The Open Academy - BrokeInLondon

The Open Academy


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Free Online Courses

The Open Academy is an educational web platform that offers a large variety of free lecture videos, notes, assignments and examinations. It covers a wide range of subjects such as Engineering, Architecture, Economics, Finance, Computer Science and Mathematics, delivered from top universities and institutions such as MIT, Imperial College, LSE, KCL, Cardiff, Bath and City Universities. The site’s mission is to create a database to help users learn as much as they want outside of the classroom, with hundreds of learning materials available to speed this along.

  • Register for free (you’ll get a personal academic webpage where you can add your favourite lecture videos and courses to create playlists and you’ll be able to use the forums to discuss the material, ask questions and give answers about the subjects you are studying)
  • Easy-to-use layout, with courses and lectures that are easy to find and useful
  • List of featured Universities, Subjects & Topics, and associated lecturers and professors, so you can choose lectures based on your own interests
  • 8014 lectures to choose from
  • 354 different courses
  • Forum where you can exchange ideas or enquiries
  • Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages

Site Pros

  • Easy-to-use and intuitive site layout, so you can find whatever you need quickly and easily- or search around if you’re not sure what you want!
  • Huge amount of courses on almost any topic, so you can learn for fun or to gain a better insight into your current course
  • Lectures, courses and notes from some of the best universities in the world, meaning that almost all of the site content is professional and high-quality

Site Cons

  • Some problems with videos loading, and other technical aspects of the site
  • Forums are almost deserted, with few posters or discussions
  • Quality of content varies across the site, depending on professor, course and university
  • Some courses are lacking content, or have only a single lecture, meaning that only a small amount of information can be had, and the entire topic cannot be learned

Other Tips

  • For those at a loss for topics, there is a ‘top lectures’ page, so you can see what’s popular


The Open Academy is a fantastic resource for those looking to find more information on a specific topic- finding another lecturer’s perspective on something you already know or are learning is an invaluable tool. However, because lectures and topics are so dispersed, with for example only a single lecture on the entirety of Stalinism, the website fails at giving a comprehensive view of any one topic- excellent for an alternate viewpoint, but as a single learning point, lacking.

Navigate to Free Online Courses category to find more websites and organisations offering free online courses.