Free courses on OpenLearn

Get inspired and learn something new today

Our courses have been proven to increase confidence and develop the skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning. You can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects.

Everything OpenLearn is free to everyone

What is OpenLearn

Interested in a new topic and want to dig deeper? Or maybe you’re passionate about a subject. Whether it’s a five minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you’ll find it on OpenLearn for free.

OpenLearn is a free learning platform, delivered by The Open University as part of its Royal Charter commitment to support the wellbeing of the community. We’re proud to say that it reaches over 6m learners a year.

You will find almost 1,000 free courses, topical and interactive content, videos and online games on OpenLearn.

Study free courses

There are nearly 1000 courses on OpenLearn, all of which are currently free to study.

OpenLearn courses cover a wide range of subjects taught across the OU curriculum. Many are based on Open University course materials while others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

All of our courses enable you to earn a Statement of Participation and some also allow you to earn a free Digital Badge. You can use these to share your achievement through your CV or sites like LinkedIn.  Although they do not carry any credit towards a formal qualification, their achievement is being increasingly recognised as evidence of upskilling by employers.

Earn digital badges

Some OpenLearn courses carry a free digital badge this is awarded in addition to a Statement of Participation. These courses are 24 hours in length and require learners to read every page of a course and pass compulsory online quizzes. OU-branded digital badges do not carry formal credit but enable you to demonstrate interest in a subject and commitment to your career, and are used to augment CVs and ePortfolios.

You can show your digital badges to others by sharing them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and by making them public (should you choose) on your My OpenLearn Profile.

Skills for work and life

OpenLearn is a platform dedicated to you. Its main goal is to help you develop in a range of areas – from skills for work, to resources for health and wellbeing, or courses on money and finance.

OpenLearn’s easy-to-access nature means that you’re able to expand your knowledge and enhance your skills without committing to full-time study – all for free.

Discover courses at a range of levels. So whether you’re wanting to learn something completely new, expand your existing knowledge, or learn something more specialist, you’ll be able to find a course to suit you.

Free courses on a wide range of subjects

Produced by The Open University, a world leader in open and distance learning, all OpenLearn courses are free to study. We offer hundreds of free courses across a wide range of subject areas. Our courses are available to start right away.

Money & Business

Explore the world of work, the world of business (big and small) and discover more about the value of the pound in your pocket. From financial management in the home, to buying a home; from understanding how a business works, to discovering the secrets of some of the biggest institutions in the world… it’s all here.

Education & Development

Who educates those that need – and want – to be educated? Our range of courses cover everything from the education and wellbeing of children, early years development, working with young people and careers in education. It caters for every level – beginners and those seeking to develop their skills further; students and those about to embark on their studies.

Health, Sports & Psychology

There has never been more focus on health – both physical and mental. Here you can explore how best to maintain a healthy mind in a healthy body and learn more about the professions that help us do so. Discover the science behind nutrition and exercise; the psychology of sport; and from how to coach, to how to cope.

History & The Arts

Explore culture, conflict, and the things that make us human. As you’d expect, this subject area is wide-ranging, with the arts stretching from learning creative writing and critical reading skills, to understanding music. Explore religion, philosophy, history, literature, technology, medicine, science and art, from the ancient world to the modern day.

Languages

Wherever you are, making yourself understood is important. If you want to learn a language, this is the place to begin – you can start by learning how to learn a language, and then the choice is yours. From beginners’ courses, you can progress to intermediate and advanced courses that teach you how to speak the language in real-life scenarios, such as at work or in travel.

Nature & Environment

To explore this subject area is to explore our shared home and get to know the species you’re sharing it with. With climate change and sustainability at the fore, you can understand what they really mean and the impact you can have. Learn more about the natural world and the environment, both in the largest sense and on a local level.

Science, Maths & Technology

Do you want to know the rules of the universe and how we work with them? From introductory courses and content on science, to delving deeper into biology, chemistry and physics, you can seek out the answers to the big questions. Here you can fall in love with astronomy, learn about cyber security or develop a passion for engineering… for starters.

Society, Politics & Law

The world is a big place, full of so many different people. How do we get on together, co-exist and what riles do we live by? And what happens when we don’t get on or obey the rules? From an introduction to politics, learn how (and why) laws are made. You can learn how to understand criminology and about the intricacies of the legal system.

Skills for life and study

Across all OpenLearn’s subject areas you will find skills designed to introduce you to learning, or to aid your studies. From the practical to the theoretical, there are learning resources and guides across a range of subjects, or simply to help you get the most out of your studies, no matter when, where or what you choose to study.

Find a course on OpenLearn

OpenLearn Course

Project management

OpenLearn Course

Managing my money

OpenLearn Course

How teams work

Choose from hundreds of free courses and share your achievements.

Studying free on OpenLearn

What is OpenLearn?
Interested in a new topic and want to dig deeper? Or maybe you’re passionate about a subject. Whether it’s a five minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you’ll find it on OpenLearn for free.

OpenLearn is a free learning platform, delivered by The Open University as part of its Royal Charter commitment to support the wellbeing of the community. We’re proud to say that it reaches over 6m learners a year.

You will find hundreds of free courses, topical and interactive content, videos and online games on OpenLearn.

What are free OpenLearn courses?
There are nearly 1000 courses on OpenLearn, all of which are currently free to study.

OpenLearn courses cover a wide range of subjects taught across the OU curriculum. Many are based on Open University course materials while others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

All of our courses enable you to earn a Statement of participation and some also allow you to earn a free digital badge. You can use your badge or statement of participation to share your achievement with others although they do not carry any formal credit towards a qualification.

Find out more and explore our free courses here.

How do I start a course?
The starting point is the Introduction, under ‘Course content’. You then navigate through the course either using the left hand navigation, or the ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ buttons. Further help can be found in Advantages of signing up onto a free course.
Why should I have an OpenLearn account?
You will get the most from OpenLearn if you create an account (this is free). Creating an account will give you full access to a range of features that are not available to guests, such as commenting on articles and enrolling on free courses.

From your MyOpenLearn profile, you will be able to track your progress and download an activity record. You are currently unable to unenroll from courses that you’ve enrolled on, but we have an ‘unenroll’ option in development. You do not need to create an account if you just want to read content without participating in activities.

More imformation on creating an account here.

What is a digital badge?
Some OpenLearn courses carry a free digital badge this is awarded in addition to a Statement of Participation. These courses are 24 hours in length and require learners to read every page of a course and pass compulsory online quizzes. OU-branded digital badges do not carry formal credit but enable you to demonstrate interest in a subject and commitment to your career, and are used to augment CVs and ePortfolios. You can show your digital badges to others by sharing them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and by making them public (should you choose) on your My OpenLearn Profile.
Can I get any Open University qualifications through OpenLearn?
It’s not possible to gain any qualifications through OpenLearn. You will need to register for an Open University course if you want to become a student and have the support of a tutor, sit examinations.

For more information visit the Courses section of The Open University’s website to view the online prospectus.

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