Free online courses

These free online courses are also known as MOOCs (massive open online courses). MOOCs are short courses that are usually run free of charge by major learning providers to expand your knowledge of a particular academic topic or to help you develop a specific skill. They are free to take part in and are open to everyone regardless of age, education level and location.

Free Online Courses at University of Derby

Free online learning has grown in popularity in recent years with MOOCs now being offered all over the world and are seen as a widely recognized way of adding extra credibility to your CV and education portfolio.

At the University of Derby, we continue to seek fresh and innovative ways to learn so that our students have the best choice of study options to meet their academic needs and personal circumstances. Our free online courses make higher education accessible for everyone and allow you to experience how online learning at Derby works.

High quality standards are an essential part of our university core values; every course we offer, free or otherwise, will always be worth your time and effort.

Free online courses feedback


Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills further.

Discover our courses:

Reasons to choose our free online courses

There are numerous free online courses available; here are the top five reasons to choose one of our courses: 

  • You will be issued an E-Certificate on the completion of the course
  • After completing each unit you will earn universal Mozilla open badges recognized by the majority of employers and educational institutions around the world
  • Our free courses cover subjects that we specialise in making it easy for you to progress to further study with us at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
  • Content is mobile-friendly allowing you to access it on multiple devices at any time from any location with internet access 
  • Courses have undergone a thorough academic quality reviewing process, so you can expect to receive an outstanding educational experience as a taster for further academic study.

High quality free online learning experience

In 2016, the University of Derby received the OpenupEd quality label. This means that the University of Derby is recognised as operating in a continuous process of improving their MOOC offerings. By achieving this label the University of Derby demonstrates that it offers quality controlled MOOCs in compliance with benchmarks tailored to both online and open education and keeps up to date with the latest developments. Furthermore, that it uses the OpenupEd quality instrument for benchmarked self-assessment on MOOCs and takes measures of improvement accordingly.

Our MOOCs are awarded with the OpenupEd Label of quality

Benefits of free online learning

  • No entry requirements, all you need is internet access and a valid email address.
  • It’s free! There is no cost for enrolling on the course.
  • Available everywhere, as long as you have an electronic device with access to the internet, i.e. PC, laptop, Tablet, Kindle, etc.
  • Course materials are licensed with Creative Commons Non-commercial Share-Alike license, this means that you can reuse course materials for further studying and work, as well as for teaching.

We've listened to your feedback

Due to the great feedback received from our MOOC learners, we've been able to make improvements and make sure that your learning experience is better than ever.

To enhance your free online learning experience, we have changed to D2L’s Brightspace platform.

The new features of our MOOCs include:

  • Improved, easy to use learning environment
  • Open enrolment so you can start at any time
  • Downloadable course materials
  • Option to make and save notes on course materials for future reference
  • Learning reflection tool

More about MOOCs

MOOCs are free online courses offered by educational institutions to a wide audience, i.e. anyone who wants to learn more about a particular subject. They were first introduced in 2008 and their popularity is continuing to grow.  People all around the world are embracing the concept of free open learning and today hundred thousands of people have enrolled onto a MOOC. Often these free online courses are innovative and interactive, rich with media content and forum discussions, allowing MOOCs to generate an appeal from different audiences.