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.

  • All topics
Grid List Results: 198 items
Living without oil free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Living without oil

Crude oil is currently our most important global source of energy. It is vital in the manufacture of many modern materials. But the worlds supply of oil is finite, its price is unstable and our reliance on oil has damaging environmental consequences. This free course, Living without oil, explains why developing alternatives to oil is an ...

Free course
8 hrs
Pain and Aspirin free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Pain and Aspirin

What causes pain and how do we stop it? This free course, Pain and Aspirin, looks at how the human body responds to the release of certain chemicals and as a result feels pain. Pain can be reduced by inhibiting the formation of such chemicals and you will learn how the molecular structure of aspirin has been formulated to help in this process.

Free course
4 hrs
Studying mammals: A winning design free course icon level 1: introductory icon

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
Squares, roots and powers free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Squares, roots and powers

From paving your patio to measuring the ingredients for your latest recipe, squares, roots and powers really are part of everyday life. This free course reviews the basics of all three and also describes scientific notation, which is a convenient way of writing or displaying large numbers.

Free course
5 hrs
Introduction to number theory free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Introduction to number theory

This free course, Introduction to number theory, is a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of integers. Section 1 introduces Euclid’s algorithm, which is used to find the HCF of two integers, and the idea of congruences, mathematical statements used to compare remainders when two integers are each divided by another integer. ...

Free course
18 hrs
Studying mammals: The insect hunters free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Studying mammals: The insect hunters

From pygmy shrews to armadillos, a wide range of mammals survive on a diet made up largely of insects. Many of these have fascinating adaptations suited to catching or rooting out their prey. In this free course, Studying mammals: The insect hunters, you will learn about these adaptations, along with survival strategies for when food is scarce. ...

Free course
10 hrs
Second-order differential equations free course icon level 2: intermediate icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Second-order differential equations

This free course is concerned with second-order differential equations. Section 1 introduces some basic principles and terminology. Sections 2 and 3 give methods for finding the general solutions to one broad class of differential equations, that is, linear constant-coefficient second-order differential equations. Section 2 covers homogeneous ...

Free course
16 hrs
Rounding and estimation free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Rounding and estimation

Scientific calculators are a wonderful invention, but they're only as good as the people who use them. If you often get an unexpected or ridiculous result when you press the enter button, this free course, Rounding and estimation, is for you. Learn how to do a calculation correctly and get the right answer every time.

Free course
5 hrs
Ratio, proportion and percentages free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Ratio, proportion and percentages

From politics to cookery, ratios, proportions and percentages are part of everyday life. This free course is designed to help you become more familiar with how figures can be manipulated, then you can check whether that discount really is as big as they claim!

Free course
5 hrs
Neighbourhood nature free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Nature & Environment

Neighbourhood nature

There is a fascinating world of nature all around us which we can see if we know how to look for it. Wherever you live, be it in a city or the countryside, you will find areas that support a range of wildlife. This free course, Neighbourhood nature, will provide you with basic scientific and observational skills so that you can go into your ...

Free course
1 hr
Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology free course icon level 1: introductory icon

Science, Maths & Technology

Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology

Have you ever wondered how scientists analyse the environment? This free course, Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology, introduces you to the techniques used by science students at residential schools. You will learn how to determine where rocks have come from and how they were made. You will also examine the processes involved in ...

Free course
14 hrs
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