By Joshua Wright
Ever wanted to improve your CV? Or perhaps fancied learning a new skill for leisure? Online courses are a great way to develop transferable skills, demonstrate personal growth and increase your employability. This article highlights some of the institutions and websites that offer free online programmes, making it easy to find a course that suits you.
Massive Open Online Courses (aka. MOOCs)
Offered by Universities across the country, MOOCs are short online courses that anyone can take for free. With no entry requirements, MOOCs were designed to make learning accessible so everyone can have access to a first-rate education without the exhaustive time commitments, entry requirements or tuition fees of a typical university course. If you wish to receive accreditation after completing the course, you may have to pay a fee to take a final exam (otherwise the courses are generally free of charge to ensure money shouldn’t be an obstacle that prevents you from learning that new skill you’ve always wanted). You can take MOOC courses on a vast variety of topics so if there’s a particular subject or area you wish to study, it’s worth googling as the chances are there’s a university that offers the perfect one for you.
There are several great websites where you can complete MOOC courses:
- Future Learn: Founded by the Open University, Future Learn works with over 80 universities to provide a wide variety of free online courses. Although I never sought accreditation, I completed a screenwriting course run by Future Learn. With an easy to use website, riveting lecture videos and an engaged forum community, I can personally attest to the high-quality teaching experience Future Learn provides. I highly recommend readers consider checking it out.
- EdX – Created by MIT and Harvard, EdX works with over 160 academic institutions to provide a plethora of first-rate free online courses. The website has a community of over 24 million users and is a popular option for people trying to enhance their CV with additional skills.
- Coursera – Offering courses from esteemed universities such as Yale and Stanford, it is definitely worth spending some time browsing through Coursera’s free course catalogue. With over a thousand courses to choose from, there’s bound to be one that appeals to you. Just be careful you look at the free courses, and not the full-time degrees that are also available on the site.
The educational branch of the Mojatu Foundation, the Kutambua website offers a diverse variety of courses from Digital Storytelling and Community Journalism to Driving Theory with Conversational English. Whether you’re trying to improve your CV or just trying to pass a driving test, Kutambua may be the perfect resource to help you achieve your goals. It is worth taking some time to check out the whole website but here are a few of the courses I would recommend.
- Health and Social Care – Led by Tanya Azad, this women’s only course provides students with the necessary protection and safeguarding skills for a role in health and social care, as well as offering guidance on career planning and job applications.
- Customer Service – Helping to develop a range of transferable skills, this accredited course teaches the core principles of customer service and is ideally suited to those beginning a career in the profession.
- Hospitality and Catering – Ideal for those wishing to enter the hospitality industry, this course covers the basics of food and service provision and details the steps necessary to ensure your catering complies with government legislation
- Driving Theory – Over this 12-week course, students will learn how to take and pass a standard DVLA driving test. Furthermore, the course offers additional support on how to apply for a provisional license and offers guidance to those seeking a good driving instructor. Although the course is open to anyone, the teaching is specifically tailored towards students whose first language isn’t English (with interpreters for languages such as Arabic and Kurdish).
- English and Conversation – A weekly English course for learners at all levels, the programme enables students to improve their grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, writing and reading. Additionally, the course has a strong focus on fostering discussion and debate, enabling students to practice and develop their conversation skills.
Thank you for reading. I hope you’ve found this blog useful and engaging. If you’ve completed an online course before or have past experience with any of the websites listed, please leave a comment down below. I’m sure the Kutambua community would appreciate hearing any recommendations or advice you have to share.