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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Studying mammals: Food for thought free course icon Level

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: Food for thought

Who were our ancestors? How are apes and humans related? And where does the extinct Homo erectus fit into the puzzle? In this free course, Studying mammals: Food for thought, we will examine culture, tool use and social structure in both apes and humans to gain an understanding of where we come from and why we behave as we do. This is the tenth ...

Free course
10 hrs
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Mountain building in Scotland free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Mountain building in Scotland

Some of Britain's most dramatic scenery is to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The sight of mighty Ben Nevis, the desolate plateau of the Cairngorms, or the imposing landscapes of Glen Coe can unleash the call of the wild in all of us. Although these landforms were largely carved by glacial activity that ended some 10,000 years ago, the rocks...

Free course
30 hrs
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Forth Road Bridge free course icon Level

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 ...

Free course
1 hr
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What are waves? free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

What are waves?

This free course, What are waves? explains what waves are. It describes different types of wave as well as their properties. You can listen to the song of a humpback whale and learn about the process of echolocation which is used by dolphins to locate their food. You will also conduct your own online research into how bats use echolocation to ...

Free course
3 hrs
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Am I ready to be a distance learner? free course icon Level

Education & Development

Am I ready to be a distance learner?

Distance learning can open up opportunities for study. You might have not studied for a while, you might be returning to education, or you might not have had the chance to study at a higher level before. This free course, Am I ready to be a distance learner?, will help to boost your confidence. You'll explore useful skills so you can discover ...

Free course
3 hrs
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Digital thinking tools for better decision making free course icon Level Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Digital thinking tools for better decision making

Ever since the very beginning of humanity, tools have played a pivotal role in who we are and what we do. Tools for recording, processing and communicating information have a time-honoured history – from the clay tokens used in Mesopotamia to mechanical calculating machines. The invention of the digital computer has boosted the scale, speed and ...

Free course
24 hrs
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Addiction and neural ageing free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Addiction and neural ageing

This free course, Addiction and neural ageing, takes its title from two topics that are of immense worldwide social, economic, ethical, and political importance. You will develop a Master's level approach to the study of specific issues within these two important subject areas.

Free course
15 hrs
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Key skills assessment unit: application of number free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Key skills assessment unit: application of number

Numerical and mathematical skills are used to describe and tackle a wide range of problems. These key skills are about understanding when particular techniques should be used, how to carry them out accurately and which techniques should be applied in particular situations. Developing your numerical, graphical and algebraic skills means being ...

Free course
50 hrs
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Structural materials in cells free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Structural materials in cells

Where does the structure of our body come from? This free course, Structural materials in cells, looks at the structure of cells and how proteins are used by both animals and plants to create a framework for cellular growth. You will also learn how a material as fine as spider silk can exceed the strength of steel.

Free course
20 hrs
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Learning from major cyber security incidents free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Learning from major cyber security incidents

As a society, we are now almost always connected to the internet and rely on it for many different day-to-day activities. However, this dependency on the internet can make us vulnerable to attacks.

Free course
8 hrs
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IT: e-government free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

IT: e-government

You can now access government directly through the web. While studying this free course, IT: e-government, you look at the scope of e-government, the databases that are necessary, the use of biometrics in identification and verification of identity, and assess the usability and accessibility of websites.

Free course
20 hrs
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Understanding autism free course icon Level Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Understanding autism

Learn about autism, one of the most challenging long-term conditions of the century. This free course, Understanding autism, introduces the autism spectrum, how it is experienced by individuals and families, and why it has become a global concern. The course explains how understanding of the autism spectrum and approaches to diagnosis and care ...

Free course
24 hrs