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: A winning design free course icon Level

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: A winning design

The term mammal encompasses a huge variety of animals, including humans. But what makes a mammal a mammal? This free course, Studying mammals: A winning design, explores some of the features, such as reproduction, lactation and thermoregulation methods, that mammals have in common. It is the first in a series of ten Studying mammals courses....

Free course
10 hrs
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Studying mammals: Meat eaters free course icon Level

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: Meat eaters

The powerful and majestic carnivores are the focus of many television documentaries. In this free course, Studying mammals: Meat eaters, we will delve into the lives of these fearsome hunters and explore their physical adaptations and social behaviour. This is the fifth course in the Studying mammals series.

Free course
10 hrs
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Egyptian mathematics free course icon Level

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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A tour of the cell free course icon Level

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
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Diagrams, charts and graphs free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Diagrams, charts and graphs

Diagrams, charts and graphs are used by all sorts of people to express information in a visual way, whether it's in a report by a colleague or a plan from your interior designer. This free course will teach you how to interpret these tools and how to use them yourself to convey information more effectively.

Free course
5 hrs
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Strategic planning: systems thinking in practice free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Strategic planning: systems thinking in practice

Strategic planning: systems thinking in practice is a free course introducing core ideas of systems thinking in practice for managing and improving complex situations. The ideas correspond with three core activities of, firstly, understanding inter-relationships, secondly, engaging with multiple perspectives, and thirdly, reflecting on boundary ...

Free course
20 hrs
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Introduction to computational thinking free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to computational thinking

You will learn about algorithms and abstraction in this free course, Introduction to computational thinking, and encounter some applications of computational thinking in various disciplines, ranging from biology and physics to economics and sport science.

Free course
12 hrs
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What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water? free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology

What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?

Do you want to know what’s in the water that you drink? This free course, What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?, examines the chemical compounds that occur in drinking water. A high level of certain anions in water can cause environmental pollution and health problems. Cations are also important. For example, calcium salts ...

Free course
6 hrs
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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