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.

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