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
Seeing the light free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Seeing the light

This free course, Seeing the light, will teach you about how the Sun affects your home, both in terms of light and warmth and the energy it generates. You will learn about how it can affect your health and well-being, and how different climates design their homes differently to maximise the benefits of the Sun.

Free course
10 hrs
Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas

Patterns occur everywhere in art, nature, science and especially mathematics. Being able to recognise, describe and use these patterns is an important skill that helps you to tackle a wide variety of different problems. This free course, Starting with maths: Patterns and formulas, explores some of these patterns, from ancient number patterns ...

Free course
5 hrs
People-centred designing free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

People-centred designing

Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This free course, People-centred designing, focuses firmly on usability and the increasingly important phenomenon of people-centred design. It aims to inform consumers of design (i.e., all of us) about this crucial characteristic of design. In addition to stimulating ...

Free course
12 hrs
Plate tectonics free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Plate tectonics

Plate tectonics is an earth sciences topic that attracts a good deal of interest, given that it a topic very often featured in popular science programmes on TV and radio. It is a subject that has strong visual appeal. In this free course the coverage is self-contained, up to date and is written in a way that will be accessible to those with ...

Free course
15 hrs
Studying mammals: Food for thought free course icon level 1: introductory icon

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
Studying mammals: The social climbers free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: The social climbers

Monkeys have long fascinated us because of their similarities to the human race. In this free course, Studying mammals: The social climbers, you will find out about some of the characteristics that make them so like us: their physiology, complex social interactions, large brains and intelligence. This is the ninth course in the Studying mammals ...

Free course
10 hrs
Studying mammals: Life in the trees free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: Life in the trees

David Attenborough looks at life in the trees: examining how species have evolved to cope with arboreal living. In this free course, Studying mammals: Life in the trees, you will learn how lemurs, anteaters, bears and many others have developed different methods to help movement and survival.

Free course
10 hrs
Studying mammals: The opportunists free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: The opportunists

Many mammals are food specialists, with complex adaptations that gear them toward a particular food source. So how do the omnivores survive and prosper without these fancy evolutionary features? This free course, Studying mammals: The opportunists, examines the physiology, diet and strategies of some of these opportunistic feeders. It is the ...

Free course
10 hrs
Studying mammals: Meat eaters free course icon level 1: introductory icon

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
Studying mammals: Plant predators free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: Plant predators

From the mouse-deer to the elephant, plant eaters come in all shapes and sizes. But how do they manage to flourish on a salad diet? In this free course, Studying mammals: Plant predators, we will examine the special features that allow them to extract their nutrients from leaves, and see how some plants protect themselves from these predators. ...

Free course
10 hrs
Studying mammals: Chisellers free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: Chisellers

Ever wondered why rats, mice and squirrels seem to reproduce at such an alarming rate? Rodents are among the most successful of all the mammal groups. In this free course, Studying mammals: Chisellers, you will learn more about some of the evolutionary features that make these creatures so plentiful. This is the third course in the Studying ...

Free course
10 hrs
An introduction to software development free course icon level 3: advanced icon

Science, Maths & Technology

An introduction to software development

Software development is the practice of organising the design and construction of software, the beating heart of much technology fundamental to our personal and professional life. This free introductory course, An introduction to software development, discusses the engineering nature of software development, its challenges and some ...

Free course
6 hrs