Online Learning for Adults

Online Learning for Adults

Want brush up on the basics, learn something new or develop your learning in a specific field? The internet is an amazing source for educational opportunities for adults. Best of all, while some course suppliers charge, many, like the ones below are absolutely free.


Functional Skills

LearnDirect Logo

For residents of Worcestershire Learndirect offer free English, Maths and IT courses that are studied online. This allows users to develop the skills they need to get into work, all from the comfort of their own home or at a local library.

English and Maths are available at entry level 3 and City and Guilds level 2 and 3. These are available fully funded by the government for people that do not have an equivalent qualification already.

People wanting to study IT have a range of options from functional skills to City and Guilds qualifications. Some of these can be studied online, or in a Learndirect centre.

English study here:
Maths study here:
IT study here:

The BBC has courses for adults on its Skillswise website, including basic English, Maths,  IT and Job Skills. The site includes games to test your knowledge.

Skillswise is here:

Advanced Courses

OpenLearn logo

The Open University has a range of short courses that can be studied on its OpenLearn website, all of which can be studied for free. There is a massive range of courses at differing levels, from introductory to advanced across a range of broad topics, including Health, Sports and Psychology, History, Languages and Environment.

The OpenLearn website is here:

Both FutureLearn and Coursera offer a range of short courses from various Universities and colleges around the world, usually taken as MOOC’s (massive open online courses) that are taken online by watching videos and supported by forums. These are a great way to learn and are free to access, however to gain a certificate of achievement or gain access to tests to validate your learning there is a cost incurred, this varies from course to course.

FutureLearn website:
Coursera website:

Open2Study logo

A personal favourite of mine is Open2Study, a website created by Open Universities Australia. These courses are free to access from anywhere in the world and they offer the tests and a certificate of completion for each one. The courses generally run for around 4 weeks and require 4-6 hours of study each week. The range of courses is smaller than FutureLearn and Coursera but they give you the opportunity to study things you cannot find elsewhere.

Open2Study website:

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