Skip to content

Toggle service links

‘Tis the Season for studying – the free OpenLearn courses to keep your mind active this festive break

It’s been a big year for The Open University’s free learning platform, OpenLearn. With over 8.9m visitors to the site in the past 12 months, more people than ever are using its wealth of free courses, interactives, videos and articles to expand their knowledge.

To coincide with the OU’s 50th anniversary, OpenLearn launched its 50th badged open course (BOC), which on completion awards a digital badge to participants. ‘Coaching others to Coach‘, supports the people who develop and train coaches; but if this isn’t for you, there are no less than 57 other BOCs to choose from. BOCs are more in-depth courses that demonstrate interest in a subject and evidence of professional development. With 35,000 badges and counting being awarded to date, they’ve proven incredibly popular – why not try one for yourself. From Beginners Chinese to Aquatic Mammals, there’s plenty of subjects for you to delve into, ensuring you start 2020 as an expert.

If you’d prefer to dip your toe in to keep your mind active during the festive break, have a browse at our top 10 most popular courses of the year. Drum roll please!

Forensic psychology – explore how your own mind works and discover how the limitations of the human brain can lead to major miscarriages of justice. Using videos of real witnesses and footage that goes behind the scenes of a police investigation, you will get the chance to test your own cognitive skills and see whether your powers of investigation are as good as a crack squad of police officers.

Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting – learn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free course explains the fundamental rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how they are used to produce a balance sheet and profit and loss account. Perfect if you’re thinking of starting your own business.

Start writing fiction – have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This course will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings; providing you with the skills needed to create a bestseller.

Getting started on classical Latin – developed for complete beginners of Latin, this course will give you a taster of the very early stages of learning the language. It’s time to impress your family and friends with your new-found skill!

Introduction to child psychology – in this course you will learn the foundations of child psychology, using some of the key questions that guide the understanding of childhood; ‘What influences children’s development?’ and ‘How do psychologists study the physical and cognitive changes that occur during childhood?’ As you work through this material, you will gain a deeper understanding about how psychologists work with young children across a range of applied settings through activities and audio-visual materials.

Understanding autism – learn about autism, a complex and challenging long-term condition for many individuals and their families worldwide. This free course introduces the autism spectrum, how it is experienced by different individuals and families, and why it is a global concern. It explains how ideas about autism have evolved and explores diagnosis, causes, intervention and life-span development. Widely varying perspectives on autism are illustrated and key societal and cross-cultural issues highlighted.

You and your money – an important aspect of personal finance is the way in which individuals and households manage their debt, how much it costs and the different types of credit they can or cannot access. Explore these issues, with respect to the wider, changing, social and economic context.

The science of nutrition and healthy eating – are we really what we eat? How do we know what is in our food? Does it need to be difficult to follow a healthy eating pattern? This free course will help you to answer these questions.

Being an OU student – the aim of this course is to help you get off to the best possible start on your journey with OU. Students who invest time preparing for their studies are more likely to succeed, so taking time to do this course now will help in the long run. The course gives a flavour of what OU study is actually like, you’ll learn about how you’ll be supported and the technologies you’ll use, and you’ll start to develop the skills you need to succeed.

English: skills for learning – this course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop their English reading and writing skills. You’ll be introduced to academic reading and effective note-making strategies. You’ll be taught how to master essay writing and enhance your understanding of sentence structure and punctuation.

There’s a whole world of courses and other content to discover at OpenLearn, for study, for life and for pure curiosity. Use your time over the festive break wisely and start 2020 with knowledge on your side.

About Author

Hannah is part of the Media Relations Team at The Open University, working with the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. With experience both agency and in-house, Hannah has worked on campaigns for a number of large corporate companies and brands, including RBS, NatWest, Travelodge, Audible, AA and the Royal Academy of Dance. She has completed a Masters in Publishing Studies from Oxford Brookes and is currently studying towards a DipHE in Computer, IT and Design. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading and going to the theatre.

Comments are closed.