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: 198 items
Introduction to differentiation free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to differentiation

This free course is an introduction to differentiation. Section 1 looks at gradients of graphs and introduces differentiation from first principles. Section 2 looks at finding derivatives of simple functions. Section 3 introduces rates of change by looking at real life situations. Section 4 looks at using the derivative of a function to deduce ...

Free course
18 hrs
Bayesian statistics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Bayesian statistics

This free course is an introduction to Bayesian statistics. Section 1 discusses several ways of estimating probabilities. Section 2 reviews ideas of conditional probabilities and introduces Bayes’ theorem and its use in updating beliefs about a proposition, when data are observed, or information becomes available. Section 3 introduces the main ...

Free course
12 hrs
Assessing risk in engineering, work and life free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Assessing risk in engineering, work and life

Risk is something that must be taken into account at all times when practising as an engineer. We accept risk as part of everyday life so there is a need to balance the risks of an activity against the benefits that it brings. This free course, Assessing risk in engineering, work and life, investigates how we can manage risks at work, in the ...

Free course
10 hrs
Babylonian mathematics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Babylonian mathematics

This free course looks at Babylonian mathematics. You will learn how a series of discoveries has enabled historians to decipher stone tablets and study the various techniques the Babylonians used for problem-solving and teaching. The Babylonian problem-solving skills have been described as remarkable and scribes of the time received a training ...

Free course
8 hrs
Analytical science: secrets of the Mary Rose free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Analytical science: secrets of the Mary Rose

This free course, Analytical science: secrets of the Mary Rose, teaches you about the analytical techniques that are used in the research and investigation of historical objects using the case study of the Mary Rose. It covers the use of sonar to locate shipwrecks, and the analysis of the artefacts found on the ship, and the crew and their remains.

Free course
12 hrs
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
Software and the law free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Software and the law

In this free course, Software and the law, you'll look at the laws relevant to software and its use, taking a global perspective. A major part of this course is devoted to intellectual-property law, the issue of who owns software and digital content and how that ownership can be protected using instruments like copyright and patents. We also...

Free course
8 hrs
Life in the Palaeozoic free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Life in the Palaeozoic

Fossils are a glimpse into the distant past and fascinate young and old alike. This free course, Life in the Palaeozoic, will introduce you to the explosion of evolution that took place during the Palaeozoic era. You will look at the many different types of creatures that existed at that time and how they managed to evolve to exist on land.

Free course
12 hrs
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
An introduction to interaction design free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to interaction design

From apps, phones and business systems to wearables, the Web and the Internet of Things, interactive products have become part of everyday life. But how can interactions be designed to best meet their purpose and offer good user experience? This free course, An introduction to interaction design, explores this topic. You will learn: what ...

Free course
10 hrs
An introduction to design engineering free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to design engineering

This free course, An introduction to design engineering, looks at the way in which engineers use ideas and approaches from the discipline of design thinking to inform their work. The complexity that people bring to design problems is introduced, along with some basic methods of dealing with such complexity.

Free course
10 hrs
Modelling events in time free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Modelling events in time

This free course develops ideas about probability and random processes. Sections 1 and 2 introduce the fundamental ideas of random processes through a series of examples. Section 3 describes a model that is appropriate for events occurring ‘at random’ in such a way that their rate of occurrence remains constant. Section 4 derives the main ...

Free course
16 hrs