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OpenLearn Scotland

Scottish Hills

A window on Scotland and on learning.

For everyone. For free.

OpenLearn is a site of free online learning from The Open University. It gives you access to Open University course materials and expert opinion on topical issues. Resources developed for Scotland include:

OpenLearn Scotland - brings together learning resources on OpenLearn related to Scotland, ranging from the late philosopher David Hume and the poet and novelist Jackie Kay, to technology and the environment.


The Scottish education system is distinctive and has a long independent history. The units within this section cover the national curriculum framework in Scotland and give examples of learning in Scottish schools.

Environment and technology

This section introduces learners to both ancient and modern Scotland, from the geological history of the Scottish Highlands right up to the creation of the semiconductor transistor by two Scottish computer engineers, and the global dimensions of the Scottish oil industry. A further two units in this section focus on the famous bridges in Scotland.

Great Scots

For a small country whose population has never been much in excess of five million, Scotland seems to have more than its fair share of famous men and women. Native Scots or those descended directly from them have been the recipients of some 11 per cent of all the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded.

Scottish history

This section deals with the history of Scotland and is designed to stimulate thinking on some of the major events and themes that have shaped Scotland over a period covering the Seventeenth century to the present day. These selected units introduce learners to Scotland's rich heritage and also to its wider European and international context.


These units will introduce you to the Scottish legal system. Scots law today represents centuries of development and growth. Its evolution has been influenced by many factors, social and economic, the effects of war and religious change, political and governmental changes, alliances and overseas powers such as France, the Union with England. Since 1999, the new Scottish Parliament has had its own law-making powers.

Scottish literature

Scottish literature is defined as literature written in Scotland or by Scottish writers, but is there such a thing as a literary and cultural identity which is distinctively Scottish? This section is designed to stimulate thinking on the relationship between writing and identity.

Politics and society

Following the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2007, the balance of power and system of government in Scotland has changed significantly.

Social care

There are over 139,000 social service workers in Scotland, providing care and support to some of the most vulnerable sections of society. The Scottish Social Services Council is responsible for specifying the standards to which social workers involved in providing or delivering social work, social care services, early education and child care will work.

Other resources on OpenLearn relating to Scotland: