Harness the transformative power of calculus and find out how complex equations relate to everyday life.

An abstract image in outer space featuring elements such as: a black hole, two dogs in space suits holding jars of peanut butter, 3 planets, a rocket, 2 graphs, two formulas and several stars.

Discover the real-world applications of calculus and find meaning in maths

On this three-week course, you’ll learn how to solve complex mathematical equations whilst exploring the impact calculus has on our daily lives. You’ll investigate limits, derivatives, and integrals, addressing areas of calculus that learners often find most difficult.

Explore key concepts in calculus, guided by experts from leading universities

On this course from BoxPlay, you’ll encounter quirky characters and fun animations, whilst engaging with content developed with maths experts from leading universities including Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, preparing you for further study at the very highest level.

Learn how calculus can help solve problems from the every day to the extraordinary

From designing video games, to building rockets, to monitoring endangered animal populations, calculus is used in all kinds of STEM careers.

Using engaging videos and relatable scenarios, you’ll explore rules of differentiation, mean value theorem, and how to use derivatives to analyse graphs. You’ll also delve into the applications of integrals, discovering how they are used in innovative creations and futuristic projects.

Improve your knowledge of advanced mathematics and prepare for a career in STEM

You’ll discover how calculus is used by scientists to unravel the mysteries of the universe, learning how to calculate limits of functions, predict and explain behaviour using graphs, and explain asymptotic and unbounded behaviour.

Using this knowledge, you’ll be able to find unknown values even when they are infinite, giving you insights into the everyday work of a rocket scientist.

By the end of this course, you’ll have furthered your knowledge of the great calculus, understanding key concepts and their real-world applications in our ever-changing world.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds The Great Calculus is brought to you by our incredible team of math experts from world renowned schools like Caltech and Oxford University. Working alongside Hollywood filmmakers and storytellers, we created this course that makes calculus fun, engaging, and easy for most to understand and master. Calculus is everywhere. Life saving medicine, machine learning, smartphones, computer games, the acceleration of cars, the change of weather, everything is based on the concept of calculus.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds Our course uses interesting real world examples that you will be able to relate to. Engaging animated videos take you deep into the world of calculus, guiding you step by step through concepts and equations. Downloadable PDFs of definitions, questions and answers give you the chance to test and practice your new knowledge.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds Newton’s Apple and old ways of teaching just don’t stack up against the technology we use every day. So we have reinvented the way students learn calculus. If you are a student looking to pursue a STEM degree or you just want to brush up on advanced calculus skills, then this is the course for you. In our dynamic, animated, easy to understand modules of

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds The Great Calculus: Limits, Integrals and Derivatives, you’ll find the tools you need to become a calculus grade.


  • Week 1


    • Introduction to derivatives

      A brief introduction to the course and to the topics that we will cover in the first week: derivates and the key principles that relate to them.

    • What are derivatives?

      Here we will take a look at the definition of derivates and what they are used for in the real world.

    • Acceleration, optimization, and rates

      Here we take a look at how derivatives can be used to evaluate acceleration, optimization, and related rates.

    • Mean value, tangents, and differential equations

      In this activity we will take a deeper look at derivatives by exploring the mean value theorem, how derivatives relate to tangent lines, and a first look at differential equations.

    • Rules, higher order derivatives, and graphing

      Now it's time to consolidate our learning about derivatives and push the boundaries even further by looking at the rules of differentiation, higher order derivatives and graphing functions.

    • Differential equations and the chain rule

      In this final activity of the week, we'll take a more in-depth look at two concepts that we've touched on already: differential equations and the chain rule.

  • Week 2


    • Introduction to integrals

      First, we'll look at what integrals are and how they are used.

    • Rules of integration

      Now that you know the basics of integrals, it's time to take a more thorough look at the rules related to integration.

    • Sums and slicing

      Now that you have a solid foundation of how to approach resolving integral equations, let's take a look at Riemann sums and calculating volume by slicing.

    • Averages and discontinuity

      In the final activity on integrals, we'll take a look at how to find the average value of a function and how to handle functions that are discontinuous.

  • Week 3


    • Introduction to limits

      To begin, we'll look at a definition of what limits are as well as a few basic types of limits.

    • Limits and infinity

      This activity will take a look at how limits work when infinity is involved.

    • Beyond limits

      This final activity on limits will delve into some more complex ideas, such as continuity, limits that do not exist, and discrete functions.

    • Test and wrap-up

      In this final activity, you will complete the final test and complete the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify equations and graphs that have limits, as well as the type of limit and where those limits exist.
  • Solve equations that feature derivates.
  • Calculate the area under a graph using integrals.
  • Model real-world situations involving rates of change using calculus.
  • Assess graphs to determine tangent lines and rates of change.
  • Solve equations that feature integrals.
  • Solve equations that feature limits.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of calculus and its real-world applications.

It’s particularly suitable for STEM students who want to further their understanding of calculus concepts in preparation for further study at university.

Who developed the course?


BoxPlay is democratizing career success by making learning a new habit and trade through creating the most compelling, relevant, and engaging streaming educational content to help with employability and career success. Our products combine education and entertainment. We create immersive, bingeable experiences with characters, narratives, and moving visuals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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