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800+ Open University Free Certificates

OpenLearn offers over 800 courses on a wide variety of subjects, and they include free certificates & badges.

OpenLearn homepage

The Open University offers 800 free online courses via their OpenLearn platform. And these include free certificates of completion, and sometimes, badges.

Having completed a bachelor’s degree with the Open University, I can attest to the quality of their courses, which cover a wide variety of subjects, ranging from arts and language to science and technology.

In this Class Central article, we discuss OpenLearn, their free online course offering, and how you can earn free certificates and badges.


OpenLearn course page: Moons of our Solar System

Launched in 2006, OpenLearn is the OpenCourseWare (OCW) platform of the Open University, the world’s first distance-learning university and one of Europe’s largest academic institutions, founded in 1969 following a push by the UK government to make higher education more accessible.

OpenLearn takes the form of a catalog of open educational resources (OER), including articles, podcasts, videos — and more than 800 free online courses.

Since the platform focuses on openness, you don’t actually need to create an account to access the learning materials. That said, if you do create an account, you’ll be able to save your progress, and upon finishing a course, you’ll unlock a free certificate of completion.


OpenLearn sample of courses and learning resources

OpenLearn offers a wide variety of courses, as you can see above.

All the courses are on-demand, meaning they don’t have specific start and end dates. And they’re released under the Creative Commons license, meaning you can freely use the course materials in non-commercial contexts.

These can be broken down into three levels (introductory, intermediate, and advanced) and eight categories:

OpenLearn course (left) and assignment (right)

Courses interleave readings, video, and audio materials, and they supplement them with auto-graded assignments, such as quizzes comprising multiple choice questions, as you can see above.

Here are some of the courses you can take on OpenLearn:

You can find the full list of free OpenLearn courses here.

Free Certificates: How to Earn One

The certificate of completion earned by my colleague @pat

The online courses offered on OpenLearn include a free certificate of completion like the one above. And some courses also include a free badge.

Here’s how to take a course on OpenLearn and earn free certificates and badges:

  1. Create an OpenLearn account here.
  2. Enroll in an OpenLearn course here.
  3. Finish the course.

As you work your way through the course materials and assignments, you’ll tick items off your course to-do list, and upon reaching 100% completion, you’ll unlock your free certificate.

More Free Certificates

If you don’t find what you need here and would like to explore more learning opportunities that include a free certificate, Class Central’s got you covered. Check our articles:

You can find all the Class Central free certificate articles here.

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

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