Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Logical and Critical Thinking

University Of Auckland via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


We are constantly being given reasons to do and believe things: to believe that we should buy a product, support a cause, accept a job, judge someone innocent or guilty, that fairness requires us to do some household chore, and so on. Assessing the reasons we are given to do or believe these things calls upon us to think critically and logically.

Improve your logical and critical thinking skills

Even though we’re called upon to use our critical and logical thinking skills all the time, most of us are not that good at it. This free online course aims to help you develop and improve these skills.

You’ll learn how to:

  • identify and avoid common thinking mistakes that lead to the formation of bad beliefs;
  • recognise, reconstruct and evaluate arguments;
  • use basic logical tools to analyse arguments;
  • and apply those tools in areas including science, moral theories and law.

Associate Professor Tim Dare and Dr Patrick Girard from the University of Auckland take us on an informative and engaging eight week journey through the worlds of logical and critical thinking helping us to avoid these common obstacles and fallacies and improve our logical and critical thinking skills.

Throughout the course, Tim and Patrick provide videos, articles, and assignments to lead us through the thickets of logical and critical thinking.

We will spend the first half of the course exploring key concepts in logical and critical thinking. In the second half of the course, we will apply those concepts in familiar areas, to help you develop practical and useful logical and critical thinking skills.

We begin, in the first week, with an introduction to logical and critical thinking and common obstacles and fallacies.

In week two Patrick introduces arguments. We learn to identify premises and conclusions – components of a good argument – and by the end of this week we’ll be able to construct an argument in standard form.

In week three we will learn how to distinguish between deductive and non-deductive arguments and about validity, invalidity, strength and weakness.

In week four we examine good and bad arguments in more detail, learning how to tell when an argument is sound or cogent, and how to evaluate an argument.

Weeks five to seven examine three familiar areas – science, law, and morality – that call upon our logical and critical thinking skills in ways appropriate to the particular demands of those areas.

Finally in week eight we will apply the lessons of the course to an argument “in the wild”, seeing how the skills we have developed over our eight-week journey can be used in our own lives.

By the end of the course, you will have acquired the basic skills to assess arguments logically and critically, and so to be in a better situation to own the reasons for your beliefs.

You can find out more in Patrick’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “What can the New Zealand flag teach us about logical and critical thinking?”

This course is open to anyone with an interest in improving their logical and critical thinking skills. No previous knowledge or experience is required.

Taught by

Patrick Girard and Tim Dare


4.7 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Logical and Critical Thinking

  • Pilar Reyes
    One of the best courses on critical thinking I've ever taken because of the structure of the contents and the teachers. Contents are delivered in an interesting way with examples taken from recent and past events. Quizzes are demanding (most of them) without being overwhelming. One of the things I liked about these quizzes is that clear explanations were given, so students had the opportunity to know why their answers were right or wrong. Also, readings helped a lot in the understanding of the topics. Regarding the teachers, they were very engaging and funny.
  • Profile image for William Jr Powei Peruan
    William Jr Powei Peruan
    Assessment of how the issues, situations or any aspect of the topic at hand. Therefore as for this reason as critical thinking, the analysing is a significant pillar to that topic for making critical thinking more accurate and not assumption nor spe…
  • Justyna Redestowicz
    The course is an easy explanation of techniques we use to understand better the arguments we use and conclusions that we draw. In this course you will learn about common fallacies and best ways to asses the argument.
    Educators were really good and the quizzes were easy and followed by explanation from the tutor.

    In my opinion it was too easy and because of that I don't feel I learnt much. On the other hand, I had some knowledge about the fallacies before. It is good course if you need some basics in the field of critical thinking.
  • Great introduction to logic with some practical applications. Very engaging educators, good structure, various ways of presenting learning materials. Highly recommended.
  • After taking this course, you will know how to evaluate an argument correctly. Also, it don't have many unnecessary mathematical deduction in some other books.
    It also points out some points we should be aware of in certain situation (Science, Law and Moral).
    Not too difficult and not too easy.
    I urge everyone excising your logical thinking skills in your arguments!
    And welcome everyone to see my Spark summary below:
  • Profile image for Roberto Fray Da Silva
    Roberto Fray Da Silva
  • Profile image for Lilith Khumarian
    Lilith Khumarian
  • Ume Rubab
  • Liva
  • Kurtis Farthing

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.