• British Council

Exploring English: Magna Carta

Improve your English language skills while exploring Magna Carta - the 800-year-old "great charter" that shaped the world.

72,452 enrolled on this course

Exploring English: Magna Carta
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

How did a peace treaty signed by an English king in 1215 become such an important symbol of liberty and human rights around the world?

This course will start by looking at the events that led to the signing of Magna Carta in 1215, before examining the role the Magna Carta has played in shaping history – from American independence to liberation movements around the world.

Finally, we will look at the relevance of Magna Carta to the 21st century.

At each step of the course, you will be taken through each topic and introduced to a language focus, by looking at some examples of English in use in videos and texts.

Short quizzes will help you check your understanding and you’ll be asked to join discussions with other learners around the world.

What topics will you cover?

The Historical Context

  • Why do we still talk about Magna Carta?
  • 1215 - The Context for Magna Carta
  • Events which followed the signing of Magna Carta  

Magna Carta around the world

  • Magna Carta through the ages
  • The American Declaration of Independence
  • Universal Suffrage
  • Magna Carta and Liberation

Magna Carta today

  • Human Rights
  • Digital Rights
  • Democracy versus liberty

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. 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...

  • Explore the events that led to the signing of Magna Carta in 1215.
  • Investigate the role Magna Carta has played in shaping history.
  • Evaluate the relevance of Magna Carta to the 21st century.
  • Reflect on language in use.
  • Develop language skills and practise using new language.
  • Contribute to discussions with other learners around the world.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at non-native English speakers at around intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR) or above.

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • 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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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