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Opportunities beyond Birmingham 2022

We want to create a legacy of learning and provide you with opportunities for personal and professional growth. This partnership offers our workforce access to a wide selection of high-quality courses to boost your knowledge and further develop your skills.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to study a course that could be a stepping stone to your next adventure after Birmingham 2022.

Free courses

Free courses

From 1 to 100 hours of learning – discover hundreds of free courses to inspire and inform everyone.

Develop new skills

Develop new skills

Boost your employability skills and find useful resources to help you with your life outside of work.

earn a digital badge

Earn a digital badge

Gain a digital badge or certificate. Badges demonstrate interest in a subject, evidence of professional development and a commitment to learning.

Set your pace

These online courses provide flexible learning where you can study a course at your own pace and schedule it around your time. This inclusive style of learning means you can put your preferences at the heart of your life – perfect for anyone who is in-between commitments or someone looking to expand their opportunities.

Communication

Communication

Communication is part of everyone’s life. Being able to communicate clearly and effectively orally, visually and in writing underpins nearly everything we do. This course focuses on communication in a sports environment.

customer services

Customer service

We have all experienced bad customer service, so how do we avoid this, and make customer engagement a positive experience for all? This course aims to improve the value of your ‘customer’ relationships in business and other engagements

Communication

Teamwork

Consider your experience of working in teams and the different roles you play in them for work, family and leisure activities. This course focuses on working in diverse teams and particularly those that operate at a distance.

Leadership

Leadership

Leaders are all around us – we encounter them at work and in our spare time, but have you ever wondered what makes them good or bad at their role? This course explores good leadership and recognises the skills you need to develop and enhance your own experiences of leadership.

Sports

Sports

How do you best maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind? This is a collection of sport-related courses covering a wide range of key subjects in the areas of health, sport and psychology.

Mental health

Mental health

With headlines globally about growing mental health crises, this course focuses on young people’s mental health and provides the tools to help you identify when a young person is struggling and the best way they can access help and support.

Studying free on OpenLearn

Get inspired and learn something new today!

There are nearly 1000 courses on OpenLearn, all of which are currently free to study. OpenLearn courses cover a wide range of subjects taught across the OU curriculum. Many are based on Open University course materials while others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

All of our courses enable you to earn a Statement of Participation and some also allow you to earn a free digital badge. You can use these to share your achievement on your CV or on sites like LinkedIn. Although they do not carry any credit towards a formal qualification, their achievement is being increasingly recognised as evidence of upskilling by employers.

Your questions answered

What is The Open University?

It’s not just online learning that makes us different. The Open University (OU) was established to provide more opportunities to more people. We are open in name and by nature so anyone can study with the OU, independent of your previous education, experiences or achievements.

Our courses are designed to help build your confidence as your learning progresses. Our flexible learning can fit around your work or family commitments and our awards are well-respected by employers.

The OU alumni and current student community is a movement of millions. We are enormously proud to promote education, opportunity and social justice to all.

What is OpenLearn?

Are you interested in a new topic and want to dig deeper? Or perhaps you’re passionate about a particular subject area? Whether it’s a five-minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you’ll find it on OpenLearn.

OpenLearn is a free learning platform delivered by The Open University as part of its Royal Charter commitment to support the wellbeing of the community. We’re proud to say that it reaches over 6 million learners a year.

As well as hundreds of free courses you can also find topical and interactive content, videos and online games on OpenLearn, all for free and without a catch.

What are free OpenLearn courses?

There are nearly 1000 courses on OpenLearn, all of which are free to study.

OpenLearn courses cover a wide range of subjects taught across the OU curriculum. Many are based on Open University course materials while others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

All of our courses enable you to earn a Statement of Participation and some also allow you to earn a free digital badge. You can use your badge or Statement of Participation to share your achievement with others, although they do not carry any formal credit towards a qualification.

Find out more and explore our free courses.

How do I start a course?

The starting point is the ‘Introduction’, under ‘Course content’. You then navigate through the course, either using the left-hand navigation pane or the ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ buttons. Further help can be found in ‘Advantages of enrolling on a free course‘.

Why should I have an OpenLearn account?

To get the most out of OpenLearn we suggest creating an account. This is free of charge and a simple five-minute task to do. 

With an account you get full access to additional features such as commenting on articles, enrolling on courses and earning free badges and statements. You will also be able to track your progress through courses and download your activity record. 

Find more information on creating an account here.

What is a digital badge?

A growing number of our courses offer a free digital badge. This is awarded in addition to a Statement of Participation when you successfully complete the course.

Courses that offer a digital badge typically consist of 24 hours of learning and reflection that you complete at your own pace. They are a little more formal in structure to some of the shorter courses on OpenLearn and you must complete the whole course to earn the badge.

OU-branded digital badges do not carry formal credit but do enable you to demonstrate interest and skills in the subject. Digital badges can be used to augment CVs or you can share them on social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Completing badged courses is an excellent way of gaining recognition for your existing skills as well as developing new skills. Many are work themed, allowing you to enhance your employability and progress your career, all for free.

Badged courses on OpenLearn.

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