To join a free course, start by finding a course you’d like to join! You can browse all of our courses by clicking on Subjects at the top left of the page:
[Image description: a screenshot of our subject selection page with an arrow pointing the subjects tab]
or search for something specific using the search bar on the top right:
[Image description: a screenshot of the same subjects list now with the word 'nursing' typed into the search bar in the top right, bringing up a list of nursing related courses below]
If the exact thing you’re looking for doesn’t appear under the search bar once you’ve typed it in, press enter on your keyboard and you’ll be taken to a list of related search results.
When you click on a link in one of our emails, you’ll be taken to the course description page for the course you clicked on.
What to do once you've found a course
If a course is open to join, you’ll see a pink button near the top of the course description page:
When you click on Join course for free, you’ll be taken to the bottom of the page where you’ll see a list of options:
- Free access gives you access to the course for the length of the course. This will start on the day you join or the day the course starts - whichever is later.
- Upgraded access gets you extended access to the course and the chance to earn a Certificate of Achievement.
- Unlimited gets you extended access and a digital certificate for hundreds of our eligible short courses.
You can learn more about upgrades and Unlimited here: Free courses, upgrades and premium courses
After you've joined
Clicking on Join free will take you to a page explaining that you're about to see the first step of the course, and giving you the option to receive additional emails about this and other relevant courses:
[Image description: A screenshot of the opening page of a course, with a table on the right-hand side showing the dates for which each week of the course will open next to a small padlock symbol]
Click on Save and go to course to get started!
Our courses have set start dates, which you can find listed on the course description page. Courses that haven’t started yet won’t have a Go to course link, but you will be able to take a look at the welcome area instead.
To learn more about what comes next, take a look at this article: What to expect when your course starts.
Can I still join a course that started in the past?
The course start date shows when the course material became available on the site, or when it will next become available.
As long as you can see a Join button next to the course start date, that course is available to join and new learners will still be signing up.
When you join a course, you can access it for free for the Duration period, starting either from the start date or the date you joined the course - whichever is later. This period is limited to the exact length of the course, and your access to each week of the course will open on a weekly basis unless you either upgrade the course or become an Unlimited learner
You can read more about our different joining options here- Free courses, upgrades and premium courses
Joining a later run
Now might not be the right time to join this course. If you’d rather take it another time, click on Start dates at the top of the page to see if any more runs of the course have been confirmed:
Then click on where it says Join in pink text, next to the future date you’re interested in:
[Image descriptor: the 'When would you like to start' section of a course description page. It shows that one run is available immediately, with a pink 'Join' button next to it. Another run is happening in the future, and this has the word 'Join' next to it in pink letters with no button.]
Don’t click on the pink button - that will enrol you on the current or nearest upcoming run.
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