FutureLearn offers over 150 free online courses that fall within 13 categories, including technology, creative arts and engineering. You may be wanting to boost your credibility in a certain field, build transferable experience into your CV if you’re thinking about a career change, or just learn for the fun of it.
Course content is supplied by universities from around the world. There’s a structure to follow with the time investment clearly indicated under the details of each course, for example 2 hours per week for 2 weeks. Generally there isn’t ongoing enrolment so there’ll be a specific start date for each course, with 14 days to access the content after the course has concluded.
To access a certificate of completion after each course and to have unlimited access to the course content after the start date, you can pay to upgrade your membership.
For more in-depth study, FutureLearn’s programs might be more suitable. Each is made up of a number of courses – examples include information for STEM teachers or learning how to build a robotic vision system. When you pass each course you’ll gain individual certificates, along with a FutureLearn award for completing the program. Costs and time investment are clearly indicated.
Postgraduate degrees offered by FutureLearn are even more comprehensive. As they require a greater time investment, there is a more formal application process to complete.
Note: there aren’t as many programs and degrees to choose from (compared to the free courses), in line with FutureLearn’s mission to keep as much content as possible free of charge.
FutureLearn’s blog posts are varied – including a focus on World Mental Health Day, how-to guides for getting into specific careers, and what courses will make a positive impact on the world.