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Image / Living / Culture

5 free online courses to educate and inspire

by Shayna Sappington
09th Sep 2020

Indulge one of your interests and enrol in one of these free online courses

Tired of the same humdrum routine? Why not dive deeper into one of your interests while you’re stuck at home? There are so many free, targeted courses available online right now. 

From fast fashion and its harmful impact on the environment to practising mindfulness for health and wellbeing, there are plenty of interesting courses available.

Plus, they are all four weeks long or less, making them a great project to dive into while you have some extra time.

Fashion’s Future: The Sustainable Development Goals

Fashion Revolution

This four-week course is an exposé of sorts on the fast fashion industry, how it’s negatively affecting the environment and how we can move towards a more sustainable alternative. It was created by Fashion Revolution, a global movement campaigning for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency and sustainability.

You will learn how clothes are made, how fashion supply chains work, fair trade in fashion, women’s empowerment and how it links to the clothes we wear and the importance of responsible production and consumption. By choosing an eco-friendly wardrobe, you can empower yourself and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Monash University

Created by one of the world’s leading universities, this course teaches how to practise mindfulness to reduce stress. When you’re not deliberately paying attention to something, your brain goes into default mode, causing increased anxiety and poor communication. 

Mindfulness can help stop this harmful cycle and help you regain control of your thought patterns, cultivating self-compassion and emotional health. This course will help you identify the cause of stress in your life, develop a range of effective mindfulness techniques and adapt a more positive approach to study, work and life.

Understanding Autism

Kent University

This course is fantastic for parents, carers, siblings, friends — anyone that knows someone who has been diagnosed with autism. According to a 2016 report, one in 65 of the school-going population in Ireland has a diagnosis of autism. 

Led by developmental psychology experts Dr Jill Bradshaw and Dr Fiona Gullon-Scott, who specialise in autism spectrum conditions, you will learn what autism is through lived experiences of people on the spectrum and understand sensory and repetitive behaviours, co-occuring conditions and social communication skills and what happens if they do not develop as expected.

Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

Deakin University

Did you know that diet can have a significant impact on your mental health? This three-week course explores the relationship between nutrition and brain health, why it matters and how to work towards positive food changes.

It looks at various dietary styles and behaviours and educates on proper nutrition habits for the body and brain and, more specifically, the role inflammation and gut microbiota have on mental health. No prior knowledge of nutrition is required, and it’s a great way to start a healthy diet with an informed and positive mindset.

Digital Skills: Digital Skills for Work and Life


This course packs the basics of developing digital skills into just two weeks. You will learn what digital is, how it is changing the workplace and techniques to thrive in this fast-paced environment.

Expanding digital knowledge can be great for people looking to change jobs, start a new one or grow their business’s online presence. You will also learn about ‘a growth mindset’, the steps you can take to develop your own and how this mindset can help you reach your full potential in work and life. 

Read more: Never too late: meet the women who started businesses in their 40s

Read more: Books you should read if you’re thinking about a career change

Read more: This is a seminal time for working women. But we must move fast to keep choice in the workplace

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