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: 244 items
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Gene therapy free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Gene therapy

Following on from the advances made in diagnosing disorders using genetic testing, this free course, Gene therapy, looks at the possibilities for genetic therapies. Two approaches to gene therapy are discussed: correcting genes involved in causing illness; and using genes to treat disorders. Before closing on a discussion of the issues around ...

Free course
4 hrs
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Minerals and the crystalline state free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Minerals and the crystalline state

Rocks are made of minerals and, as minerals are natural crystals, the geological world is mostly a crystalline world. This free course, Minerals and the crystalline state, introduces the study of minerals and crystal structures, using online text and interactive activities, including questions and answers, video clips, slidecasts and a Digital Kit.

Free course
10 hrs
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Point estimation free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Point estimation

This free course looks at point estimation, that is, the estimation of the value of the parameter of a statistical model by a single number, a point estimate for the parameter. Section 1 develops some aspects of maximum likelihood estimation. In particular, you will find out how to obtain the maximum likelihood estimator of an unknown parameter,...

Free course
10 hrs
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Smart cities free course icon level 1: introductory icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Smart cities

This free course will help you to navigate your own path through the complex landscape of smart cities. You’ll hear from smart city innovators and entrepreneurs, city leaders, communities and business, connecting with learners from around the world to reflect on issues facing smart cities of different sizes and situations.

Free course
24 hrs
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Hearing free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Hearing

Hearing is a familiar and important human sense that is a topic naturally of interest to those who are curious about human biology. This free course will enable you to relate what you read to your own sensory experiences and indeed many of the questions asked have exactly that function. This course will be best understood by those with some ...

Free course
15 hrs
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Test kits for water analysis free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Test kits for water analysis

This free course, Test kits for water analysis, steps outside the laboratory to look at some examples of analytical procedures being carried out in the field using commercial test kits. These quick tests provide results on-site, extending the options available to analysts. The methods used are chemical or microbiological in nature, made portable...

Free course
12 hrs
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Introduction to the calculus of variations free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

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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Forth Road Bridge free course icon level 1: introductory icon

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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Assessing contemporary science free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Assessing contemporary science

It will explore the ways in which scientific knowledge develops, undergoes peer review and is communicated. The second half of the course will focus more closely on a specific scientific topic – plastics – and give you a chance to practise these skills by considering the topic's social impact, building a glossary of unfamiliar terms, and ...

Free course
9 hrs
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Visualisation: visual representations of data and information free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Visualisation: visual representations of data and information

Modern society is often referred to as 'the information society' - but how can we make sense of all the information we are bombarded with? In this free course, Visualisation: visual representations of data and information, you will learn how to interpret, and in some cases create, visual representations of data and information that help us to ...

Free course
8 hrs
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Moons of our Solar System free course icon level 1: introductory icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Moons of our Solar System

In this free course, Moons of our Solar System, explore the many moons of our Solar System. Find out what makes them special. Should we send humans to our Moon again?

Free course
24 hrs
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Internet of everything free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Internet of everything

The internet of everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things. As more people, data and things come online, we develop processes to harness the vast amounts of information being generated by all these connected people and things. The goal of this free course is to introduce you to fundamental concepts and ...

Free course
15 hrs