External resources & online courses
Whether you want to learn Hindi, understand how to read Italian wine labels or finesse your project management skills there is a plethora of open access learning available, much of it free. Here are some of the best:
Starting out as a collaboration between Harvard and MIT, EdX offers around 2,500 courses on traditional academic subjects from architecture to medicine. Most are free with a $49 charge if you want a certificate. Courses are broken down into week long segments, with lots of video content and interactive activities to cement learning.
You can almost find any topic here: from leadership and influencing to computer science and marketing to photography and wine making. More than 50 million students have signed up to a Udemy course and the platform is supported by 57,000 instructors teaching courses in over 65 languages. Many courses are less than £20 to enrol.
This platform has a distinctly academic feel, offering a wide range of technical courses delivered by some of the world’s leading Universities. Coursera allows you to choose from over 3,200 online courses consisting of recorded, auto-graded, peer-reviewed assignments, video lectures, and group discussion forums. Many courses are free.
FutureLearn was established in 2012 and is owned by the UK’s Open University – a long established and renowned educational institution. Like Coursera and EdX, FutureLearn offers a range of short courses, more in depth programmes and online degrees. It’s possible to study many of the short courses for free, but you then need to “upgrade” the course if you decide to complete final assessments and acquire an official certificate.