The following free, online courses will open for registration on FutureLearn, the first UK-led MOOC (massive open online course) provider.
Start date: 12 May
Lead educator: Martin Upton, Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) at the Open University Business School, and former Treasurer of Nationwide Business Society
Gain the skills to manage your personal finances: managing budgets, debts, investments, property purchase, pensions and insurance. The course starts by giving you practical guidance on how to compile a budget and use it to make good decisions about your spending. You’ll explore debts and investments, and find out how mortgages are used to finance home ownership. The critical issue of pension planning is explained, with guidance on different pension products. The course concludes by examining different types of insurance and offers practical advice on how to make rational decisions about which insurance products to buy. The course is taught in British pounds sterling, using examples of British financial products, however students from other countries will find the financial and budgeting advice applicable no matter what currency they are using.
University of East Anglia
Start date: 19 May
Lead Educator: Paul Hammerton, Lecturer in Mathematics, UEA
This course looks at some of the key skills that international students need in order to be successful at a UK university. It pulls on the experiences of international students and focuses on specific challenges they have identified. This course has been developed as a result of what former international students have told us as well as the experience the organisation placing students at UEA, INTO, has in preparing thousands of international students for university study. Over the four weeks of the course you will hear top tips from international students already studying at university in the UK. You will also hear UEA teachers talking about the key skills that international students need to do well.
Start date: 19 May
Lead Educator: David Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Open University
If we don’t grasp why ecosystems function, it becomes harder to determine possible reasons for when they don’t, and makes it difficult to identify possible environmental threats to humans. In this course you will discover how organisms are linked together by complex interrelationships, how such links are studied and how the physical properties of a particular habitat interact with the organisms that inhabit it. Using case studies, you will come to learn how knowledge of ecosystems leads to understanding of their individual importance, and how they can be preserved.
Start date: 9 June
Lead educator: Graham Pike, Psychologist and Professor of Forensic Cognition, Open University
Explore how your own mind works, and discover how the limitations of the human brain can lead to major miscarriages of justice. Despite advances in forensic science, eyewitness testimony remains a critical component of criminal investigations. Psychological research has revealed the dangers of relying on evidence gained from an eyewitness and also how careful the police need to be when questioning witnesses. Using videos of real witnesses and from cameras that go behind the scenes of a police investigation, this course explores the psychology of eyewitness testimony. You will get the chance to test your own cognitive skills and to see whether your powers of investigation are as good as a crack squad of police officers, as you try to solve a crime using nothing but evidence from eyewitnesses.
University of East Anglia
Start date: 16 June
Lead educator: Harriet Jones, Senior Lecturer at UEA, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Director of the Pre-University Skills Programme
In this course you will explore some key skills needed for success at university. You will hear what university lecturers have to say about skills their students excel at, or struggle with, from undergraduates about areas they have found difficult and some top tips for coping with the university learning environment. Higher education is about learning at a higher level: developing skills relating to critical thinking; holding a supported, substantive argument; analysing and using data or sources critically. These are university-level skills but you can work on the foundations of these skills before you get there.