The Open University - Broke in London

The Open University


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Free Online Courses

The Open University is just that- a university education that is totally open to all, in any country, of any age or background. Its open learning scheme provides over 600 free online courses in various topics, for those who wish to change career, learn more about their current one, gain a qualification or simply enjoy learning something new. Courses are available from introductory to advanced level, each taking between 1 and 50 hours to study.

  • Providing over 600 free online courses including topics such as Arts and HumanitiesBusiness and ManagementChildhood and YouthComputing and ICTEngineering and TechnologyLanguagesMathematics and StatisticsPsychologySocial Science and more
  • These include 408 undergraduate modules, 162 postgrad ones, 15 overseas versions and 15 curriculum partnerships
  • U.K’s largest university, with 260,000 students at any time
  • Pay for separate modules- £1316 for 30 credits or £2632 for 60 credits
  • No formal entry requirements
  • Over 6000 expert tutors to provide support, mark work, and group or online tutorials
  • 15 curriculum partnerships in 23 countries
  • Option to register and discuss a topic in a forum, write a journal entry, share your ideas, views and questions with others, find out the latest news about the topics you’re interested, use the tools in the LabSpace, download educational resources and adapt them to your needs in and more
  • the Open University is used by over 30,000 companies to develop their staff

Site Pros

  • Totally free entry, with no formal requirements needed
  • Gives those with children, jobs, or the inability to travel a way to gain university education and improve themselves from home
  • Huge range of courses, with everything clearly laid out
  • Courses and modules devised by leading professors and thinkers in education
  • Gives university-standard courses without the need for previous qualifications or experience
  • Flexibility of courses means that you can it courses around work, doubling your course’s length in order to fit it around any jobs you have

Site Cons

  • The Open University allows those with no previous qualifications or experience to enter does mean that some might begin a course which they can’t complete– and are left with a great deal to pay without having gained anything back

Other Tips

  • Can study full-time (on average 3 years) or part time (normally double that)- depending on if you need to work another job to pay your way
  • Free content available on Youtube, iTunes U, OpenLearn and Open Research Online
  • All fees include course materials, support, assessments, and exams
  • If your income is less than £25,000, you may be able to get a free introductory Access module, as well as help with travel, childcare and internet access


The Open University is a fantastic place for those who need to work to support families or who don’t have the qualifications to enter a normal university to gain real, university-level skills, through hard work and patience. While it can be expensive- as any university is- it provides those with limited options a chance to succeed. For anyone for whom other universities are inaccessible, or who simply don’t have the time to study in such a place, the Open University is an opportunity not to be missed.

Go back to Free Educational Courses category to find more websites and organisations offering free courses in London.