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FutureLearn and Deakin University the first to offer range of degrees delivered entirely on a MOOC platform

Six postgraduate degrees to be available in 2017

Friday 9 December 2016, FutureLearn, the leading global social learning platform, owned by The Open University, will partner with Australia’s Deakin University to offer a range of postgraduate degrees.  This is the first time a MOOC (massive open online course) provider has offered several degrees, fully online, entirely on its platform.  The degrees in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Financial Planning, Humanitarian and Development Action, Property, and Diabetes Education will be available from early 2017.

Students will study free, short ‘taster’ courses before deciding to commit and enrol in the equivalent of a university subject. The fee-paying programs will combine several short FutureLearn courses, to make learning manageable and flexible.

FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson said: “We are delighted to be partnering with an institution at the forefront of online learning like Deakin, to lead the way in bringing this type of qualification to students all over the world. Studying a postgraduate degree is a significant commitment so we are very pleased to be able to give students the opportunity to start to learn for free and pay-as-they-go before committing to the full degree. Our aim is to allow our learners to study a full degree flexibly, whenever they like, wherever they are, fitting the courses around the rest of their lives.”  

“Learning with a global cohort of students who are actively contributing and engaged through our approach to social learning will deliver a rich experience for learners that we think will add a new dimension to this type of post graduate study,” Mr Nelson said.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said Deakin was one of the first Australian universities to offer large-scale online learning and had topped student satisfaction surveys in the state of Victoria for the past six years.

“I am confident that we can open up this high satisfaction experience to global cohorts, and FutureLearn is an ideal partner because its platform is an elegant next generation learning environment that matches our curriculum framework. We offer students a streamlined and engaging education aligned with their life and career aspirations.

“Now more than ever it is incumbent on universities to provide broadening, global experiences for their students. In a troubled world where borders seem to be closing, we need more learners engaging with peers around the world. Deakin believes this can be achieved effectively through digital education at scale. These degrees are only the start, we are already exploring options for credit sharing with other FutureLearn partners around the world to further enrich the experience for our learners.”

Current taster courses available to enrol on now include: Disaster Management: Introduction To Humanitarian Aid And Cyber Security For Small And Medium Enterprises: Identifying Threats And Preventing Attacks


Note to editors – how will it work?

Students will enrol for free in a two-week ‘taster’ course. If they decide to continue and become a degree student they will pay £1,500 or AUD $2,600 for the equivalent of one university subject. Each of these subjects will be made up of a program of five short FutureLearn courses. Students will be able to complete their degrees, initially taking two of these programs at a time, while doing additional self-directed study and completing assessments.

FutureLearn will apply its unique approach to social learning to support the student experience, and to motivate learners to complete courses, programs and ultimately degrees. Groups of students will start the course around the same time and will be encouraged to complete it at around the same pace. This will allow group activities and discussions to be designed into courses and make learning tools such as peer review work effectively across FutureLearn’s international cohort of students.

A full range of assessments will enable students to evidence their achievements. Assessments will include tutor-marked assessments, group work, peer review and exams delivered via a worldwide network of test centres.

About FutureLearn

“Pioneering the best social learning experiences for everyone anywhere”

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers 5.2 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset and European Space Agency. FutureLearn is an international platform with over 75% of its users based outside of the UK.

About Deakin University

Deakin, named after Australia’s second Prime Minister, is a young contemporary university with a reputation for being innovative, nimble and friendly. We aspire every day to combine excellent research and outstanding teaching with a strong focus on the communities we serve. Deakin is ranked in the top 2 per cent of the world’s universities in each of the major rankings, and ranking 214 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). Deakin researchers are making a difference through world-class research and innovation. Deakin has a strong sense of community and serves as an economic, social and cultural catalyst enriching each of the communities it serves.

Media contacts


Sarah Mulder, Head of Communications


Phone: 020 3031 8941


Glen Atwell, Media Relations and Corporate Communications Director


Phone: +61428597468

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