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 9 different subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

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Grid List Results: 199 items
The frozen planet free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

The frozen planet

This free course is a general introduction to the frozen planet, including the temperature in the polar regions; the energy from the Sun and the seasons; reading and understanding graphs and maps; and how the Arctic and Antarctic regions are defined.

Free course
7 hrs
Migration free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Migration

Migration is a free course looking at the migrations of animals, with special reference to birds, and also introducing the themes of movement, selection and homeostasis.

Free course
8 hrs
Bayesian statistics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Bayesian statistics

This free course is an introduction to Bayesian statistics. Section 1 discusses several ways of estimating probabilities. Section 2 reviews ideas of conditional probabilities and introduces Bayes’ theorem and its use in updating beliefs about a proposition, when data are observed, or information becomes available. Section 3 introduces the main ...

Free course
12 hrs
Personal development planning for engineering free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Personal development planning for engineering

This free course, Personal development planning for engineering, has been written in keeping with the requirements of UK-SPEC and the professional engineering institutions (e.g. ImechE, IET etc). It will provide you with a range of relevant information and guidance in critically assessing and scrutinising your career development aspirations.

Free course
12 hrs
Squares, roots and powers free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Squares, roots and powers

From paving your patio to measuring the ingredients for your latest recipe, squares, roots and powers really are part of everyday life. This free course reviews the basics of all three and also describes scientific notation, which is a convenient way of writing or displaying large numbers.

Free course
5 hrs
Forensic science and fingerprints free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Health, Sports & Psychology

Forensic science and fingerprints

This free course, Forensic science and fingerprints, covers how science can make fingerprints easier to study, how they are used in court and some of the questions about the extent to which fingerprint identification is sound and scientific. Students will learn the principles used in classifying and matching fingerprints (often called marks).

Free course
10 hrs
Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology

Have you ever wondered how scientists analyse the environment? This free course, Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology, introduces you to the techniques used by science students at residential schools. You will learn how to determine where rocks have come from and how they were made. You will also examine the processes involved in ...

Free course
14 hrs
Cell signalling free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Cell signalling

This free course, Cell signalling, explains the general principles of signal transduction and specifically, how even the simplest organisms can detect and respond to events in their ever-changing environment.

Free course
12 hrs
Approaches to software development free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Approaches to software development

This free course, Approaches to software development, presents an engineering approach to the development of software systems – a software engineering approach. The course pays particular attention to issues of software quality, in terms of both product (what is built) and process (how we build it).

Free course
9 hrs
Group theory free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Group theory

This free course consolidates and builds on group theory studied at OU level 2 or equivalent. Section 1 describes how to construct a group called the direct product of two given groups, and then describes certain conditions under which a group can be regarded as the direct product of its subgroups. Section 2 describes the key properties of the ...

Free course
16 hrs
What is the genome made of? free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

What is the genome made of?

Genomes are composed of DNA, and a knowledge of the structure of DNA is essential to understand how it can function as hereditary material. DNA is remarkable, breathtakingly simple in its structure yet capable of directing all the living processes in a cell, the production of new cells and the development of a fertilized egg to an individual ...

Free course
4 hrs
Introduction to number theory free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to number theory

This free course, Introduction to number theory, is a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of integers. Section 1 introduces Euclid’s algorithm, which is used to find the HCF of two integers, and the idea of congruences, mathematical statements used to compare remainders when two integers are each divided by another integer. ...

Free course
18 hrs