoto.com)
The science of nuclear energy free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The science of nuclear energy

This free course, The science of nuclear energy, will delve into the science behind nuclear power and explain what happens inside a nuclear reactor and what it means for an element to be radioactive. It will explore some of the risks of producing nuclear power and examine the arguments for and against including it in future energy planning as well as looking at other potential future solutions.

Free course
12 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Getty Images / Artem Egorov under Creative-Commons license
Discovering chemistry free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Discovering chemistry

Chemistry lies at the centre of our modern life, playing a part in areas as diverse as the development of new drugs and materials, analysing our environment through to more mundane activities such as washing your clothes and making your tea. But to truly understand the role chemistry plays you need to have a sound grasp of a number of fundamental principles. This free course, Discovering chemistry, introduces you to some of these concepts, beginning with the idea that everything that you can see is made of building blocks called atoms. This leads on to a look at the chemical elements and how they are arranged in the Periodic Table, enabling chemists to rationalise patterns in their chemical and physical behaviour. Next you will consider chemical reactions, specifically how atoms combine with other atoms to form molecules, and how molecules combine with other atoms or molecules to form bigger molecules. You will meet simple (tried and tested) theories to explain the bonding in molecules and at how their shapes may be explained, and indeed predicted. And in a wider sense you’ll be looking at why reactions happen at all and how fast they go. This is also a beginner’s level course in the language of the chemist; you’ll learn about symbols, formulas and how chemical equations which represent reactions are constructed. Finally you will see how chemists ----- atoms and molecules, essential for making up solutions of a known concentration in order to carry out a reaction, or performing a chemical analysis.

Free course
24 hrs
Page 1 of 24
Page 1 of 24