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From cyber security to food security: 5 new free online courses announced

Five new free online courses are now live on FutureLearn and ready for you to join. They cover everything from cyber security to food security, healthcare to literature. Here’s our quick guide to them all.

Introduction to Cyber Security

Our lives depend on online services. This 8 week course from The Open University will help you gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, and learn how to protect your digital life.

It’ll frame your own online safety in the context of the wider world, introducing you to concepts such as malware, network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management.

It’s been developed with support from the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme. Your guide for the course will be blogger, journalist and science fiction author, Cory Doctorow.

It starts on 13 October – join the course now.

 

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s Disease

This popular 3 week course from the University of Birmingham returns to FutureLearn.

It’s aimed at anyone with an interest in the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease – how it affects people, what causes it, what we can do to try to ameliorate the symptoms and what we don’t yet know about it.

You’ll need to have a basic knowledge of what the brain is made of to take it.

It starts on 17 November – join the course now.

 

Tackling the Global Food Crisis: Supply Chain Integrity

Humanity faces a considerable problem in maintaining and enhancing food supplies globally, while improving our well-being, coping with increasing populations and tackling climate change.

This new 5 week course from Queen’s University Belfast will help you understand the challenges for food security in this context – how we trace and detect food contamination, whether it be by accident or as a result of fraud.

The Lead Educator is Professor Chris Elliott – author of the UK government’s brand new report on the integrity and assurance of food supply networks.

It starts on 17 November – join the course now.

 

Ageing Well: Falls

Every day in the UK, almost 10,000 people aged over 65 will fall down. The personal costs are staggering.

This new 4 week course from Newcastle University will explain why people fall, practical methods to reduce the risk of falling and when to seek expert help.

Whether you’ve been affected by falls yourself or care for someone who has, this course could help, drawing on real world experience and case studies.

It starts on 24 November – join the course now.

 

How to Read a Mind

Another popular course returns. Over 2 weeks, experts from the University of Nottingham will ask: why do we feel anything for fictional characters? Why do we get angry, moved, irritated, annoyed or sentimental about imaginary people in imagined worlds?

They’ll introduce you to the concept of ‘cognitive poetics’ – the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

It starts on 01 December – join the course now.

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