Free Can Be Fantastic – Part Two

Hello there!

Thanks for joining me again.

In Part One I mentioned Alison and The Open University and what they have to offer, today I will tell you more about FutureLearn, Open Learn and a new find- Reed.

These are only three, of thousands of courses organisations that display when you type ‘free courses in the UK’, in your search engine. When I am searching and find that I am looking for a needle in a haystack, I usually go for websites that are simple and straight forward to read. You have to be able to navigate around the website with ease if you are to study with them.

Of course choosing a free short course, to begin with, will help you to decide whether the course or the organisation is for you. Another factor to be considered is advertising and subscriptions.  Unfortunately, many of the free websites will have quite a few adverts and may ask you to sign up for their newsletters.

FutureLearn is privately owned by The Open University and according to their website you:

‘Join over 1733635 people learning with FutureLearn. Enjoy free online courses from top universities and cultural institutions. Find the course for you.’ And,

Open Learn is: ‘The home of free learning from The Open University

The resources used by FutureLearn and Open Learn are no different from the main Open University courses, in that they all have well- designed course material. I have taken courses with both and find them to be informative and interesting. The only negative I can find is that there are so many courses you may have trouble deciding which ones you want to study!

FutureLearn courses have specified start dates and run from between three to eight weeks. You can interact with other learners via threads of comments. While with Open Learn you start and finish when you want.

FutureLearn offers you a certificate if you wish to purchase one as proof of Participation, while Open Learn offers you a statement of Participation.

I recently came across a website that acts as a platform for organisations offering free and certified courses. I have only ever associated Reed, with recruitment, and in-house training for candidates. Their website is

One example of the price range is:

The Elements of English Grammar, an online course which is £8.00 and at the other end of the scale is English Language and Linguistics MA for £8,385 at Leicester University.

As I have said previously, I would recommend that you do some research about these courses before undertaking any study. I cannot vouch for the courses Reed have on their website, as I have not taken any, yet!

I hope that this has helped to encourage you to look at what is out there, and take the plunge!

Take Care,



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