Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

FutureLearn Online Courses

Free online courses to suit everyone


Written by Michelle O'Connor and posted in news


Share this article -

Digital learning is not a new phenomenon; Duolingo is an app most people have at least heard of. Duolingo however, only offers users the chance to learn languages, and it’s a very solitary activity. FutureLearn is a digital university which enables people to upskill and learn about a broad range of subjects, but it also provides a digital classroom for participants to interact with each other online.

FutureLearn offers free online courses in a huge number of subjects. The courses start on a rolling basis throughout the year and run for different periods of time. Most courses are between three and six weeks long and suggest you spend roughly three hours a week on coursework.

The company is owned by The Open University and has over 40 other partners, ensuring that the free courses they offer are of a high standard. If you want to upskill or educate yourself from the comfort of your own home, then this could be an option for you.

The courses offer you PDF downloads of materials, a place to interact with others on your course and part take in a seminar-type setting online. Some of the courses are run and accredited by UK and international universities such as Bristol University, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Groningen.

The range of courses offered is so diverse that there is bound to be something of interest for everyone. Some of the courses are very specialised, such as ‘Improving your Image: Dental Photography in Practice’, while others are more general ones in languages, or science. For example, there are Beginners courses in Italian and Spanish, which have multiple parts to them, with a week or two long break between each session.

The courses all provide the option of buying a certificate when you complete them, and these are only awarded if you fulfil certain requirements, such as attempting all the quiz questions, interacting with other course participants. There is no requirement to buy the certificate if you don’t want to, as they are quite pricey (they start at £39!).

While you will not come out of the course with a degree or certificate (unless you buy one), you will be able to stick it down on your CV. 

Share this article -

Published Octo­ber 12th2016
Tags online learning upskilling education
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?

Having a tough time and need to talk?
Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer

Standard text rates may apply*