Top 15 Free Online Courses to Study in 2023

free online courses

Education in the 21st century is changing rapidly. Many people now want to increase their knowledge in a particular field to improve their job prospects or change careers without being physically present in classrooms.

If you’re looking for popular free online courses that students all over the world are studying, then you’re at the right place.

You can take these courses at your own schedule time. If any case you face challenges taking online courses, you can check out this post on how to study online courses effectively. It’ll guide you on your eLearning journey.

Here are the highest rated online courses and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from top universities around the world, based on thousands of reviews written by Class Central users.

1. Learning How to Learn

By University of California via Coursera

This course gives you powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. It gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines.

Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life.

2. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

By University of Michigan via Coursera

This course aims to teach everyone the basics of programming computers using Python and already got over 60k students interested.

It covers the basics of how one constructs a program from a series of simple instructions in Python.

The course has no pre-requisites and avoids all but the simplest mathematics. Anyone with moderate computer experience should be able to master the materials in this course.

3. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

By Rice University via Coursera

This two-part course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications.

To make learning Python easy, they have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple.

4. Understanding Dementia

By University of Tasmania via Independent

This 7-week course covers a range of topics including basic brain anatomy, pathology, dementia research, risk factors, the difference between normal aging, and many more.

The content is delivered by 18 experts in the field of dementia including neuroscientists, health scientists, clinicians, dementia care professionals, and people living with dementia.

Participants will have an opportunity to engage with the material via video clips, activities, games, scenarios, and quizzes.

5. Mindshift

McMaster University via Coursera

Mindshift is designed to help boost your career and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment.

Whatever your age or stage, Mindshift teaches you essentials such as how to get the most out of online learning and MOOCs, how to seek out and work with mentors, the secrets to avoiding career ruts (and catastrophes) and general ruts in life, and insights such as the value of selective ignorance over general competence.

6. Preventing Dementia

University of Tasmania via Independent

Preventing Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors.

With the aging of the world’s population, dementia is looming as the public health issue of the 21st Century. Is it possible to modify your risk of dementia? Find out by taking this free online course.

7. A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

Indian School of Business via Coursera

What are the determinants of a happy and fulfilling life?

This is surely one of life’s biggest questions and a question that has interested many of our ancestors.

Happily, all that has changed now. Over the past decade-and-a-half, scientists have gotten into the act big time. Scientists now have a pretty good idea of what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

This online course is big online with over 50k students interested worldwide.

8. Machine Learning

Standford University via Coursera

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.

In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome.

This 11-week long free online course with a Paid Certificate option provides a broad introduction to machine learning, data mining, and statistical pattern recognition.

9. Understanding Clinical Research

University of Cape Town via Coursera

University of Cape Town (UCT) is a top African varsity in South Africa in medicine. It’s not surprising that they are the only African university in offering a popular online course on this list.

If you’ve ever skipped over` the results section of a medical paper because terms like “confidence interval” or “p-value” go over your head, then you might want to take this course.

You may be a clinical practitioner reading research articles to keep up-to-date with developments in your field or a medical student wondering how to approach your own research.

The course is free to enroll and take. You will be offered the option of purchasing a certificate of completion which you become eligible for if you successfully complete the course requirements.

10. Introduction to Programming with MATLAB

Vanderbilt University via Coursera

Introduction to programming with MATLAB is a free online course that teaches computer programming to those with little to no previous experience. It uses the programming system and language called MATLAB to do so because it is easy to learn, versatile, and very useful for engineers and other professionals.

MATLAB is a special-purpose language that is an excellent choice for writing moderate-size programs that solve problems involving the manipulation of numbers.

Nevertheless, this course is not a MATLAB tutorial. It is an introductory programming course that uses MATLAB to illustrate general concepts in computer science and programming.

11. What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town via FutureLearn

This free online course will bring together learners and practitioners interested in how the mind works. It aims to build bridges between traditionally antagonistic approaches to understanding the mind.

In this course, Professor Mark Solms, Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town, will adopt a multidisciplinary approach.

12. Marketing in a Digital World

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera

This course examines how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3D printing, are revolutionizing the world of marketing by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers.

This course is part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price.

13. Intro to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

MIT via edX

This course is the first of a two-course sequence: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science.

Together, they are designed to help people with no prior exposure to computer science or programming learn to think computationally and write programs to tackle useful problems.

14. Introduction to Engineering Mechanics

Georgia Institute of Technology Coursera

This course is an introduction to learning and applying the principles required to solve engineering mechanics problems.

Concepts will be applied in this course from previous courses you have taken in basic math and physics.

The course addresses the modeling and analysis of static equilibrium problems with an emphasis on real-world engineering applications and problem-solving.

15. Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

University of Toronto via Coursera

Behind every mouse click and touch-screen tap, there is a computer program that makes things happen.

This is another free online Python course that introduces the fundamental building blocks of programming and teaches you how to write fun and useful programs using the Python language.


Now you’ve seen the most popular or the top-rated free online courses you can study from the various universities via the various MOOCs.

Programming courses are very popular now especially Python, but the most important thing is to find courses that add value.

If you have some cash, you can go in for the courses that offer certificates.

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