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Free online learning

It doesn’t matter if you’re into art or zoology, or whether you have 5 minutes or 50 hours. We’ve got a huge range of free online learning to help you explore your passion.

We publish courses, games, videos, podcasts, ebooks and much more on OpenLearn and other sites around the web. Everything is free, no matter where you are—all you need is an internet connection.

Starting an undergraduate degree can be daunting. That’s why The Open University has developed a range of free online learning materials that can give you a feel for what studying for a higher education qualification involves. Alternatively, simply try them out for fun!

You can access any of these materials from your home (as long as you have internet access), your local library, or alternatively call into our Belfast office and a member of staff can guide you through how to access them.


Interested in a new topic and want to dig deeper? Or maybe you're already passionate about a subject. For a five minute exploration or a 50 hour expedition into learning, head to OpenLearn. You’ll find over 700 free courses, totalling over 8,500 hours of learning. It’s all free. Visit OpenLearn

Irish academics have been involved in writing a number of courses for OpenLearn.

OpenLearn Ireland

OpenLearn Ireland is a unique resource from Irish academics. Enjoy free learning content from The Open University on the culture, developments and events on the island. 


Join nearly 100,000 others by subscribing to ouLearn, the home for our free learning videos on YouTube. With over 1,300 uploads you’ll easily find a video or playlist to explore, whatever subject you’re interested in. Visit the OU’s ouLearn channel on YouTube

iTunes U

We have a huge range of podcasts to listen to on the move. Choose from over 3,500 free audio and video tracks across all subject areas, or download one of over 400 free ebooks to your iPhone, iPad or iPod using the iTunes U app. Visit the OU on iTunes U


Want another way to listen and learn? Visit Audioboo, where we have over 900 free audio extracts across 15 different subject areas. Visit the OU on audioBoom


Google Play

Read one of more than 80 free ebooks on your Android phone or tablet. Visit the Google Play store and search for ‘The Open University’. 

Open Research Online (ORO)

If you want to dig deeper into a subject with our expert researchers, visit ORO: one of the largest university research collections in the UK, with more than 15,000 research publications available online. Visit ORO


FutureLearn inspires learning for life. Take a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Visit FutureLearn

In Northern Ireland, The Open University works with Queen’s University Belfast to create free online courses on the FutureLearn platform. Visit the Queen’s University Belfast page on FutureLearn for courses that are currently available to join.

Request a prospectus

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

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