FutureLearn Review 2023 – Get Degrees from Top Universities
FutureLearn is a unique online learning platform that helps you gain more knowledge and develop your skills. In this FutureLearn review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this platform and decide whether it’s the right fit for you.
FutureLearn offers flexible courses from beginner to advanced levels. Plus, you will have access to certificates, online degrees, and even micro-credentialing programs.
With millions of students and an extensive course library, FutureLearn is a great place to start your online learning journey.
With over 18 million students and 1,400 courses, FutureLearn is a great place to start with your online learning journey. They have a big learning community and experienced instructors who can teach you a lot.
- Great community of lifelong learners
- Quality credentials from leading universities
- Free courses available
- No Android or iOS apps
- Limited course catalog
- Courses are mainly in English
FutureLearn was founded in December 2012 by The Open University and SEEK Ltd. They have partnered with the world’s leading universities and cultural institutions to provide the best courses available worldwide.
Today, this e-learning platform has over 250 UK and international partners, including government and educational institutions. They have partnered with prominent universities like the University of Oxford, Royal Observatory Greenwich, University of Roehampton, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Social Finance, and more. As a result, more than 18 million students are using FutureLearn courses to educate themselves and develop new skills.
FutureLearn courses are distinguished by their high quality. They are designed and facilitated by international teaching experts. According to a 2021 Statista report, they offer over 1,400 courses divided into 14 different subjects, but we’re sure that the number has increased by now.
Let's take a look at some interesting FutureLearn stats that might help you decide whether this platform is a good fit for your needs.
What Is FutureLearn?
FutureLearn is a British MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider of online university-level courses in various subjects. FutureLearn collaborates with universities and organizations such as the British Council and the National Film and Television School. They also offer free courses in politics, healthcare, creativity, business, technology, and more.
If you are looking for a higher education course, FutureLearn has micro-credential programs, certificates, and even complete online degrees, but more on that later. FutureLearn has an extensive network of partners, allowing them to offer university-level courses in terms of quality.
You might be thinking this platform is very similar to Coursera and edX. And you’re not entirely wrong. If you’ve read our Coursera review and our edX review, you’ll notice that just like FutureLearn, both have free courses and are partnered with top universities and organizations.
Continue reading to learn what makes FutureLearn stand out from the crowd.
Is FutureLearn Accredited?
Yes. FutureLearn courses are accredited. FutureLearn certificates are issued by universities and are fully accredited and recognized for their authenticity. Online courses offered by this platform are developed by universities and not by individual instructors. In addition, accreditation is also performed by the institutions developing the courses – working hand in hand with FutureLearn.
In this section, we're taking a look at FutureLearn's main features and what the platform offers to their users. ALl of the factors below should give you a pretty good idea if FutureLearn has everything you're looking for to start your online learning journey.
|For Business||Certification||Course Previews||24/7 Support||Free Courses||Free Trial||Mobile App||Offline Use||Promotions||Refunds|
How Does FutureLearn Work?
Let’s move on to the next section in this FutureLearn review and see how the platform works. We’ll go over some crucial aspects from the student’s perspective and find out what using FutureLearn looks like.
The Front Page
When visiting FutureLearn’s landing page, you’re presented with warm and welcoming colors. The home page is user-friendly and covers essential information about the platform. Moreover, they are giving you a glance at some of their partners (universities and institutions), like CIPD, Raspberry Pi, Kings College London, Deakin University, University of Glasgow, Accenture, Institut Francais de la Mode, and more.
As you scroll down the page, you’ll see some of FutureLearn’s featured top subjects, courses, and learning tracks. One of the first things you’ll see is FutureLearn’s Unlimited Annual offer that allows students to subscribe for unlimited learning. Besides courses and learning tracks, FutureLearn showcases other aspects of the platform, like how it works, user testimonials, and scheduled events.
Opening a FutureLearn Account
FutureLearn is a free, open, online learning environment that is accessible to people all over the world.
Follow these three steps to open your account:
- Visit futurelearn.com and select Sign In.
- Select Register, enter your profile details, including name and email address, and choose a secure password.
- Click Submit, and you’re ready to go.
Browsing all Available Courses
Once you’ve completed the registration process, it’s time to find some courses and start learning. You can do so by typing the keywords into the search bar or selecting them from a drop-down menu that appears when you click the “Search online courses” button in the top right corner.
If you select “Subject” from the drop-down menu on the top left corner, you will be presented with the following 14 categories:
- Business and Management
- Creative Arts and Media
- Healthcare and Medicine
- IT and Computer Science
- Nature and Environment
- Politics and Society
- Psychology and Mental Health
- Science, Engineering, and Maths
- Study Skills
Choosing a Potential Course
When you find something interesting going through the courses, you can visit the course page to learn more about it. The course page has all the information you need.
Every course page shows many students have enrolled, the ratings and reviews, duration, weekly study, how it works, etc. There’s also a text review that lets you know what you’ll learn with the course.
Under their text review, FutureLearn provides a quick 1-2 min video discussing the course’s subject, focus, etc. Below the video, they also show information about accreditation, start date and time, what you’ll achieve by taking the course, and more.
At the end of this course page, you have reviews of verified learners who have taken the course and their impressions.
Completing a Course
Completing a FutureLearn course is similar to completing courses on other online learning platforms. The course syllabus is separated into weekly parts, steps, and activities that help you keep track of your learning. They often include video-based lectures, long and short-form articles, audio, and practical exercises.
You can join a global classroom to experience social learning and get inspired by international learners. You can also link up with them and share your ideas.
The best way to stay on track is to map your progress and use notifications and the progress page to steer your learning as you progress through the course. Then, when you’re ready, mark each step as finished. You’re in command.
Download Your Certificate of Completion
To download a certificate of completion, you need to upgrade to Premium, ExpertTrack, buy an upgrade on your short course, or have an active Unlimited monthly subscription.
To receive your certificate, you’ll need to do the following:
- At least 90% of the course steps must be marked as completed
- Complete all tests and questions (if your course has tests)
- At least 70% on the course (if your course has tests or other scored assessments)
You can view and share a digital version of your certificate as soon as you have qualified for one. Depending on where you live, you should receive a physical copy of your certificate within two to five weeks of qualifying. In the next part of this FutureLearn review, we will explain the pricing in detail.
Pricing is one of the main reasons why FutureLearn differs from other online learning platforms. They have multiple pricing plans with different learning outcomes, time investment, payment options, and price bands.
FutureLear has the following pricing plans:
- Short courses ( Upgrades, Unlimited, Premium)
Short Courses Pricing
Short courses are one-time courses in a single field that usually run from 2 to 4 weeks. You’ll need to upgrade from the free version to obtain a certificate (as well as access to grades).
If you pass the program, you will receive a certificate that you can include on your resume or LinkedIn page. One advantage of short courses is that you can enroll in most of them for free before committing financially.
ExpertTracks combine related short courses to provide more in-depth knowledge in a specific field like Python programming or fintech. They can span anywhere from 8 to 22 weeks.
They are available for free with a 7-day trial period and then $39 per month to continue learning. In theory, the faster you finish them, the more money you save. In addition, when you complete and pass an ExpertTrack, you will receive a digital certificate that you can post on LinkedIn or share with potential employers.
FutureLearn Microcredentials are similar to ExpertTracks but focus on developing in-demand abilities with paid courses. They range in price from $639 to $1,134, with the majority being closer to $1,000.
Online Degrees Pricing
Online degrees from FutureLearn provide a more comprehensive range of master’s degrees and graduate certifications than on-campus programs. So, for example, you can receive a degree from a UK institution even if you don’t live in the UK.
Prices for FutureLearn online degrees are not listed on their website. You’ll need to express your interest and request additional information about a specific program to determine how much tuition will cost.
Just like Coursera Plus, FutureLearn offers an annual membership called FutureLearn Unlimited. This plan costs $279.99 and grants access to unlimited short courses with certificates of completion for each one you finish and pass.
FutureLearn Unlimited is a good option if you want to take multiple short courses and want the flexibility to learn in your own time. However, this subscription plan does not cover ExpertTracks, Microcredentials, or online degrees.
If you’d like to try this plan but are unsure whether you’ll be able to commit, there’s an option for a refund. Refunds or cancellations for FutureLearn Unlimited will be issued only if you meet the following conditions:
- You request a refund within the 14-day cooling-off period that begins on the day you first paid for Unlimited (this only applies to the first month’s payment)
- You have not completed (or attempted to complete) any tests
- You have not received a Certificate of Achievement or Statement of Participation (digital or physical) on the course.
Are FutureLearn Courses on Sale?
At the time of writing this FutureLearn review, FutureLearn offers various subscription plans, but they don’t sell their courses individually as Coursera or Udemy. Unfortunately, this means the courses are bundled in the subscription plans and can’t be on sale or have a discount individually.
Does FutureLearn Have Free Courses?
FutureLearn has a lot of free courses to choose from, but with some limitations. You can watch free courses without restrictions, but you’ll have to choose one of their paid subscription plans to get a certificate of completion.
FutureLearn for Business
Like other popular online learning platforms, FutureLearn offers enterprise training for teams of all sizes. This eLearning solution is designed specifically for organizations. Companies can use FutureLearn for Business to upskill and train their personnel online.
FutureLearn provides a handful of resources so businesses can manage their learning efforts. For example, the Learning Manager tool allows you to track and review your employee’s progress. In addition, FutureLearn can help create custom courses for your teams – carefully crafted to meet your training needs.
The pricing is not shared on their public website, so if you’re interested in FutureLearn for Business, you’ll need to contact them directly via a contact form displayed on their web page.
FutureLearn Courses Review
Our FutureLearn review dives into some of the most critical aspects of this platform’s offering and functionality. That’s why we need to talk about courses. This is unquestionably a crucial aspect of any online learning platform. So let’s take a closer look and see what FutureLearn offers.
FutureLearn has more than 1,400 courses and specializations – all offered by universities and recognized learning institutions. This makes the course content and production quality very high. FutureLearn has a unique approach to providing online learning to aspiring students and businesses. It’s one of the few online learning platforms that offer programs that allow you to earn academic credit, professional accreditation, and degrees. Fresh content and courses are constantly added to each topic area. Many major online learning companies, such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Skillshare, do not provide accredited courses or degrees.
FutureLearn offers more than 14 subjects, each with sub-niches. Here’s the complete list:
- Business & Management: Big Data and Analytics, Business Strategy, Communication, CRM, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, and more;
- Creative Arts and Media: Design, Cooking, Fashion, Digital Media, Music, Writing, Photography, Visual art, etc.;
- Healthcare and Medicine: Anatomy, Genetics, Medical Technology and more;
- History: Ancient History, Archaeology, British History, Medieval History, Irish History, Military History, Roman History, etc.;
- IT and Computer Science: AI & Robotics, AWS, Business Technology, Cloud Computing, Coding & Programming, Cyber Security, DevOps, Django, Ethical Hacking, Game Development, Java, Network Security;
- Language: Chinese, English, Irish, Linguistics, Norwegian;
- Nature and Environment: Agriculture, Climate Change, Ecology, Food Tech, Sustainability;
- Politics and Society: Geopolitics, Social Issues, Crime and Criminology, and more;
- Psychology and Mental Health: Psychology, Sports Psychology, etc.;
- Science, Engineering, and Maths: Math, Economics, Data Science, Physics, Statistics, Chemistry, Biology, and more;
- Study Skills
- Teaching: How to teach online, Inclusive Teaching, Language Teaching, STEM Teaching, Teaching Maths, Teaching Science, etc.;
FutureLearn provides the majority of its courses for free. This allows students to access the entire course catalog and watch the majority of the courses completely free of charge. The only limitation is that free-tier users can’t get certificates from the courses they watch.
This platform has a wide range of options when it comes to paid courses. FutureLearn offers Short courses, ExpertTrack specialist courses, Microcredentials, and Online degrees.
Short courses are an excellent way to brush up on your knowledge or gain an introduction to a topic in 4-24 hours. Many of FutureLearn’s short courses are accessible on-demand, so you don’t have to wait for a start date. Almost all short courses are free, with the option of upgrading if you want long-term access to course materials and a digital certificate upon completion.
If you take FutureLearn’s courses frequently, the Unlimited yearly membership plan is an excellent alternative to the “Upgrade” option. It grants you limitless access to a wide variety of courses and also provides you with certifications for whatever courses you complete.
ExpertTracks are online learning subscriptions tailored to your specific learning needs. Each ExpertTrack is available on-demand and includes a 7-day free trial before you commit. If you decide to enroll, the subscription automatically cancels once you’ve completed the courses. They’re an excellent choice if you want to learn in-demand employment skills and earn credentials. FutureLearn ExpertTracks cover topics around in-demand skills and have short courses that generally take 20-120 study hours to finish.
Microcredentials are an excellent alternative for anyone seeking academic credit as part of their education. Micro-credential courses provide tutor support and a focused group of students. Each course has a specified time to enroll, start learning, and coordinate with your tutor. FutureLearn Microcredentials take approximately 100-150 study hours to complete (and you will keep access once you have completed the micro-credential).
FutureLearn has one of the best selections for online degrees created by top universities, including the University of Newcastle Australia, Deakin University, Coventry University, University of Glasgow, and many others. Students can learn flexibly, organize their time and efforts, and complete online assignments to earn degrees.
Are FutureLearn Courses Useful?
FutureLearn is a specialized online learning platform that offers accredited courses and degrees in many subjects. If you want to study any of the courses or learning tracks on FutureLearn, rest assured that they will benefit your knowledge and help your career development.
Are FutureLearn Courses Worth It?
FutureLearn is one of the best online learning platforms in 2023, and they have well-designed syllabuses with outstanding peer-to-peer collaboration and mentor support. That’s why we can confidently say that FutureLearn courses are worth the time and financial investment.
The main advantages of FutureLearn include the following:
- Great community
- Quality credentials from leading universities
- Free courses available
- High-quality courses
FutureLearn has an excellent online learning community with some of the field’s most prominent tutors and professors. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with other students through informal mentorships, comments, discussion board posts, and more.
Quality Credentials From Leading Universities
FutureLearn allows you to take accredited classes at popular colleges and universities from all over the world. You can also transfer approved courses to most American universities, which many other popular MOOC providers do not offer.
Free Courses Available
You are not required to pay anything to take courses on FutureLearn. The platform provides numerous opportunities to learn at no cost whatsoever. You’ll only need to pay for a course if you want to get a certificate of completion.
FutureLearn gives you access to some of the best and highest-quality courses available. Most of the learning content is certified and provided by prestigious university partners such as the University of California-Irvine, John Hopkins University, the University of Newcastle in Australia, and many others.
The main disadvantages of FutureLearn include the following:
- No Android or iOS apps
- The course catalog could be larger
- Courses are mainly in English
No Android or iOS Apps
FutureLearn had not yet released an app for Android or iOS at the time of writing this review. This can be inconvenient – especially if you like to watch courses from your smartphone or tablet. Of course, you can access their fully responsive website from the browser of your mobile device, but nothing beats the user experience of a native app.
The Course Catalog Could Be Larger
While FutureLearn is constantly expanding its course library, the fact remains that they don’t have as many courses as other online learning platforms such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy.
Courses Are Mainly in English
One of the downfalls is that FutureLearn courses are mainly in English. This can be somewhat limiting to people who want to learn but English is not their primary language.
FutureLearn Review: Is FutureLearn Legit?
With more than 18 million students and a growing catalog of thousands of courses, rest assured that FutureLearn is a legit online learning platform. Moreover, they offer numerous benefits to students, including authorized online classes and certificates of completion recognized by well-established educational institutions.