Choose from: Chinese
You only need a few hours a week to study a short course with The Open University. Choose from a range of subjects that can help you build a new skill set, discover a new hobby, or give your career a boost through continued professional development.
| Communication and cultures
| Creative writing
| Film, media and photography
| Project management
Discover a language and culture steeped in history and tradition with a short course learning Mandarin Chinese. Our short courses are suitable for beginners.
Start learning Mandarin Chinese on a short course that’s perfect for beginners (CEFR level A1).
Expand your Mandarin vocabulary by exploring topics like food and leisure activities (CEFR level A1).
Ideal for those with a grasp of beginners’ Mandarin to improve their skills (CEFR level A1).
Build positive, long-term business relationships using knowledge of Chinese culture and values.
Step up your basic knowledge of Chinese with our elementary course in Mandarin (CEFR level A1).
Take your Mandarin up a level with new topics such as feelings and opinions (CEFR level A2).
Develop your Mandarin vocabulary, including how to apologise formally and give presents (CEFR level A2).
Communication and cultures
Communication helps build connections and understanding of the world we live in, both now and in the future. Develop this key skill with a short course.
Examine historical, ethical and social issues around Artificial Intelligence technology.
Improve your intercultural communication skills in the workplace.
Examine the role of languages and cultures in situations of crisis across the world, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Develop your creative writing skills as you explore poetry, fiction and scriptwriting.
Learn how travel writers bring their journeys to life and begin writing about a journey of your own.
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).
Trace the history of documentary film in Britain using the collection held by the BFI National Archive.
Explore film’s fascinating relationship with the environment, from its fossil-fuel reliant past to potentially, eco-friendlier future.
Discover how the relationship between media, politics and society impacts your everyday life.
Learn how a filmmakers’ choices help create their characters, narratives and ‘story-worlds’.
Broaden your photography skills with a course produced with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS).
From food to fashion, discover the French language and culture in your own time with a short course delivered through bite-sized blocks perfect for beginners.
Kick-start your learning journey with this introduction to French designed for beginners (CEFR level A1).
Continue to build your French skills for communicating in everyday situations (CEFR level A1).
Enhance your knowledge of French to prepare for further language study (CEFR level A2).
Start to understand and produce more complex language with an elementary course (CEFR level A2).
Explore exciting new subjects in French, such as employment and studying (CEFR level B1).
Learn to talk about your health and improve your grammar by using different tenses (CEFR level B1).
Say ‘ja’ to learning one of Europe's most widely used languages with a German short course ideal for beginners.
Discover key German phrases and the cultural diversity of German-speaking countries (CEFR level A1).
Study new topics like food, seasons, and time to build up your German vocabulary (CEFR level A1).
Further your German knowledge by learning to give your opinion on new and varied topics (CEFR level A2).
Learn to express your opinions and start mastering everyday situations in German (CEFR level A2).
Step up your German language-learning by taking on more complex conversations (CEFR level B1).
Learn to read, write, and speak Italian while immersing yourself in the lifestyle, cuisine, historic cities, art, and culture of Italy. These courses are suitable for beginners.
A perfect 'aperitivo'! Learn Italian starting with simple topics such as reading menus (CEFR level A1).
Build on your study and learn to talk about time, work, transport, and holidays in Italian (CEFR level A1).
Delve further into Italian language and culture by exploring geography, food and festivals (CEFR level A2).
Step up your progress in Italian with new vocabulary and key expressions (CEFR level A2).
Develop your Italian skills, including talking about the past and childhood (CEFR level B1).
Explore more complex topics in Italian, including social media and Italian migration (CEFR level B1).
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.
Discover the history of computer audio and music from the earliest computers to modern technology.
Explore the relationship between music, identity, and culture through the work of the country musician and songwriter Dolly Parton.
Learn about the cultural context and diversity of a variety of different sound systems.
Projects are how organisations make things happen. A short course can help you develop your knowledge of this methodology to apply in your own workplace or project.
Learn the key skills and techniques of project management to enhance your career.
Over 500 million people worldwide speak Spanish. You too can learn one of the globe’s most popular languages with a short course perfect for beginners.
Discover one of the world’s most widely spoken languages with a short course (CEFR level A1).
Learn to talk about time, your daily and weekly routine, work, interests and hobbies (CEFR level A1).
Begin conversing in this popular language using new topics to build your vocabulary (CEFR level A2).
Build on your beginners’ Spanish with new topics, including sport and grammar (CEFR level A2).
Advance your Spanish language skills with new topics, situations and phrases (CEFR level B1).
Develop your Spanish further, including learning to use the past tense (CEFR level B1).
In a few hours of study, a short course can open your world to other cultures. Discover hidden histories and forgotten traditions from around the world.
Learn basic Welsh language skills while exploring key aspects of Welsh culture.