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Online course

Get Started with Online Learning

Find out what online learning is and develop the skills to study online without putting the rest of your life on hold.

Get Started with Online Learning

Develop the skills you need to make online learning a success

The internet is playing a bigger role in our work and social lives. But have you considered studying online?

Studying at a campus university isn’t for everyone. If you have caring responsibilities, want to re-skill to change careers or wish to earn while you learn, then online study may be for you.

In this online course, you will find out what online learning is and what it can offer you. You will discover the skills required for online study; evaluate your own skills; examine how students form online communities; and learn how to benefit from flexible study arrangements and dedicated tutors.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsHEIDI MCCAFFERTY: I'm Heidi McCafferty. I did my first degree with the Open University, and now I'm doing a master's there. In this two-week course we'll be looking at what it means to study online, how you go about it, the advantages, and also the challenges and how to meet them. It'll give you a bit of a taster of studying online, and look at some of the questions that prospective students often ask, such as how much study time is involved, what if I'm struggling with an essay, what if my study skills are rusty, or school didn't work well for me?

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsThis course draws on the expertise of the Open University to show you how it's possible to get a degree, or a certificate, without becoming a full time student at a campus university. There are lots of reasons why it suited me better to study online. For a start, it means you can fit studying in around the parts of your life. So if you've begun your career, have caring responsibilities, or prefer to stay at home, then this can also work well for you. You can study at a time and a place to suit you, with support from a dedicated tutor. And you can get support from lots of other students through special social media forums.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsTry out this short course to see if studying online could be the answer for you.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
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Who is the course for?

Who will you learn with?

Laura Hills

As part of the team at the Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships at The Open University, I have an interest in widening access to education and how learning can best be supported.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

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Join this course


  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course
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