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Informal learning

As part of The Open University’s mission to widen access to higher education, OUBS has developed a wide range of free and paid online learning resources – helping to bridge the gap between informal and formal learning.

OpenLearn: the home of free learning

OpenLearn logo

OpenLearn is packed with fascinating free articles, videos, activities and short-courses from the Open University, covering a huge range of subject areas.

Highlights include a group of finance-related resources, activities such as how shops make us part with our money and free courses including:


FutureLearn logo

The Open University offers a range of microcredential courses on the social learning platform FutureLearn. Created by leading OU academics and industry experts, microcredentials provide a flexible way to continue professional development and quickly gain in-demand specialist skills and knowledge. Courses include an undergraduate Business Management suite covering subjects such as People Management and Leadership, Project Management, Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles and more, as well as postgraduate courses in Managing Uncertainty, and Agile Leadership and Management.

Find out more on our microcredentials hub page

The Open University and BBC partnership

For half a century the OU has produced programmes with the BBC, starting with late night lectures (before the days of video and online learning) and evolving into today’s prime time TV and radio shows – designed to engage millions of viewers and listeners with entertaining, informative and educational content. High profile business-related programmes include The Decade the Rich Won, Inside the SupermarketFlatpack Empire, and The Bottom Line.

For more information on The Open University’s work to widen participation in higher education, visit our About The Open University Mission webpage on the main OU website.