Change your life through education and training

Study for free on Glastonbury Learning

Get inspired and learn something new today

Study for free on Glastonbury Learning

Get inspired and learn something new today

What can I study?

OpenLearn offers a huge range of courses covering subjects from across the OU, but what does that actually mean?  Well, there are courses to help you get a job, manage your life outside of work or just to satisfy your curiosity.

So, if you want an introduction to Bookkeeping, to understand more about mental health and wellbeing, or you simply want to know about the history of the pancake, we have something for you. To help, we have pulled together selections of courses in areas of interest below. From 1 to 100 hours of learning, discover hundreds of free courses to inspire and inform you. Don’t hesitate, dive right into learning now.

Study free courses on Sustainability

Courses looking at meeting our own needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

An introduction to sustainable energy

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

Future energy demand and supply

Energy in buildings

Understanding the environment: Complexity and chaos

Could we control our climate?

Organisations, environmental management and innovation

Working with our environment: an introduction

Earn a localised digital badge

Gain an Upskill Award endorsed by Glastonbury Town Deal Board

Complete three courses on OpenLearn to gain the award.

Digital badges are a great way to showcase your skills. By completing OpenLearn courses, you can gain recognition for your existing and new skill sets. In addition to the OpenLearn badges, we have created a Glastonbury Town digital badge in recognition of those who are working on their skills through this programme.

By completing three OU short courses on OpenLearn, you can request a Glastonbury digital badge to add to your collection. 

We are now actively working with local employers to recognise this programme and the achievement of each job seeker in earning this badge, and encouraging them to consider this when interviewing and hiring new employees.

More information on the Upskill Award

You can earn your badge by simply completing three short online courses on OpenLearn.  

Once you have earned your OU statement of participation (online certificate) for each course, simply send through a photo of each via email to Once checked, they will send you back a Glastonbury Upskill Award, which you can display alongside your other achievements on social media such as LinkedIn and your CV.

Free courses across a wide range of subjects

To showcase the range of courses available, here are some of the subject areas. Click on a pathway to access OpenLearn.

Nature & Environment

We all depend on nature for our food, air, water, energy and raw materials.  Explore our shared home and get to know more about the challenges it is facing.

Money & Business

Understanding the world of work, from big business to the pounds in your pockets. With courses in understanding the corporate work, through to resources to help you manage the cost of living crisis.

Digital & Computing

Courses and resources to help you understand the digital world and its impacts on how we live, work, socialise and play today, and helping to understand the opportunities of tomorrow.

History & The Arts

From Hitler’s rise and fall, through to how Jazz came to Wales, we offer a wide range of courses and resources exploring culture, conflict, art and all the things that make us human.

Skills for life and study

Courses and resources to help you improve your underlying life skills. From improving your soft skills such as communication, through to managing your health and wellbeing and relationships.

Science, Maths & Technology

Courses to help you at every level, from building your confidence with day-to-day maths to understanding autism, from discovering the moons of the solar system to brushing up your cyber skills.


Wherever you are, making yourself understood is the key to success. With improving your English, to starting with a new language and understanding a new culture.

Society, Politics & Law

Courses to help you understand how society works today and the future challenges and opportunities we’ll all face in the future. How do we get on together and what happens when we don’t?

Health, Sports & Psychology

How best to maintain a healthy mind in a healthy body with a wide range of courses covering key topics in mental health, psychology and social care.

 In each, you will find a wide selection of courses, articles and other resources.  Courses are of different length, and level, but there should be something of interest to everyone. All courses are self-paced, so you don’t have to complete it all in one sitting or by a certain deadline. There is no penalty to try something and decide it’s not for you. There are no catches or ‘gotchas’; it’s free learning to help you.

Everything on OpenLearn is free to everyone

What is OpenLearn?

Interested in a new topic and want to dig deeper? Or maybe you’re passionate about a subject?

OpenLearn is a free learning platform, delivered by The Open University as part of its social remit to support access to education. It’s available to everyone for free, without catches or ‘gotchas’.

It offers over 1,000 free courses, topical and interactive content, videos, and online games. So, whether it’s a five-minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you’ll find it on OpenLearn for free.

Study free courses

There are over 10,000 hours of courses and content on OpenLearn, all of which are free to study. It covers a wide range of subjects taught across the OU, plus additional resources to help people with skills for works and skills for life in general. Many of the courses offered are taken directly from our degree modules, but we also offer lots of other courses at multiple levels, from helping you to understand basic skills in maths, English and digital, through to helping to understand and control the family budget.

All OpenLearn courses come with a certificate of completion for free, and some allow you to earn a free digital badge in recognition of your learning achievements. These badges can be shared on social media sites like LinkedIn and are increasingly being recognised as evidence of upskilling by employers.

The Future is Open with free learning

Earn digital badges

Digital badges are being used by learning providers to showcase learners upskilling or gaining recognition of their existing skill sets.  The OpenLearn badged courses tend to cover soft skills such as communication, negotiation and resilience that everyone increasingly needs to develop to navigate their work and life in general.

These courses are designed for unconfident learners, people whose previous education may have been poor, or others who haven’t studied for many years. They are designed to build your confidence as you learn new skills. On completion of the course, we issue you with a digital badge, which you can showcase on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter as recognition of your achievements.

Skills for work and life

OpenLearn is a platform dedicated to you. Its main goal is to help you develop in a range of areas – from skills for work, to resources for health and wellbeing, or courses on money and finance.

OpenLearn’s easy-to-access nature means that you’re able to expand your knowledge and enhance your skills without committing to full-time study – all for free. Discover courses at a range of levels. So, whether you’re wanting to learn something completely new, expand your existing knowledge, or learn something more specialist, you’ll be able to find a course to suit you.

Our courses have been proven to increase confidence and develop the skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning. You can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects.

Everything on OpenLearn is free to everyone

Your questions answered 

What is OpenLearn?

OpenLearn is a platform where you can access over 1,000 online courses, articles and related resources. It’s all completely free to you, without catches or ‘gotchas’. It is provided as part of the social remit of The Open University.

Last year, over 16 million learners visited the site. Some looked, some read content and many started courses, starting their learning journey at their own pace.

We do ask you to register your name, email and date of birth, but aside from that, we ask for nothing else. You can explore OpenLearn and start courses there and then. Arguably, there is something to pique everyone’s interest.

You will find hundreds of free courses, topical and interactive content, videos, and online games on OpenLearn.

What are free OpenLearn courses?

OpenLearn courses cover a wide range of subjects taught across the OU curriculum. Many are based on Open University course materials, while others are written specifically for OpenLearn. 

All of our courses enable you to earn a free Statement of Participation and some also allow you to earn a free digital badge. You can use your badge or Statement of Participation to share your achievement with others, although they do not carry any formal credit towards a qualification.

Find out more and explore our free courses.

What is the relationship between The Glastonbury Town Deal and OpenLearn?

OpenLearn is a free learning resource, available to all people, everywhere. The Town Deal programme has partnered with The Open University to provide an access point into OpenLearn, as well as to promote and encourage people who live in and around Glastonbury to utilise Open University courses and content, without charge.

Glastonbury have curated some of the courses to give you a clear view into accessing OpenLearn. It has also built additional resources around OpenLearn such as the Glastonbury Upskill Award badge to help build local knowledge and help more people into better jobs.

How do I start a course?

Go into OpenLearn, select the course you are interested in and simply start the course from there. You do not need to register to start the course. However, through registering your name and a few other details, you can then gain certificates and badges when you complete the courses.

Our courses are designed for unconfident learners. Those people whose previous education experience may have been poor or those who have not studied for a number of years. The courses aim to teach you new skills but also to build your learner confidence as you proceed through the course.

Try a course today… what can you lose?

See more at Why study a free course on OpenLearn?

Can I get any Open University qualifications through OpenLearn?

OpenLearn features free informal courses where you can achieve Statements of Participation and digital badges. It is not possible to gain a formal academic qualification through OpenLearn.

To achieve a formal academic qualification, you will need to register and study an Open University course.

For more information, visit the Courses section of The Open University’s website to view the online prospectus.