FutureLearn has hundreds of online courses from top universities like Johns Hopkins, and most of them are free

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.Like edX and Coursera, FutureLearn offers a wide range of online courses and programs from top universities and organizations.Many short courses are completely free to audit, while longer programs can cost anywhere from $39 a month to about $1,000 for a certificate. FutureLearn also offers a number of online degrees.Below are answers to some common FAQs about FutureLearn, including differences between programs and how much courses cost.Read more: Everything you need to know about CourseraLike popular e-learning platforms edX and Coursera, FutureLearn provides virtual, flexible, and more affordable access to top universities such as Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan, as well as brands and organizations such as Amnesty International and Samsung. And, like edX and Coursera, FutureLearn offers a wide range of free courses, certificate programs, and even degrees, granting students the ability to gain short-course credentials or work their way towards a cheaper master’s.One way FutureLearn stands out is the schools it works with — because it’s a UK-based platform, many of the offerings include top British and global universities like the University College London (UCL), the University of Cape Town, the University of Oslo, and Hanyang University, among many others. This can provide access to more specific coursework, such as a free course on how digital technologies affect our wellbeing from the University of York or a master’s from the University of Glasgow in End of Life Studies.And for those who aspire to one day study outside the US, browsing FutureLearn’s courses can help you get more acquainted with a particular school and its specialties before you decide to apply. Below, we’ve outlined the differences between FutureLearn courses and programs (including cost). We also included some of FutureLearn’s popular online classes.Yes. FutureLearn offers a range of short courses you can join and audit completely free of charge. However, access to the free version of courses ends after five weeks and doesn’t include tests, grades, or a certificate of completion. For most courses, you will have to pay to upgrade to get unlimited access to the course material and a certificate (typically between $39-$89, depending on the course). Also important to note: courses that are part of longer programs can’t be audited for free.There are also a few free longer programs, such as Exploring Culture and Heritage and UX Design and Research that let you audit individual courses for free.The only other free option is a 7-day trial with ExpertTrack courses, after which you would have to pay a $39 fee each month to continue learning (similar to Coursera’s model).Depending on the course or program you choose (see below), completing FutureLearn coursework can range from being completely free to costing a little over $1,000. This doesn’t include official master’s or graduate certificates, which don’t have prices listed.What is the difference between a FutureLearn short course certificate, ExpertTrack, Microcredential, academic program, and online degree?Short courses are one-off courses in a specific subject, typically lasting between 2-4 weeks. To gain a certificate (and access to grades), you simply need to pay to upgrade from the free version. If you pass the class, a  certificate can be added to your resume or LinkedIn profile. One benefit of short courses is that you can browse or audit most of them for free before you commit to a certificate.ExpertTracks, which can last anywhere between 8-22 weeks, group several connected short courses together to provide more in-depth training in a subject such as Python or fintech. They can be accessed for free with a 7-day trial, then cost $39 a month to keep learning, so the faster you finish them, the more money you save. Once you complete and pass an ExpertTrack, you will also get a digital certificate to share on LinkedIn or with employers.Microcredentials are similar to ExpertTracks, except they’re more focused on building in-demand skills and can’t be tested out with a free trial. They can cost anywhere from $639 to $1,134, with most of them closer to $1,000.There are also a few academic programs on FutureLearn, such as Digital Media Analytics at Purdue University, which grant you the ability to apply your paid certification for credit hours towards a master’s degree (each program has its own specifications).Lastly, online degrees through FutureLearn offer a variety of master’s degrees and graduate certificates, with more flexibility than at an in-person university (for example, you can earn a degree from a UK school even if you don’t live in the UK). Prices aren’t listed, though — you’ll need to request more information about a specific program to find the tuition cost.Similar to Coursera Plus, FutureLearn also offers an annual subscription called FutureLearn Unlimited that gives you access to unlimited short courses (including certificates of completion for each one you finish and pass). It costs $279.99 for the year, and can be a good option if you see yourself taking multiple short courses and want the flexibility of finishing them on your own time. Unlimited doesn’t cover ExpertTracks, Microcredentials, or online degrees.

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