## 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.

- All topics

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).

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### The search for water on Mars

The possibility of water on Mars has captured human imagination for over a century. In this free course, The Search for Water on Mars, find out more about how scientists have found evidence for water in the red planet’s past and present, and what this might mean for the possibility of life beyond Earth.

Science, Maths & Technology

### Introduction to analysis

This free course is an introduction to analysis which looks at real numbers and their properties, with a particular emphasis on inequalities. Section 1 starts by revising rational numbers and their decimal representations. Then, real numbers are introduced as infinite decimals. Section 2 looks at rules for manipulating inequalities and finding ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### Exploring data: Graphs and numerical summaries

This free course, Exploring data: graphs and numerical summaries, will introduce you to a number of ways of representing data graphically and of summarising data numerically. You will learn the uses for pie charts, bar charts, histograms and scatterplots. You will also be introduced to various ways of summarising data and methods for assessing ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### Kinematics of fluids

This free course examines the basic kinematics of two-dimensional fluid flows. Section 1 introduces the diﬀerential equations for pathlines and streamlines. Section 2 introduces a scalar ﬁeld, called the stream function, which for an incompressible ﬂuid provides an alternative method of modelling the ﬂow and ﬁnding the streamlines. Sections 2 ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### Introducing vectors for engineering applications

Applied mathematics is a key skill for practicing engineers and mathematical modelling is an ever-increasing field within engineering. This free course, Introducing vectors for engineering applications, covers one aspect of a Level 1 engineering module, the application of vectors and vector algebra, using examples inspired by engineering ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### Icy bodies: Europa and elsewhere

The new discipline of astrobiology that is, the science of searching for extraterrestrial life, is not only rapdly growing, but has also captured the public imagination. This free course, Icy bodies: Europa and elsewhere, examines the emergence of icy satellites of distant planets as potential sites of extraterrestrial life, looks at the ...

History & The Arts

### Forth Road Bridge

Scotland's Forth Road Bridge may not be the most beautiful bridge over the Firth of Forth, but it is an incredible feat of engineering and is integral to the economy of the entire area. However, rust is threatening to destroy the cables that suspend the road. This free course uses video to explore the issues associated with the potential demise ...

Science, Maths & Technology

### Introduction to algebra

This free course is an introduction to algebra which builds on the idea of using letters to represent numbers. Section 1 looks at finding, simplifying and using formulas and includes useful tips on learning algebra. Section 2 introduces some of the terminology used in algebra and techniques such as evaluating and checking equivalence of ...