Tens of thousands enrol on University’s free online courses over lockdown

04th June 2020

Tens of thousands enrol on University’s free online courses over lockdown

More than 20,000 new learners have signed up to the University’s free online courses since lockdown began in March.

Designed by York academics, the University’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) are open to anyone and offer an interactive higher education experience over two to four weeks.


The most popular MOOCs so far this year have been in Cognitive Psychology, Exploring Stone Age Archaeology and Digital Wellbeing.

Anywhere in the world

The courses are delivered through online videos, quizzes, case studies and discussions with other learners and can be completed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Thomas Davies, a current York undergraduate, took the University’s Chemistry MOOC in his final year of school. He said: “The MOOC was a fantastic opportunity to expand my organic chemistry knowledge outside of my A level syllabus. It made for an excellent addition to my personal statement to help make my UCAS application stand out.

“I really enjoyed learning about everyday applications of chemistry such as antibiotics, beverages and even sport equipment, whilst understanding more complex mechanisms to increase my overall confidence in organic chemistry.

“The MOOC also gave me a good introduction to the self-motivated independent study in which I do most of my learning at university, as opposed to the classroom environment that I am used to.”

University insights

This year, the University also launched a course aimed at sixth form students about to make the transition to University. ‘Next Steps to University’ offers an insight into life and study within higher education with tips covering areas like budgeting and independent living and what to expect in the first week.

Katie Dawkins, a prospective university student who recently enrolled on the course, said: “Definitely feeling more excited now. Life feels so on hold at the moment and this has been so good to remind me that life will still continue after this. So reassuring to see so many students in the same place as me ready to go to uni.”

The University has been offering free online courses in partnership with FutureLearn since January 2017. To date there have been almost 90,000 enrolments on 15 different courses. Three further courses are currently in development and will be launched in August and September.

For more information on the range of MOOCs offered by the University, visit https://www.york.ac.uk/study/moocs/ .

For the full story please visit the University of York website.