FutureLearn Review

Learning online has moved from being an alternative way and has become one of the most widely used. It saves time, money, and is accessible for people all around the world. This is our future that becomes our reality.

This concept lies in the name of FutureLearn, which deserves to be reviewed here. So, read more below.

What is FutureLearn?

This is a British e-learning company launched in 2012. Now it’s partly owned by The Open University. Future Learn is a Massive Open Online Course learning platform with over 12.5 million users worldwide. Its courses today are available in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese.

How Does Future Learn Work?

To use this MOOC platform, you need to sign up and choose a program from the list of subjects. This can be done free of charge or for a certain fee.

After enrolling, the students learn the subject by watching videos, reading articles, or listening to audio content. Each course is divided into weeks and is named after the focus topic. In the end, you have an assessment, like a quiz or test.

After completing a course, you earn a certificate.

How to get a certificate?

  1. Complete at least 90% of course steps
  2. If a course has assessments, you need to
  • Attempt all tests
  • Score at least 70% for the course

FutureLearn Pricing

Is FutureLearn free?

You can use this platform for free and pay for having longer access.

In the free plan, you have access to the course for its full duration + additional 14 days.

futurelearn pricing

There are also two paid plans, Upgrade and Unlimited.

Upgrade entitles the user to access the course during its lifetime, take tests, and get the certificate of achievement. The price of the upgrade depends on the course, but on average, it varies from $50 to $150.

Unlimited. Another paid plan is Unlimited which allows completing any of FutureLearn courses with the flexibility to finish it when you would like. Also, you don’t lose access to the content of the courses which you have already completed. Finally, you are able to get the certificate of achievement.

FutureLearn Courses

Subjects

When choosing a class or a program, you can pick one of the following subjects:

  • Business & Management
  • IT & Computer Science
  • Science, Engineering & Maths
  • Creative Arts & Media
  • Language
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Nature & Environment
  • Politics & Society
  • Psychology & Mental Health
  • Healthcare & Medicine
  • Study Skills
  • Teaching

FutureLearn Program Types

Short courses

FutureLearn offers almost 1000 short courses which take 2 to 4 weeks to complete at 2-3 hours per day. Those classes are done in partnership with different institutions. 

Here are some of them:

Business & Management (279 classes in total)

  • Digital Skills: Digital Marketing
  • Digital Skills: Web Analytics
  • Managing Company Culture Whilst Responding to Environmental Challenges
  • Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work
  • Business Ethics: Exploring Big Data and Tax Avoidance
  • Creative Problem Solving: Design Thinking in Health and Social Care
  • Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture
  • Starting a Business 1: Vision and Opportunity
  • The Essential Financial Management Toolbox for Film, Screen and Broadcast
  • Work Ready Skills: Develop Essential Skills for Job Seekers including Job Searches, Writing a CV and Interviewing
  • Advertising and Creative Marketing with Advertising Week
  • Coaching Skills: A changing landscape
  • Creative Branding with Advertising Week and Fernando Machado
  • Data Analytics for Decision Making: An Introduction to Using Excel
  • Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts: A guide to contract law for non-lawyers 

IT & Computer Science (166 classes to choose from)

  • Digital Skills: Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining with Weka
  • Introduction to Cyber Security
  • MedTech: AI and Medical Robots
  • Step into Digital Technologies
  • Data Analytics for Decision Making: An Introduction to Using Excel
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Hospitality: Challenges and Business Opportunities
  • Low-Budget Video Production: Visual Communication for Small Charities
  • Build a Makerspace for Young People
  • Computer Programming for Everyone
  • Construct a Virtual Reality Experience
  • Introduction to Encryption and Cryptography
  • Networking with Python: Socket Programming for Communication
  • Programming 102: Think Like a Computer Scientist
  • Representing Data with Images and Sound: Bringing Data to Life
  • Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy
  • Teach Computing in Schools: Creating a Curriculum for Ages 11 to 16
  • Teaching Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi and Python
  • Using JavaScript, jQuery, and JSON in Django
  • Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game
  • Bioinformatics for Biologists: An Introduction to Linux, Bash Scripting, and 

Language Learning (63 classes)

  • Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Language and Culture UCML
  • Multilingual Practices: Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Irish 101:  An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture
  • Language Testing During Awake Brain Surgery
  • Multilingual Learning for a Globalised World
  • Working with Translation: Theory and Practice
  • Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study
  • An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study
  • Basic English 2: Pre-Intermediate
  • English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics
  • English in Early Childhood: Context and Communication
  • Interpreting for Refugees: Contexts, Practices and Ethics
  • Understanding IELTS: Listening
  • Understanding IELTS: Reading
  • Understanding IELTS: Speaking
  • Understanding IELTS: Writing
  • Basic English 1: Elementary
  • English for Healthcare

Creative Arts & Media (66 classes)

  • Introduction to Production Design for Film and Screen
  • The Essential Financial Management Toolbox for Film, Screen and Broadcast
  • A-level Study Boost: Unseen Poetry and the Creative Process
  • Creative Branding with Advertising Week and Fernando Machado
  • Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World
  • An Introduction to Screenwriting
  • Design and Prototype Embedded Computer Systems
  • Storytelling for Social Change
  • Content Marketing Strategy with Advertising Week
  • Quantum Marketing with Raja Rajamannar
  • UX Design Strategy and Application: Customer Journey Mapping
  • UX Design: From Concept to Prototype
  • Design Computing: 3D Modeling in Rhinoceros with Python Rhinoscript
  • Evaluating Designs with Users
  • Digital Marketing: Storytelling in the New Communication Landscape
  • Social Impact in Business: How to Build a Brand that Matters
  • Become a Better Presenter: Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
  • Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture
  • Introduction to Indie Games
  • Introduction to Conversational Interfaces
  • Using Creative Problem Solving
  • How To Start Your Career In Games Development
  • Introduction to UX and Accessible Design
  • Gender Representation in the Media

ExpertTracks

Those are a series of single courses united under one topic, like Creatine Marketing, Cybersecurity, or Coaching. Each track unites 3 to 5 courses and lasts for 10-20 weeks (at 3 hrs per week). You can also see the preparation level on a track’s page (Introductory, Intermediate, or Advanced).

ExpertTracks include peer-graded assignments per course.

Those programs are available for a charge only with a 7-day free trial.

There are 65 ExpertTracks programs right now, here are some of them:

  • Advanced and Applied AI on Microsoft Azure
  • Advanced Cyber Security Training
  • AI Design and Engineering with Microsoft Azure
  • Blended Learning Essentials for Vocational Education and Training
  • Business Strategy and Decision Making Skills
  • Coaching Skills: Sports Coaching and Leadership
  • Creative Marketing with Advertising Week and Fernando Machado
  • CRM Fundamentals and Practice
  • Customer Experience Design for Customer Success
  • Cyber Security Foundations: Start Building Your Career in Cyber Defense
  • Data Analysis with Excel for Complete Beginners
  • Data Analytics Using Python
  • Data Science Fundamentals on Microsoft Azure
  • Data Science on Microsoft Azure Using Python Programming
  • Data Science on Microsoft Azure using R Programming
  • Data Visualisation with Python
  • Deep Learning and Python Programming for AI with Microsoft Azure
  • Digital Security Training: Cyber Threats and Risk Management
  • Entrepreneurship in Food and Beverage
  • Ethics, Laws and Implementing an AI Solution on Microsoft Azure
  • Exploring English: Language and Culture
  • Fashion Management: Create Your Own Sustainable Brand
  • Finance Data Analysis: Better Business Through Financial Management
  • Financial Analysis for Business Decisions
  • Financial Analysis for Business Performance
  • Global Studies: International Relations and World Politics
  • How to Become an Entrepreneur: From Design Thinking to SWOT Analysis
  • How to Create a Social Media Strategy
  • How to Plan and Teach Great English Lessons
  • How to Start Your Own SEO Agency: From SEO Basics to Turning a Profit
  • Information Security Design and Development
  • International Marketing
  • Introduction to DevOps with Microsoft Azure
  • Marketing Strategy with Advertising Week and Raja Rajamannar
  • Microsoft Business Applications: Dynamics 365 and Power Platform for Sales Professionals
  • Network Defence Management
  • Programming Applications with Python
  • Programming Essentials with Python
  • Software Development Fundamentals
  • Systems Thinking for Sustainability: Complex Systems Analysis
  • Teaching Practical Science: Progress Student Learning Through Hands-On Science
  • Team Building and Transformational Leadership: How to Get Ahead in Healthcare Leadership and Management
  • The Ultimate Digital Marketing Training: SEO, Google Ads and Cold Email
  • Understanding IELTS
  • UX Design Fundamentals
  • UX Design Strategy and Application

Microcredentials

Those are programs created or accredited by universities and they entitle you to deepen your understanding of a subject by pursuing further study in a specialized field.

Now, FutureLearn includes 39 microcredentials like Agile Leadership and Management, Business Management: Marketing Principles and Practice, or Cyber Security Operations (Cisco).

The duration of programs varies, but it takes on average 10-12 weeks to complete a microcredential.

Here is the list of their Microcredential programs:

  • Agile Leadership and Management
  • Applications of Blockchain
  • Business Management: Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • Business Management: Marketing Principles and Practice
  • Cloud Computing Practitioner with AWS Academy Cloud Foundations
  • Cyber Security Operations (Cisco)
  • Data Analytics for Business with Tableau Training
  • Data Analytics for Decision Making
  • Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Financial Analysis and Decision Making with Xero and Tableau
  • Global Development in Practice: Designing an Intervention
  • International Marketing: Intercultural Communication Management
  • International Relations: Politics in Turbulent Times
  • Introduction to Management and Leadership in Health Services
  • Learn Spanish for Global Communication: Level 1
  • Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design
  • Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action
  • Managing People and Culture
  • Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners
  • Practical Project Management
  • Research Methods
  • Teacher Development: Embedding Mental Health in the Curriculum
  • Understanding Consumer Behaviour: Customer Decision-Making and the Customer Journey
  • Business and Finance Fundamentals
  • Digital Media Analytics
  • An Introduction to Coding and Design
  • Business Fundamentals

Online Degrees

This is the longest type of program on Future Learn and is quite similar to formal education form. Each program is created by a particular university and lasts for about 2 years (full-time involvement) or nearly 4 years of part-time studying.  

For example, Information Technology Leadership degree program by Deakin University has the duration of 1 – 1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent. The price is $19,150 AUD.

In a nutshell, FutureLearn has programs developed in cooperation with such universities as Coventry University, Deakin University, Murdoch University, Anglia Ruskin University, The University of Newcastle, and The Open University.

There are 36 such programs, and here are some of those so-called Online Degrees:

  • BA International Business (Top Up)
  • BA Management and Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Digital Learning Leadership
  • Health Administration, Policy and Leadership
  • Information Technology Leadership
  • MA Educational Leadership
  • MA Management (Advanced Standing)
  • Master of Business Administration (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Master of Business Administration (Cyber Security Management)
  • Master of Business Administration (Health Care Sector)
  • Master of Business Administration (Marketing)
  • Master of Business Administration (Sustainable Tourism)
  • MBA International Human Resource Management
  • MSc Construction Project and Cost Management
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MSc Digital Marketing with Data Analytics
  • MSc Disaster Management and Resilience
  • MSc Emergency Management and Resilience
  • MSc Global Healthcare Management
  • MSc International Business Management
  • MSc Project Management
  • PgC Global Development Management
  • PgC Human Resource Management
  • PgC Online and Distance Education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

FutureLearn Reviews

When searching for reviews of Future Learn, you can find both positive and negative ones.

Among the positive ones are that this platform is free and some courses are a really good learning experience.

In negative reviews users complain mostly about the quality of some paid programs and that also that some courses lack either well-structured content or feedback from the instructor.

Pros

  • Active online community with discussion boards where many peers share their vision.
  • A huge wide range of subjects. There are almost any topics covered, from IT to health.
  • Free plan covers the major needs. If you just want to learn new things in a limited period of time without gaining a certificate, it should perfectly suit your needs.
  • User-friendly interface. Their interface is easy to use and navigate through.

Cons

  • No FutureLearn app. You can complete a class only on their website. Beware that there is an app that pretends to be designed by this company – but it’s a scam.
  • Limited choice of long-term programs. If you have professional goals, this provider is not that good for building strong skills which are required by some job.

Also, there are not many courses at all, compared to its competitors. Currently, FutureLearn has over 1000 courses on FutureLearn while Udemy has 130, 000 and Coursera about 4000.

FutureLife Alternatives

Udemy vs FutureLearn

Both companies are MOOC providers without having a particular subject focus (like DataCamp or CreativeLife). The main difference is that FutureLife has more control over the quality of their classes while on Udemy you can find poor-quality ones.

Also, Udemy has a fixed price for a course (with offering different discounts almost all the time), and basic access to FutureLearn is free (while paid subscription is quite pricey).

Coursera vs FutureLearn

Those providers have very similar content types: single courses and long programs as a series of single ones offered by universities. Also, the same as in FL, you can use Coursera for free but need to pay for a certificate or for a long-term program.

Coursera has a wider choice of courses to choose but generally, they are of the same quality and pricing level. 

Is FutureLearn worth it?

This e-learning platform is good for trying out its short courses – especially considering that they are free. It may not be so good for serious professional goals like becoming an expert from zero or preparing for a career switch, but it is a decent provider for gaining some knowledge on a subject.

7.5 Total Score
Why not to try for free?

Free short courses worth it but long-term programs might not work so well for professional goals

PROS
  • Active online community
  • A huge wide range of subjects
  • Free plan covers the major needs
  • User-friendly interface
CONS
  • No FutureLearn app
  • Limited choice of long-term programs
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