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Free online learning

Stat graphic - 600,000+ visitors from Scotland to OpenLearn in 2019/20It 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.

OpenLearn - Scotland

OpenLearn is a site of free online learning from The Open University. It gives you free access to Open University course materials and expert opinion on topical issues. Click here to find out more about resources developed for Scotland.

OpenLearn - worldwide

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 1000 free courses, totalling 12,000 hours of learning. It’s all free. Resources include the interactive toolkit, Reboot Your STEM Career.

OpenLearn Create

OpenLearn Create is an innovative leading open educational platform from The OU, where individuals and organisations (including The OU) can publish their open content, open courses and resources. It is Moodle based and has tools for collaboration, reuse and remixing.

TV and radio programmes

OpenLearn includes TV and radio programmes from The Open University, made in collaboration with other broadcasters. The OU in Scotland has contributed to programmes including The Secret History of Our Streets: ScotlandHistory of Scotland, and Town with Nicholas Crane.


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


Join over 250,000 others by subscribing to OULearn, the home for our free learning videos on YouTube. With over 1,700 uploads you’ll easily find a video or playlist to explore, whatever subject you’re interested in, such as ‘60 second adventures in Microgravity with David Mitchell - What is microgravity?’. 

Google Play

Read one of 100 free ebooks on your Android phone or tablet. Visit the Google Play store and search for ‘The Open University’.

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.

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 40,000 research outputs available online. 

Open Educational Practices in Scotland

The OU led a project between 2014-2017 to consider the development of free online educational resources and their effective use in Scotland. Working in partnership with other Scottish universities, The OU aimed to support best practice in this area, to encourage greater engagement in both informal and formal learning, within and beyond the university sector. The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project was funded for three years (2014-2017) by the Scottish Funding Council and was guided by a steering group with the following universities: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the University of the Highlands and Islands; along with the Colleges Development Network. 

In September 2016 OEPS launched a new open badged course, Becoming an Open Educator, available for free online on OpenLearn Create. Hear Pete Cannell, OEPS co-director, talk about the project (from 06:12 - 11:06).

Read the OEPS Final Report