What, where, how to study

Free online courses

Fancy trying a FREE online course?

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are designed by universities to bring short learning opportunities to large numbers of people, worldwide. Courses are usually accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop. You do not need qualifications to start a MOOC. Many courses are free or available for a small fee. 

Most MOOCs do not usually offer formal qualifications, although some do offer certification - if you pay a small fee. Whether you get a certificate or not, the knowledge gained from doing one could prepare you for a higher education level course or help you choose a subject. Alternatively, you can take a MOOC just for the pleasure of trying something new or to develop an area of interest.


FutureLearn (an organisation owned by The Open University) offers a diverse selection of free, high-quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other institutions.

Their aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with educators and with each other. It’s possible to take a free course or pay for further options. 

wide range of course topics is available through FutureLearn – here are just a few examples:

Coursera and edX

Coursera and edX are similar to FutureLearn. They offer free courses, free course trials or free access to certain aspects of course content. It may be possible to upgrade by purchasing full courses or for a certificate.

Here are a few examples courses on offer by Coursera:

Here are a few examples courses available through edX:

Short courses to develop skills that will be useful in a job

The National Careers Service website offers lots of short courses that help to develop skills students will need in employment. For example:

  • Practical maths
  • Computer essentials
  • Personal growth and well-being

More information here 

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