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: 245 items
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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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Approaches to software development free course icon level 3: advanced icon

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).

Free course
9 hrs
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IT: Information free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

IT: Information

BBC News 24, Sky News, CNN. We live in an era where news has become almost instantaneous. This free course, IT: Information, will look at how news is gathered and the technology that's used for its dissemination. You will also be encouraged to examine how information might be manipulated by questioning its reliability.

Free course
20 hrs
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Cell signalling free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Cell signalling

This free course, Cell signalling, explains the general principles of signal transduction and specifically, how even the simplest organisms can detect and respond to events in their ever-changing environment.

Free course
12 hrs
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Influenza: A case study free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Influenza: A case study

This free course, Influenza: A case study, explores the biology of influenza, covering a range of topics including: the virus, infection, replication, mutation, immune responses, pathology, surveillance, diagnosis and treatment.

Free course
6 hrs
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An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope

In this free course, An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope, you will experience the study of minerals using a polarising microscope. While the study of minerals can involve electron or ion beam chemical analysis, the polarising microscope remains the prime tool for the study of rock thin sections and is the foundation of ...

Free course
8 hrs
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Personal development planning for engineering free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Personal development planning for engineering

This free course, Personal development planning for engineering, has been written in keeping with the requirements of UK-SPEC and the professional engineering institutions (e.g. ImechE, IET etc). It will provide you with a range of relevant information and guidance in critically assessing and scrutinising your career development aspirations.

Free course
12 hrs
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Volcanic hazards free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Volcanic hazards

This free course, Volcanic hazards, discusses the various hazards posed by different types of volcanic eruption, illustrated by examples from recent eruptions. The discussion is focused around reading Chapter 5 of Teach yourself volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis by OU volcanologist David Rothery.

Free course
10 hrs
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Microgravity: living on the International Space Station free course icon level 1: introductory icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

This free badged open course, Microgravity: living on the International Space Station, will help you to consider microgravity environments in more detail than before! You will make direct comparisons of some important physical values between the International Space Station (ISS), the Earth and the Moon.

Free course
24 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 group theory free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to group theory

This free course is an introduction to group theory, one of the three main branches of pure mathematics. Section 1 looks at the set of symmetries of a two-dimensional figure which are then viewed as functions. Section 2 introduces an algebraic notation for recording symmetries and calculating composites and inverses of symmetries. Section 3 ...

Free course
16 hrs
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Introduction to active galaxies free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to active galaxies

The field of active galaxies is recognised as one of increasing importance. But how do we know there are different kinds of galaxy? What are active galaxies? How are they powered? This free course, Introduction to active galaxies, examines the different types of active galaxies and looks at the crucial role of the active galactic nucleus and the...

Free course
20 hrs