Don't give up, take up!
New year, new resolution? Why not try taking something up rather than giving something up? We've got a few ideas where you could get started - take a look at the FREE tools and courses below.
Is this the year you put your career first? Check out our Badged Open Course, and if you are Returning to a STEM career, feast your eyes on our interactive toolkit. You can also check out our full collection of badged open courses on employability.
Do you want to change jobs, are you just starting in the job market or may be returning after a break? If so, then this free course, Succeed in the workplace, is for you. It will help you explore career opportunities. You will also gain the skills to write strong CVs and application forms, and to handle different types of interviews. By the end of the course you will have made a start on your own realistic and strong action plan to enable you to find a job that will fulfil your aspirations and suit your lifestyle.Learn more ❯Succeed in the workplace
Returning to a STEM career? Reboot Your STEM Career is a comprehensive interactive toolkit to help you relaunch your career and navigate your way back into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Build on areas such as work-life balance, professional skills, entering the world of work, how to present yourself, searching for jobs and how to network.Take part now ❯Reboot Your STEM Career
New year, new novel? Have you been itching to get your first novel started and haven't known where to begin? Well we know where - here! Start with Ten top tips for writing a novel. Then delve into the resources below:
Start writing fiction is a free course that helps you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.Learn more ❯Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.Learn more ❯Writing what you know
This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer’s development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas from examining other writers’ methods, as well as enhancing your critical reading skills. Examples will cover the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scriptwriting.Learn more ❯Creative writing and critical reading
Whether you've eaten too many mince pies over the Christmas break and need a health kick, or maybe you want to concentrate on your mental health and wellbeing this year instead - we've got you covered with our free courses and articles.
Alcohol plays a considerable part in the daily lives of humanity and has done for thousands of years. This free course, The science of alcohol, looks at the science behind the processes of brewing, distilling and vinification, and how many of our beverages are made. A historical aspect is also covered showing how the modern production techniques have developed from ancient methods, and how scientists ensure that products are safe to drink. The course also looks at the biological effects of alcohol, and how it affects the human body.Learn more ❯The science of alcohol
This free course, Exploring health: is your lifestyle really to blame?, explores the extent to which a person's 'lifestyle' impacts on their health and wellbeing. It also examines how non-lifestyle related factors – in particular social, economic, cultural and political dimensions – influence a person's health.Learn more ❯Exploring health: is your lifestyle really to blame?
This free course, The science of nutrition and healthy eating, looks at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics as well as giving some insight into healthier eating. Reading food labels, choosing healthier foods, hydrating appropriately and understanding how we taste food will allow you to be more informed about the choices you make about the food you eat.Learn more ❯The science of nutrition and healthy eating
Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment, whilst at the same time accepting your feelings, thoughts, and body’s sensations. But why does mindfulness matter?Read now ❯Five reasons why you should care about mindfulness
Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enhancing mood.Learn more ❯Exercise and mental health
This free course, Exploring issues in women's health, will introduce social model approaches to health and wellbeing, which take as their starting point not the scientific context of the body, but the social context in which women live. The focus is on women and the impact of social and cultural factors on women's health. The course touches on various issues concerning women's health, such as abortion, periods, the menopause, mental health and fertility.Learn more ❯Exploring issues in women's health
- Make sure you check out our Mind, Body, Media hub for a collection of free resources from Open University academics to ensure the wellbeing of you and your family.
Maybe you want to give something back to the community this year, or help an individual? Take a look at our free badged open course on volunteering and our interactive to help others stay safe online.
This free course, Introducing the voluntary sector, will guide you through some of the distinctive features and values of the voluntary sector, how organisations are funded and involve volunteers and other ‘stakeholders’ in their work. It will also provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering as well as your everyday life.Learn more ❯Introducing the voluntary sector
This free course, Exploring career mentoring and coaching, will explain what mentors and career coaches do and how a colleague or expert who can ask the right questions, challenge assumptions, and help an individual to find the best solutions for themselves, can make a significant difference in a wide range of situations and contexts.Learn more ❯Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Are you a model citizen or a menace to society when it comes to divulging personal details? Take the test from the Ministry of Sharing and find out whether you share too much information.Take part now ❯Ministry of Sharing: Are you a safe sharer?
More free courses on volunteering, homelessness and cyber security:
- Homelessness and need
- Working in the voluntary sector
- Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
You can also get healthy by taking up more exercise; it doesn't have to be strenuous - it can be a brisk 20 minute walk everyday. Take a look at the boxes below for some inspiration and learn about the importance of recovery and rest before and after exercise.
Aerobic fitness is integral to successful sports performance and to maintaining good health. But what sort of exercise should you be doing to develop your aerobic fitness? This free course, Improving aerobic fitness, will help you to answer this question by introducing you to principles of aerobic exercise prescription.Learn more ❯Improving aerobic fitness
The ability to recover quickly from an intensive training session or match can be extremely advantageous to sports performers. Sport and fitness participants are increasingly using strategies such as ice baths and compression clothing to enhance their recovery from intensive exercise, but how effective are these strategies? Do they really speed up the recovery process? To answer questions such as these this free course ‘Recovery strategies in sport and exercise’ investigates the science behind recovery exploring the physiological processes involved in training and recovery and the potential role of recovery strategies.Learn more ❯Recovery strategies in sport and exercise
In this free course you will explore an important aspect of strength and conditioning which refers to the physical preparation of athletes: endurance. You will look at the physiological factors that underpin endurance and assess how endurance can be developed relative to performance in a range of sports. TranscriptLearn more ❯Training for endurance in sport and fitness
Feliz año nuevo! Time to expand your horizons and learn the lingo! Where in the world are you headed?
- Hafan: Exploring Welsh Language and Culture
- Beginners' Spanish: Food and Drink
- Intermediate German: The World of Work
- Beginners' Italian: Food and Drink
- Beginners' French: A Trip to Avignon
How are your language skills? Heading off on a trip to Spain, France or Italy and want to know how you'd fare getting by? Find out with our virtual, interactive adventures and test your language skills on the way!Take part now ❯Test your language skills: Spanish, French and Italian
Learn about the concepts and skills required to learn languages successfully. This free course, How to learn a language, introduces the skills and strategies for language learning, setting realistic goals when learning languages and keeping motivated, practise speaking skills and vocabulary learning strategies. It will enable you to evaluate resources and create a virtual immersion environment.Learn more ❯How to learn a language
In this free course you will embark on a journey off the beaten track, to see the natural wonders of Latin America and some of its people. Intermediate Spanish: A trip across Latin America invites you to discover how people in South and Central America have adapted to the different environments which have created the conditions in which they live. You will be able to listen to and read the personal stories of both locals and visitors, and you will improve your language skills by practising expressing uncertainty, opinions and concerns in Spanish.Learn more ❯Intermediate Spanish: A trip across Latin America
Explore how you can dig a little deeper in languages with The OU.
Whether you want to tone up in the gym or get motivated in your everyday life, we have something for you:
This free course explores the term 'motivation' and factors affecting motivation. This includes looking at the most influential theories of motivation that contribute to understanding the causes of motivation. The motivation of sports people and people working in sport and fitness environments are used to help understand the theories presented.Learn more ❯Motivation and factors affecting motivation
Have you got a goal? Whether it is to exercise more, lose a few pounds, or write a novel, our Personal Best App will help you get there.Take part now ❯Want to achieve your goal? Try our Personal Best tool
In this collection of eight videos sporting legends including Michael Johnson, AP McCoy, Dame Sarah Storey and more outline the techniques used to take gold several times.Watch now ❯Chasing Perfection: How do athletes become champions?