FutureLearn company logo
Type of site
|Available in||English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese|
|Owner||The Open University|
FutureLearn is a digital education platform founded in December 2012. It is a company launched and wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform, and as of January 2017 included 109 UK and international partners and—unlike similar platforms—includes non-university partners such as: the British Museum, European Space Agency, the British Council, UCAS, UNESCO, Cancer Research UK, the National Film and Television School and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
FutureLearn was launched with 12 university partners, seeking those who "consistently rank at the top end of the…league tables". The 12 founding partners are: The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, King's College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Southampton, St Andrews University, and University of Warwick.
Prior to the launch of FutureLearn few British universities had run online courses. Two (the University of Edinburgh and the University of London) had previously signed up to offer such courses through Coursera, while The Open University had been publishing a variety of online courses through its OpenLearn platform since 2006, although these were designed for self-directed study rather than cohort learning.
The following UK universities are partnered with FutureLearn (in alphabetical order):
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Bath
- University of Birmingham (founding partner)
- University of Bristol (founding partner)
- Cardiff University (founding partner)
- University College London
- University of Dundee
- Durham University
- University of East Anglia (founding partner)
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter (founding partner)
- University of Glasgow
- University of Kent
- King's College London (founding partner)
- Lancaster University (founding partner)
- University of Leeds (founding partner)
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- Loughborough University
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- Queen’s University Belfast
- The Open University (founding partner)
- University of Reading
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton (founding partner)
- St Andrews University (founding partner)
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Warwick (founding partner)
- University of York
Non-UK university partners include:
- University of Auckland, New Zealand
- University of Basel, Switzerland
- University of Bergen, Norway
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
- Fudan University, China
- University of Groningen, Netherlands
- Hanyang University
- Keio University, Japan
- University of Los Andes, Colombia
- Monash University, Australia
- University of Oslo, Norway
- Université Paris Diderot, France
- Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
- Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
- University of New South Wales, Australia
- Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
- Tel Aviv University, Israel
- University of Twente, Netherlands
- Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
- Uppsala University, Sweden
- University of Wollongong Australia
- Yonsei University, South Korea
- UNSW Australia, Australia
- University College Dublin, Ireland
- RMIT University, Australia
Non-university partners include:
- Ambition School Leadership
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
- British Council
- The British Film Institute (BFI)
- British Library
- British Museum
- Cambridge English Language Assessment
- Cancer Research UK
- Chartered Institute of Building Academy
- Common Purpose
- Creative Skillset
- European Space Agency
- Girl's Day School Trust
- Health Education England
- Houses of Parliament
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- Into Film
- National Film and Television School
- National STEM Learning Centre
- Partnership for Advanced Computing in London (PRACE)
- Raspberry Pi Foundation
- Stockholm Environment Institute
FutureLearn's courses span a broad range of topics. The first course opened on 14 October 2013. The first courses to be made available included "Web science: how the web is changing the world" (University of Southampton), "Introduction to ecosystems" (The Open University), "Improving your image: dental photography in practice" (University of Birmingham), "Causes of war" (King's College London), "The discovery of the Higgs boson" (University of Edinburgh), "Discover dentistry" (University of Sheffield), "Muslims in Britain: changes and challenges" (Cardiff University), "Begin programming: build your first mobile game" (University of Reading) and "England in the time of King Richard III" (University of Leicester). The first course to launch was "The secret power of brands", conducted by professor Robert Jones of the University of East Anglia.
- Marszal, Andrew (14 December 2012). "UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- FutureLearn: About.
- "FutureLearn partners page". futurelearn.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "FutureLearn partners page". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Parr, Chris (20 December 2012). "Futurelearn picks league table stars for debut line-up | General". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Marszal, Andrew (14 December 2012). "UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- Claire Shaw (20 December 2012). "FutureLearn is UK's chance to 'fight back', says OU vice-chancellor | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional". London: Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Parry, Marc (13 December 2012). "Leading British Universities Join New MOOC Venture - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Chronicle.com. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Anna Fazackerley (3 December 2012). "UK universities are wary of getting on board the mooc train | Education". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "The Open University launches OpenLearn". The Open University. The Open University. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Matthews, David (17 June 2013). "Monash, Trinity and Edinburgh join FutureLearn | News". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Parr, Chris (19 February 2013). "PM hails new arrivals to Futurelearn | News". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2013.