All topics

Science, Maths & Technology

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) systems now dominate our everyday lives. This free course, Introducing ICT systems, will explain what constitutes such a system and how ICT systems work. You will also look at how ICT systems convey, store and manipulate data, and how they process data. Finally you will learn how these systems are used.

Free course

9 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

Do fractions and decimals make you apprehensive about maths? Do you lack confidence in dealing with numbers? If so, then this free course, Numbers, units and arithmetic, is for you. The course will explain the basics of working with positive and negative numbers and how to multiply and divide with fractions and decimals.

Free course

5 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

Crude oil is currently our most important global source of energy. It is vital in the manufacture of many modern materials. But the worlds supply of oil is finite, its price is unstable and our reliance on oil has damaging environmental consequences. This free course, Living without oil, explains why developing alternatives to oil is an essential and urgent task for humanity.

Free course

8 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

What causes pain and how do we stop it? This free course, Pain and Aspirin, looks at how the human body responds to the release of certain chemicals and as a result feels pain. Pain can be reduced by inhibiting the formation of such chemicals and you will learn how the molecular structure of aspirin has been formulated to help in this process.

Free course

4 hrs

Nature & Environment

The term mammal encompasses a huge variety of animals, including humans. But what makes a mammal a mammal? This free course, Studying mammals: A winning design, explores some of the features, such as reproduction, lactation and thermoregulation methods, that mammals have in common. It is the first in a series of ten Studying mammals courses. NOTE: The Studying mammals series is gradually being updated and replaced. You can study an improved freestanding version of this course, titled Introducing mammals, here: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/introducing-mammals/co...

Free course

10 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

Microelectronics has enabled designers of integrated circuits to exercise complete control over the electrical characteristics of each component they create. This free course, Structural devices, will illustrate how such control is achieved and the various methods that can be applied in differing circumstances.

Free course

20 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

From paving your patio to measuring the ingredients for your latest recipe, squares, roots and powers really are part of everyday life. This free course reviews the basics of all three and also describes scientific notation, which is a convenient way of writing or displaying large numbers.

Free course

5 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

This free course, Introduction to number theory, is a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of integers. Section 1 introduces Euclid’s algorithm, which is used to find the HCF of two integers, and the idea of congruences, mathematical statements used to compare remainders when two integers are each divided by another integer. Section 2 introduces modular arithmetic, in which the usual arithmetic operations are applied to congruences. Section 3 introduces multiplicative inverses, which provide a method for division in modular arithmetic, and their use in solving linear congruences which are used in cryptography for disguising information or ciphers. Please note: a Statement of Participation is not issued for this course.

Free course

18 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

Enterprise systems are software applications that automate and integrate all many of the key business processes of an organisation. With some understanding of software development, in this free course, Software development for enterprise systems, you will learn about current development practices for this type of system and develop relevant skills to apply them to real-world problems. You will develop core skills in object-oriented analysis and design, allowing you to develop software that is fit for purpose, reusable and amenable to change.

Free course

8 hrs

Nature & Environment

From pygmy shrews to armadillos, a wide range of mammals survive on a diet made up largely of insects. Many of these have fascinating adaptations suited to catching or rooting out their prey. In this free course, Studying mammals: The insect hunters, you will learn about these adaptations, along with survival strategies for when food is scarce. This is the second course in the Studying mammals series.

Free course

10 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

This free course is concerned with second-order differential equations. Section 1 introduces some basic principles and terminology. Sections 2 and 3 give methods for finding the general solutions to one broad class of differential equations, that is, linear constant-coefficient second-order differential equations. Section 2 covers homogeneous equations and Section 3 covers inhomogeneous equations. Section 4 explains how extra information can be used to help to select particular solutions that are appropriate in given situations. Section 5 looks at the phenomenon of resonance to gain insights into the solutions of inhomogeneous linear constant-coefficient second-order differential equations.

Free course

16 hrs

Science, Maths & Technology

Scattering is fundamental to almost everything we know about the world, such as why the sky is blue. Tunnelling is entirely quantum-mechanical and gives rise to such phenomena as nuclear fusion in stars. Scattering and tunnelling is a free course that investigatyes examples and applications of both these fascinating concepts.

Free course

20 hrs