As the start of a new year dawned, you may have been thinking about learning a new skill, hobby or just considering a new interest. Taking a course can be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. However, there are several free courses on the web. I’ve found a few which may help you to learn something new, develop a skill or may just act as a starting point for further investigation into a paid course.

Alison Courses

Alison provides a range of online courses free of charge. You can claim certificates once you’ve completed a course, however these require a fee. Some courses do have PDF certificates that you can download free of charge.

All courses are free to learn in your own time – there’s no time limit for completion and you can pick from a variety of topics. If you’re a blogger or freelance writer, you may be interested in the following;

Digital photography

Web page development

Adobe photoshop

English writing skills

Google analytics

Social media marketing

Building an online business

Another portal for free online learning is Future Learn whose courses are in partnership with several universities in the UK. These courses have a start and end date and tend to rotate so different courses are on offer at varying times. Some upcoming courses to look out for are;

Preparing for uni

The secret power of brands

How to succeed at writing job applications

How to succeed at interviews

Community journalism: digital and social media

Vision to learn is a British online learning site with a range of free courses. You need to apply to these courses and a certificate/qualification may be offered at the end of the course. Courses include;

Essential IT skills

Business and administration

Equality and diversity

OpenLearn is The Open University’s free online course portal. Here there are a wide range of free materials from OU courses to give you a taster of a subject. A few topics include;

Start writing fiction

Writing what you know

Managing my money

Entrepreneurial behaviour

Using voluntary work to get ahead in the job market

Free courses are a great way to boost your CV/resume. Even if you don’t receive a qualification at the end, its still worth mentioning as it shows motivation, a willingness to learn and determination – all good aspects that employer’s look for.