Join the wider learning community

Taking on a fresh intellectual challenge can be a great way to offset the creeping inertia caused by grim weather forecasts and dark evenings. It could be something as simple as making sure you finish the daily crossword or something a bit more testing – a course of academic study, for example. The University of Birmingham has recently launched a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Our latest course offerings examine what is good and bad about the human brain and present an introduction to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Delivered by world-class academics in partnership with FutureLearn, the courses enable learners to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform.

A two-part MOOC, Good Brain, Bad Brain will firstly cover the basics of the human brain followed by an exploration into Parkinson’s Disease. 

Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Text, performance and culture will examine different aspects of this extraordinary text and explore why it is the most famous and much-discussed play ever written.

The new courses follow the launch of the University’s first MOOC in Dental Photography in September and the First World War Wings of Modernity course, jointly developed with the BBC.

Professor John Heath, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Infrastructure, says: ‘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.’

The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and the content is quality-assured in line with the University’s other programmes. There are no entry requirements for students enrolling on the MOOCs. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University.

The latest courses are scheduled to commence this month. Interested learners can register their interest with the University of Birmingham or sign up with FutureLearn to receive information about course registration.