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.

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Grid List Results: 297 items
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Digital communications free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Digital communications

Optical-fibre communications became commercially viable in the 1970s and innovation continues today. This free course, Digital communications, will illustrate how very high data rates can be transmitted over long distances through optical fibres. You will learn how these fibres are linked, examine the technology used and assess the future ...

Free course
20 hrs
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Introduction to analysis free course icon Level

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 ...

Free course
16 hrs
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Introduction to the calculus of variations free course icon Level

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
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Medical statistics free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Medical statistics

This free course is concerned with some of the statistical methods used in epidemiology and more widely in medical statistics. Section 1 introduces cohort studies in which individuals are classified according to their exposure and followed forward in time to evaluate disease outcomes. Section 2 looks at models for cohort studies. Section 3 ...

Free course
16 hrs
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Information security free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Information security

Information security underpins the commercial viability and profitability of enterprises of all sizes and the effectiveness of public sector organisations. This free course begins by explaining why information security and its management are important for any modern organisation and to every individual. You need to be familiar with an ...

Free course
10 hrs
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What do genes do? free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

What do genes do?

This free course, What do genes do?,  explores how information contained in DNA is used, explaining the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein. Also introduced are the concepts of transcription (as occurs between DNA and RNA) and translation.

Free course
2 hrs
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Potable water treatment free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Potable water treatment

Without it we are dead! Water is essential, but what processes must it go through to become fit for human consumption? This free course, Potable water treatment, will guide you through the continuous cycling of water between land, open water surfaces and the sea before moving on to an overview of the water treatment and supply process.

Free course
20 hrs
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Forensic science and fingerprints free course icon Level

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
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Proteins free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Proteins

In this free course we explore proteins and how they are the 'doers' of the cell. They are huge in number and variety and diverse in structure and function, serving both the structural building blocks and the functional machinery of the cell. Just about every process in every cell requires specific proteins. The basic principles of protein ...

Free course
12 hrs
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Introducing computing and IT free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Introducing computing and IT

This free course, Introducing computing and IT, provides a general overview of how digital technologies have come to dominate virtually every aspect of the modern world and some guidance on how to prepare for this digital life. It raises awareness of the importance of data security and online safety. It also provides an explanation of the ...

Free course
10 hrs
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Studying mammals: The insect hunters free course icon Level

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: The insect hunters

From pygmy shrews to armadillos, a wide range of mammals survive on a diet made up largely of insects. Many of these have fascinating adaptations suited to catching or rooting out their prey. In this free course, Studying mammals: The insect hunters, you will learn about these adaptations, along with survival strategies for when food is scarce. ...

Free course
10 hrs
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Intracellular transport free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Intracellular transport

This free course, Intracellular transport, explains the function of the cytoskeleton and its role in controlling transport of vesicles between different subcellular compartments.

Free course
12 hrs