Arts and Humanities
short courses

Our arts and humanities short courses are designed to fit around your life. They’re entirely online and, over six to 10 weeks, you could learn about topics ranging from computer audio to travel writing. All in only a few hours each week.

Choose from our range of flexible short courses in Creative writing, Film, media and photography, and Music.

Creative writing

Whether you want to develop your writing skills professionally or just for fun, our creative writing short courses will support and inspire you on your creative journey. We also have a short course if you enjoy reading crime fiction and have an interest in authors from different European countries. 

Young woman writes at a cafe table

Introduction to creative writing

Develop your creative writing skills as you explore poetry, fiction and scriptwriting.

Young man with blue hair writes in notebook

Travel writing

Learn how travel writers bring their journeys to life and begin writing about a journey of your own.

Crime fiction book

Introduction to European crime fiction

Discover new ways of looking at crime fiction texts by European authors.

Film, media and photography

Delve into the fascinating world of film, media and photography with a short course, including some exciting new courses written in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Racks of film reels

A story of documentary film

Trace the history of documentary film in Britain using the collection held by the BFI National Archive.

A man holds a film camera pointed at a couple in a forest in the distance

Film and the environment

Explore film’s fascinating relationship with the environment, from its fossil-fuel reliant past to potentially, eco-friendlier future.

A group of protesters hold up banners

Media, politics and society

Discover how the relationship between media, politics and society impacts your everyday life.

Young woman leading a meeting

Reading the screen: an introduction to the art of film

Learn how a filmmakers’ choices help create their characters, narratives and ‘story-worlds’.


Creating sound for video

Gain an introduction to the basics of video sound editing through practical exercises using a Digital Audio Workstation.

Video editors

Storytelling with video editing

Learn the basics of video editing through a series of practical activities using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Person with digital camera

Digital photography

Broaden your photography skills with a course produced with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS).


Cinema in the Spanish-speaking world

Discover the cultural impact of the cinematic landscapes of Spain, Argentina, and Chile.

Black and white photographic artwork

Photography as language

Embrace a visual language through practice and theory to better understand the meaning of images and photos you see and make.

Wooded forest

Investigating place with psychogeography

Discover how emotions and actions are tied up in places, exploring practice and theory to inform your creative practice centred on place.


Broaden your understanding and appreciation of music, from how it is created, the equipment used, to the impact in our everyday lives and on society as a whole.

Young man listening to something on headphones in front of sunset

Computer audio: sound and music in the digital world

Discover the history of computer audio and music from the earliest computers to modern technology.

Dolly parton mural painted on brick wall

Dolly Parton: music, identity and culture

Explore the relationship between music, identity, and culture through the work of the country musician and songwriter Dolly Parton.

Two young women sit on the shoulders of two mean in a festival crowd

Sound systems in popular music: from Jamaican dub to stadium rock

Learn about the cultural context and diversity of a variety of different sound systems.


Photography as language

This course is delivered by the OU's Open College of the Arts.

View this course on the Open College of the Arts website

Investigating place with psychogeography

This course is delivered by the OU's Open College of the Arts.

View this course on the Open College of the Arts website