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
An introduction to exoplanets free course icon level 1: introductory icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to exoplanets

This free course, An introduction to exoplanets, introduces our galaxy's population of planets, and some of their many surprises. It explains the methods used by astronomers to study exoplanets, and provides a general introduction to the methods of scientific inquiry. The course culminates in discussion of life elsewhere in our Galaxy.

Free course
24 hrs
Astronomy: images of the Universe free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Astronomy: images of the Universe

Modern astronomy utilises a range of techniques across the electromagnetic spectrum that allow astronomers to measure the brightness, size and shape of astronomical objects, as well as their structure in many cases. This free course enables you to explore multiwavelength images of the Universe and make your own measurements of stars, nebulae and...

Free course
6 hrs
Introduction to the calculus of variations free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to the calculus of variations

This free course concerns the calculus of variations. Section 1 introduces some key ingredients by solving a seemingly simple problem – finding the shortest distance between two points in a plane. The section also introduces the notions of a functional and of a stationary path. Section 2 describes basic problems that can be formulated in terms ...

Free course
16 hrs
Babylonian mathematics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Babylonian mathematics

This free course looks at Babylonian mathematics. You will learn how a series of discoveries has enabled historians to decipher stone tablets and study the various techniques the Babylonians used for problem-solving and teaching. The Babylonian problem-solving skills have been described as remarkable and scribes of the time received a training ...

Free course
8 hrs
Galaxies, stars and planets free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Galaxies, stars and planets

This free course, Galaxies, stars and planets, is a general introduction, including scale of the universe from the very large to the very small; orbits and gravity; the Solar System; the Sun and other stars; galaxies and the composition of astronomical objects.

Free course
8 hrs
The science of nutrition and healthy eating free course icon level 1: introductory 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 ...

Free course
24 hrs
An introduction to design engineering free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to design engineering

This free course, An introduction to design engineering, looks at the way in which engineers use ideas and approaches from the discipline of design thinking to inform their work. The complexity that people bring to design problems is introduced, along with some basic methods of dealing with such complexity.

Free course
10 hrs
A tour of the cell free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

A tour of the cell

This free course, A tour of the cell, contains a blend of text and a multimedia interactive component to look at the uniformity and diversity within cells. Fundamental to understanding how cells 'work' is a knowledge of the subcellular components and how they are arranged. This is introduced through a series of in-text and self-assessment ...

Free course
12 hrs
The database development life cycle free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

The database development life cycle

No idea how relational database systems are constructed? Did you know that they underpin the majority of the managed data storage in computer systems? This free course, The database development life cycle, has been designed to give you an overview of the developmental lifecycle for a database system, explaining the importance of data analysis ...

Free course
4 hrs
Introducing engineering free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introducing engineering

Engineering encompasses a broad range of disciplines from design to manufacturing. This free course, Introducing engineering, introduces a number of key themes that explore how engineering is undertaken in our modern world. These themes include engineering design, rules that govern engineers, manufacturing for products and electricity ...

Free course
15 hrs
Scales in space and time free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Scales in space and time

Scale – dealing with the miniscule to the massive, over milliseconds to millennia – is central to all the sciences. In this free course, Scales in space and time, you’ll go to the absolute limits of what can be measured – all through a study of an oak tree! By studying it you will be introduced to concepts in physics, chemistry, biology and ...

Free course
12 hrs
Metric spaces and continuity free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Metric spaces and continuity

This free course contains an introduction to metric spaces and continuity. The key idea is to use three particular properties of the Euclidean distance as the basis for defining what is meant by a general distance function, a metric. Section 1 introduces the idea of a metric space and shows how this concept allows us to generalise the notion of ...

Free course
16 hrs