So you’re looking to improve your knowledge online, but don’t really have the cash to pay for an online course. Well, while it might have stopped you in the 20th century, there’s little chance of that happening nowadays.
Online you’ll find an abundance of free online courses and classes over a wide variety of topics. On this page you will find our recommended course providers for free courses online, plus a few hints and tips on how you can study online for free.
While not every e-learning site offers free courses — many offer fantastic discounts or trials. Click on any of the icons below to check out our review, or read on for more information.
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I think most of us have heard the phrase ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’, and in most instances you would be right — ultimately, there’s always a catch with free courses online . And the same could be said for the likes of Udemy and LinkedIn as well, but for very different reasons. The free online courses available on these platforms are often introductory — as in, they will teach you the very basic fundamentals within a broad subject area.
For example, if you embark upon one of the Udemy free courses online in SEO , you might find you’ll learn the basics about how a search engine works. And while this is useful for beginners, it is really only scratching the surface. What this free course does is, essentially, gear you up for a paid course — which, as you probably already know, is the equivalent aim of a free lunch; for once you get a taste of the course, you will want to purchase the full syllabus. Ultimately, though, if you utilise the free course system well, it can be handy way to check whether or not you’re interested in a subject before embarking on a fully paid-up course.
But you can also pick up some very valuable skills from free courses online. This is especially true when it comes to short courses in specific practical skills. Many free courses online will cover very specific elements of subjects such as photography, cookery or computer programming, for example. The relative lack of detail in free courses can be an advantage, in that it narrows focus and allows a more intense study of one specific aspect of a topic.
The other significant benefit that you can take from free courses online is that they are quite often very short. This makes learning easier for people who have limited time available, such as learners with small children to care for, or people who have business or work commitments to juggle alongside their learning. Free courses online can be a great option if you’ve got an already busy schedule.
It is wise to not ignore the possibilities that free courses online offer. You can pick up some kind of free course from almost every provider, with some notable exceptions. Masterclass, for example, operates a different model to Udemy or Cousera, and aims to offer premium content for subscribers. But there are plenty of other options out there. You can read about some of them here.
What Makes Udemy Stand Out?
Once again, it’s Udemy which stands out as the best online course provider for free online courses, which a vast range of introductory courses on offer. And for those thinking Udemy free courses aren’t worthwhile — then we’re pleased to announce that you’re wrong! With a simple search on their website we found that there were in fact over 6000 free online courses.
Topics include ‘lead generation’, ‘Adobe InDesign’, ‘The Secrets of Strong Chess Players’ and a ‘1-hour WordPress Basic Tutorial‘. All of the aforementioned courses were at least an hour long, which might not be long enough to substantially change your thinking on something, but definitely enough to act as a solid foundation.
If you’re looking for free online courses then Udemy is well worth considering as a provider. Udemy free online courses are varied in scope and subject matter, and many, though far from all, are available for free. Udemy has been around for almost a decade now, and has established itself as one of the leading players on the online course scene.
With a reputation for academic rigour, as well as good value, Udemy allows tutors to upload their own work, something that helps to keep prices low and the range of free courses extensive. Tutors are not charged fees to upload courses. You can find around 6000 free Udemy courses at their website now, so the options are extensive, even for free courses online.
But there are more providers out there offering free online courses for adults than just Udemy, of course. Udemy free online courses are good, but it is always wise to consider a wider range of options when it comes to maximising your chances of finding the right free courses online. We’ll take a closer look at some of these other online course providers here.
Coursera has emerged in recent years as one of the world’s opt online course providers. There are many Coursera free online courses that you can enrol in. You can find out about some of these in the Coursera review at this website. The Stanford free online courses are well worth considering, with the topics covered including machine learning, breast feeding and French, among a wide variety of other areas. You can access these courses very simply and sign up for them via Coursera.
In the vast majority of them you will be able to learn at your own pace, in a manner that suits you. You should not feel intimidated by the fact that these courses are offered by one of the world’s premier academic institutions. All course details include clear information about the ability level and previous learning that is required to complete the courses.
Coursera is a truly international operator, possessing links to educational institutions in 48 countries, including the USA and UK. If you complete one of the paid-for courses then you will receive a certificate to mark your achievement. If you’re looking for high quality free courses online, as well as paid courses, then Coursera should be right at the top of your list of options. You can find some great free online courses for adults.
If you’re looking for Harvard free courses online, then you need to look to EdX. You can read the EdX review at this website for more information. This course provider offers many free courses from Harvard University. You will need to pay something, though, if you want to receive a certificate when you have completed the course. There are some useful free courses in the spheres of education and social policy that look especially interesting at EdX.
You can find some of the free best online business courses at EdX, as well as free graphic design courses among their free online courses for adults. The provider has been around since 2012, and enjoys extensive links with prominent universities like Harvard and MIT. They also cover many topics that other providers tend to neglect. There are over 20 million students enrolled at EdX now, a sign that it is providing the kind of courses in which people are interested.
The vast majority of courses at EdX are not free, but don’t let this put you off. The wide range of topics that they cover, along with the general accessibility of the platform, means that you can benefit from an extensive range of educational opportunities. Their courses cover a wide range of subject areas in topics such as business, computer science and marketing. You can also find plenty of courses in food and nutrition, marketing and personal development.
It is possible to find free online courses with qualifications if you look carefully, but you need to be aware that the vast majority of course providers do require you to pay something if you want to obtain a certificate of some kind. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find free online courses with qualifications but you do need to look carefully.
As with any other kind of online course, successfully finding free online courses with qualifications often comes down to the subject area that you want to study. It is easier to find free online courses with qualifications in some subject areas that it is in others. It is also more straightforward to find free courses at more basic levels – the kind of skills that you will learn will be much simpler than those on a paid course.
You can find free online courses with qualifications at a number of course providers. Udemy is a great source of free courses taught by experts in a wide range of subject areas. If you want to develop your professional skills then it is also worthwhile checking out Linkedin Learning to see what’s on offer. Open Learn is run by the Open University, so is a well-respected course provider with a diverse range of options for free online courses. You can find other providers reviewed here at Online-courses.co.uk too, so make sure you check out our reviews – they can help you in your search.
With many free online courses, you are awarded a printable digital certificate to show that you have successfully completed the course. This should not be viewed in the same way as an actual qualification, but it can be useful to have it on your CV to show future employers. Successfully completing a free course shows that you possess a positive attitude towards learning and career development, as well as willingness to test yourself by learning new skills.
Free online courses are often the basis for further study rather than being an end in itself. You can use free online courses as a way of priming your knowledge and skills so that you can develop them more fully later on with a paid course. Free online courses with qualifications can be found, but the qualifications will not carry as much weight as those you receive from paid courses. Studying free online courses for adults is still a very worthwhile thing to do, though.