The Open University
The Open University provides high-quality distance learning for all, so join our millions of students who have already begun their life-changing journey.
The Open University is the UK’s largest academic institution and a world pioneer in distance learning.
Our free learning platform, OpenLearn, breaks barriers to education by reaching millions of learners around the world, providing educational resources and inviting all to sample courses that our registered students take – for free!
Our badged courses are highly engaging and cover a range of subjects and professional competencies essential for the modern workplace. A free Open University digital badge is awarded for completing all course sections and passing rigorous assessments, providing evidence of professional development or demonstrating a commitment to studies.
Introduction to ecosystems
This free course from The Open University is designed to help you gain an understanding of the natural world and how the web of life works, with illustrations from around the world.
Can renewable energy sources power the world?
This free course from The Open University explores the physical principles underlying the various renewable energies, their economics, their environmental impact, their present status and future prospects in order for you to answer the question, 'Can renewable energy power the world'?
Taking your first steps into higher education
This free badged course from The Open University explores - What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this free badged course is for you.
Taking your first steps into higher education provides insights into how subjects are studied at university. This introduction to carefully selected materials helps you decide what you might want to study. You will be looking at three main areas: arts and humanities, the social sciences and maths, technology and science.
English: skills for learning
This free badged course from The Open University will help you develop your English reading and writing skills you will need to succeed at university.
Succeed with learning
Have you ever had any of the following thoughts?
What do I want to do with my life? How can I reach my goal? Would I cope with studying at college or university? Can I get better at learning? How can I manage the challenges that life keeps throwing my way?
If you are thinking about questions like these, this free badged course from The Open University Succeed with learning is just what you are looking for.
Succeed with maths - Part 2
This free badged course from The Open University will develop your mathematical knowledge and skills using everyday examples.
Succeed with maths - Part 1
If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this eight week free badge course from The Open University is for you. The course will guide you through how numbers are put together, give you confidence with using percentages, fractions and negative numbers and provide you with problem solving skills for your everyday life and the wider world.
The Business of football
If you are fascinated by football and interested in discovering more about business and management then this engaging and stimulating free course which provides the opportunity to share and comment on your learning with others is for you. You can progress at your own pace over 3–5 weeks, and it will take a minimum of around 9 hours of your time over this period.
Managing my Money
The free Open University course Managing my money is a course in personal financial management. It covers financial planning, budgeting, debt management, investments, housing, pension planning and insurance.
In addition to building a household budget and balance sheet and developing other practical skills in financial management, the course explores the social and behavioural drivers of financial decision making and the nature of financial risks households can be exposed to.
Facilitating learning in practice
Are you interested in mentorship or looking to develop your mentorship skills? In particular, are you involved in nurse mentorship?
This free badge course explores the principles and best practices underpinning mentorship. The authors draw on their experience in nursing to help you develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of mentorship practice that can be applied to many workplace environments.
Succeed in the workplace
Do you want to change jobs? Are you just starting in the job market? Are you returning to work after a break? If so, this course will help you explore career opportunities by starting from you, not the job.
Explore how your own mind works, and discover how the limitations of the human brain can lead to major miscarriages of justice.
Despite advances in forensic science, eyewitness testimony remains a critical component of criminal investigations. Psychological research has revealed the dangers of relying on evidence gained from an eyewitness and also how careful the police need to be when questioning witnesses.
Introduction to cyber security
Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.
We shop online. We work online. We play online. We live online. As our lives increasingly depend on digital services, the need to protect our information from being maliciously disrupted or misused is really important.
Basic science: understanding experiments
This practical, hands-on course aims to help you start thinking like a scientist by carrying out experiments at home and making scientific observations.
You will carry out simple experiments to extract the DNA from fruit or vegetables, observe osmosis in action and bake a potato to destruction! You’ll also investigate how different liquids behave when frozen and how much water an everyday food item contains.
Introducing the voluntary sector
If you feel that you want to learn more about the voluntary sector then this short 8-week course is for you. The course 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.
Managing my investments
On this free online course, you'll learn about different investment choices, the returns and risks associated with each, and the evidence about their historical performance. You'll explore investment strategies, as well as the practicalities about involvement in personal finance markets. And you'll look at how to avoid the individual and group behavioural traits that can impair effective investment decision making.
Moons of our Solar System
This free course, Moons of our Solar System, will allow you to explore the rich diversity of moons in our Solar System. You’ll explore the fundamental processes that have shaped them, and the relationship between our Moon and the Earth.