Bored at home? 5 online courses you can do for free

Fed up with Netflix and want to put your brain to work? As we face into winter, try one of these free online courses 

From how to create a successful side-hustle, to computer coding for beginners, there really is something for everyone. Here are five free online courses we have our eye on:

The Science of Well-Being

Yale University


Originally taught by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos, this course involves video lectures, optional readings, and a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and wellbeing.

In the course description, it says, "As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life."

The course takes approximately 20 hours to complete (with three hours recommended per week), and a certificate is awarded by email upon completion.

How to Create a Successful Side Project


Skillshare is an online learning community for creatives. Whether you want to be a writer, an artist, animator or web developer, there is a range of online classes to help you succeed. One that we think would benefit people from all walks of life is 'How to Create a Successful Side Project'.

Taught by designer and illustrator Andy J Pizza, the class helps you to determine your creative goals and craft a simple strategy for achieving them. In six straightforward steps, you will define what a creative career means to you, set goals to get you where you want to go, establish small steps to get you started, gain marketing and promotion strategies that work, and analyze your progress to ensure you’re on the right path.


Skillshare says, "This is a challenging time and we recognise the unique circumstances around Covid-19 are having rippling effects on freelancers. We want to offer support, encouragement, and ways to come together.

"As always, we'll continue to offer free trials to invite everyone to explore their creativity and join the community risk-free. We're [also] announcing new initiatives to increase that support, including a limited number of two-month free memberships based on need.” To apply, visit their website here.

Child Nutrition and Cooking

Stanford University

This free online course, taught by Maya Adam of Stanford University, requires a commitment of two-four hours per week. Participants will learn what constitutes a healthy diet for children and adults, as well as how to prepare simple, delicious home-cooked meals.

Elements of the course include: why home cooking matters; what constitutes a balanced meal; from supermarket to dinner table to school; sustainable eating, and labels, allergies and taste.

An Introduction to Radiation Oncology: From Diagnosis to Survivorship


Trinity College Dublin, Future Learning

In this course, you will hear stories from patients who have received radiation therapy as part of their treatment, and follow radiation therapy from a patient’s first contact with medical professionals, through to treatment and recovery.

You will also identify myths and facts related to radiation therapy treatment, as well as discuss the roles of healthcare professionals involved in radiation therapy.

The structured course runs for two weeks and requires four hours of weekly study.

Simple Coding

The Open University

Have you always wanted to get into coding, but haven't been sure where to start? This two-week online course at the Open University is an introduction to the skills, concepts and jargon of coding.


Upon completion, you will understand how to use the programming language 'Python' to produce code, understand the sequences of instructions in Python programmes, as well as understand repetition in Python programming language.

A range of course quizzes and activities will help you understand the practical side of coding, and at the end, you will earn a free Statement of Participation.

Feature photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

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