Free On line Learning Courses

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I have recently been approached by a clien twanting to attend a course to improve her job prospects but not able to attend college due to cost of course .........and finding one to fit in with work commitments! 

I have previously commented on the demise  of  college courses (and associated funding!) available through local colleges. There is, however an increasing number of free courses offered through on line learning. Providers include the BBC, employment websites, private providers, professional bodies, colleges, universities etc.

Self-study does not suit everyone and you obviously need an appropriate skill level plus access to appropriate  hardware to carry out the course. There is also provision to develop the required  level of skills by starting with basic Maths, English or computer skills course before moving on to more advanced options.

Courses cover an incredibly wide range of topics for work and leisure covering practical and academic topic across all levels, from basic/beginners to high academic/ professional.

You can take a course just for pleasure or to provide a starting point for getting back into education, as an introduction to the method of study/subject matter or as a foundation for further study. On completion, you will generally receive a certificate showing the topics covered. Gaining recognized qualifications or accreditation of competency may involve costs, for registration with the awarding body, attendance at an examination centre or for certification.

Massive Open Online Courses are free Web-based distance learning programmes aimed at worldwide learners.  A MOOC may be patterned on/ delivered by, a college or university or may be less structured. Although MOOCs don't always offer academic credits, they provide education that may enable certification, employment or further studies.

Footnote:  Interesting article by Sarah Willis FE News 10/12/14 'Are MOOCs making or breaking privilege?'

Many of the organisations listed below offer courses under the umbrella of MOOC

Other Providers of free online learning





Google Digital Garage 


Open University OpenLearn 

University of Derby    


Other colleges, universities and providers may also offer specific free courses, or remission of fees depending on your existing qualification level, personal situation, or financial circumstances. It is always worth checking…………but don’t assume that your local college will offer the course without charge! 

Checkout the range of courses ...................................

Art and Design, Basic Skills, Building Skills, Business Studies/Management, Cars, Children's Learning, Crafts, Creative Arts & Media, Customer Service, Dementia, Digital Marketing, Effective Networking, English,Environmental Studies, Essential IT Skills, Equality & Diversity, Food and Catering, Gardening, Health and Nursing (e.g. Understanding Autism, Asperger’s & ADHD, Bridging the Dementia Divide), History, Homes,Infection Control,  Information Technology, Languages & Cultures, Law, Legal and Consumer, Literature, Maths,Media Studies, Mindfulness, Music, Nature & Environment, Online & Digital, Operations Management, Performing Arts, Personal Development, Politics & the Modern World, Psychology, Parenthood, Religious Studies, Schools, Science, Maths & Technology, Fitness, Teaching & Studying, Working in the health Sector

.........................................….  and get ‘Googling’ contact providers listed above or Contact  Work & Beyond for more information.

Important note about Vocational Qualifications

You  need to check if you are doing a full award or ‘Credits towards’ as this makes a significant difference to your employment prospects. A unit of Child Development at Level 3 is not the same as a full award, which may involve 12 units. You will also need accredited practical experience to gain the full qualification required by employers.

As you are likely to be putting considerable time and effort into any course you take, make sure you carry out the necessary research to ensure you are making the best possible choice  

For professional, impartial advice or further information, contact Adrienne at Work & Beyond or checkout the rest of the site to see how we work