The University of Birmingham is today unveiling the first of its free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of higher education to learners from across the UK and the world.

These MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are being delivered in partnership with FutureLearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University.

Birmingham is initially offering a course in Dental Photography, beginning in December 2013, which will be followed by a number of other MOOCs launching throughout 2014. Each will last 4-6 weeks.

Delivered by world-class academics from the University of Birmingham, the new courses enable learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform from a leading global university. 

Professor John Heath, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Infrastructure at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘We are proud of our excellent research-led teaching and learning that pushes the boundaries of knowledge. These new free online courses will enable increased access to higher education and offer a taste of the inspirational Birmingham experience for a whole new community of learners worldwide.’ 

There are no entry requirements for students enrolling on the MOOCs, however, some equipment is required to complete the dental photography course. 

The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and the content is quality-assured in line with the University of Birmingham’s other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University. 

Interested learners can now register their interest with the University of Birmingham or sign up with FutureLearn to receive information about registering for the courses. 

FutureLearn was created in December 2012 as the UK’s first provider of free, high quality MOOCs. Currently numbering 26, its partners and course providers comprise leading UK and international universities and cultural institutions including the British Library, British Museum and British Council.

For media enquiries, please email the University of Birmingham press office or call +44 (0)121 414 6029.