How do FutureLearn courses work?

Written by Pat Bowden Last updated on January 13th, 2020

Looking for a listing of FutureLearn courses?

FutureLearn is an online education provider that offers online courses, popularly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, from top universities in the UK and around the world. Currently, FutureLearn boasts an active catalog of more than 880 online courses created by these partner institutions.


FutureLearn courses consist of pre-recorded video lectures and readings that you can work through on a weekly schedule or when it's convenient for you. They also have student discussions on every page of the course. Some have online practice quizzes, homework or assignments. Official tests or exams are only available for students who pay for certification.


Most FutureLearn courses are free to access for a limited time (course length plus two weeks). If you want unlimited access or access to tests and exams and earn a course Certificate, you will need to pay for an upgrade. Or, you can join FutureLearn Unlimited to be eligible to earn certificates in almost the entire catalogue.


Class Central has, however, found some courses that offer a free upgrade and digital certificate. See 130 FutureLearn Courses That Still Offer Free Certificates.


FutureLearn also offers 23 online degrees and 49 microcredentials, including academic certificates and programs, which are made up of groups of courses in a specific field. Some programs finish with a final assessment.


Some FutureLearn courses are available on a paid-only basis. These are indicated by a small green $ symbol on the Class Central information page. They are generally specialist courses for professionals already working in the field who want further education in specific topics.

Class Central's Help Center represents our best effort to answer the most common questions new learners face. It may not be completely accurate in every circumstance.

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