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: 245 items
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Additive manufacturing free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Additive manufacturing

This free course, Additive manufacturing, introduces you to its key concepts. It covers the fundamentals of the additive manufacturing (AM) process, the steps involved in creating a model and building an artefact, the materials and techniques used, as well as the design implications and the factors which affect the functionality of the finished ...

Free course
8 hrs
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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
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What is a metal? free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

What is a metal?

This free course, What is a metal? explores the main characteristic properties of metals and their varied use in our everyday lives. Each metal has its own personal signature and you will undertake an online experiment to identify individual metals.

Free course
3 hrs
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Water for life free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Water for life

Atoms, elements and molecules are the building blocks of everything that makes up our world, including ourselves. In this free course, Water for life, you will learn the basic chemistry of how these components work together, starting with a chemical compound we are all very familiar with water.

Free course
15 hrs
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Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas

Patterns occur everywhere in art, nature, science and especially mathematics. Being able to recognise, describe and use these patterns is an important skill that helps you to tackle a wide variety of different problems. This free course, Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas, explores some of these patterns, from ancient number patterns ...

Free course
5 hrs
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Introduction to finite element analysis free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to finite element analysis

What is finite element analysis (what is it and why do we carry it out? This free course, Introduction to finite element analysis, introduces the essence of finite element analysis. As an example of its use, you will look at the case of FEA of the tub of a racing car. You will also have the opportunity to try out two exercises to carry out a ...

Free course
7 hrs
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IT in everyday life free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

IT in everyday life

We now live in a global village where distance is no longer a barrier to commercial or social contact. This free course, IT in everyday life, will enable you to gain an understanding of the information and communication technologies that drive our networked world and how they now permeate our everyday lives.

Free course
4 hrs
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Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century

This free course, Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century, provides a general overview of how digital technology has come to dominate virtually every aspect of the modern world and some guidance on how to prepare for this digital life. It also provides a more detailed explanation of the internal structure and workings of a typical ...

Free course
10 hrs
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Egyptian mathematics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Egyptian mathematics

The Egyptians are known for being ahead of their time in comparison to some civilisations that came after them. This free course, Egyptian mathematics, looks at how the Egyptians solved mathematical problems in everyday life and the technology they used. An understanding of this area has only been possible following the translation of the ...

Free course
9 hrs
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Second-order differential equations free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Second-order differential equations

This free course is concerned with second-order differential equations. Section 1 introduces some basic principles and terminology. Sections 2 and 3 give methods for finding the general solutions to one broad class of differential equations, that is, linear constant-coefficient second-order differential equations. Section 2 covers homogeneous ...

Free course
16 hrs
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Rings and polynomials free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Rings and polynomials

This free course contains an introduction to rings and polynomials. We see that polynomial rings have many properties in common with the integers; for example, we can define a division algorithm, and this enables us to develop the analogue of the highest common factor for two polynomials. Section 1 explores the abstract definitions of a ring ...

Free course
16 hrs
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Studying mammals: The social climbers free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: The social climbers

Monkeys have long fascinated us because of their similarities to the human race. In this free course, Studying mammals: The social climbers, you will find out about some of the characteristics that make them so like us: their physiology, complex social interactions, large brains and intelligence. This is the ninth course in the Studying mammals ...

Free course
10 hrs