Where to find online courses

Courses are a brilliant way to boost your skills, develop your learning and improve your CV. In particular, courses delivered online have come to the forefront of lockdown life – so we’ve put together a list of places you can find and access great online courses. The course or topic you choose could be career related or something that you’re interested in and want to do for yourself, or simply for fun. We’ve also included a few places where you can find virtual internships at the moment if you wanted to gain some work experience, but aren’t sure where to start during Covid-19.

LinkedIn Learning

Thousands of courses are available, and the University of Reading has licensed LinkedIn Learning for all current students, accessible through your usual University of Reading login credentials. Once you’re logged in, you can search for recommended courses relevant to your interests from the entire Learning Library of content and track your progress within the platform.

As an optional step, you can connect your learning with your LinkedIn profile if you have one, allowing you to display certificates of course completion to enhance your profile.

How to access:

LinkedIn Learning is accessed by going directly to the LinkedIn Learning homepage and clicking the ‘Sign in’ button at the top of the screen, then entering your UoR email address and clicking ‘Continue’ to allow login with UoR Username and Password credentials. You can find more information about accessing LinkedIn Learning here.

Not familiar with LinkedIn?

Book a 1:1 appointment, where our careers consultants can support you either setting up your profile or giving advice on one that you have built already.


OpenLearn is a free learning platform, by The Open University. Their content covers a wide range of subjects, so you might want to start by browsing the full catalogue of courses.

Benefits include:

  • Free courses that are available immediately
  • You can start right away or at a time that suits you, there are no specified start or end dates
  • You can work through at your own pace, without any pressure
  • You can also gain Statements of Participation and for some courses even earn a digital badge!


FutureLearn offers a diverse selection of courses in partnership with leading universities and cultural institutions across the world. Courses are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

From short courses, to micro-credentials, to full online degrees – the FutureLearn platform is full of courses waiting to be explored.

If you’re graduating in 2021, you can even undertake our very own Careers Smart course, which is hosted on the platform and has been designed to support students graduating in 2021. You’ll learn more about the graduate recruitment process, how to get started and what actions you’ll need to take in order to secure a great graduate role.

Want to know more about how the platform works? Find all you need to know about using FutureLearn.


Udemy have a number of free online courses that you can choose from, at a range of levels, in a range of topics, not only that but they offer a number of courses that are usually expensive at exceptional discounts to students!

In particular, they have a selection of Microsoft Excel based courses, which are useful for many career paths.

Alternatively, try our recommended Excel Skills course.

Work Ready Virtual Experience with RateMyPlacement

RateMyPlacement.co.uk has teamed up with Inside Sherpa and Development Beyond Learning (DBL), to launch a FREE work ready virtual experience. It’s open to everyone, so if your placement or internship has been cancelled, or you didn’t have anything lined up at all, you can still develop your soft skills virtually by completing this experience online.

You can also use RateMyPlacement.co.uk & Inside Sherpa to search for remote vacancies and work experience.

Prefer to find something closer to home? Apply for one of our Reading Internship Scheme vacancies, that are exclusive to University of Reading students.

Learn a language

Learning a language has never been easier! There are many apps that offer free language learning, but we’d recommend Duolingo – it’s both free, accessible on both mobile or desktop, and facilitates learning in a variety of ways including writing in, listening and speaking a new language.

The Skills Toolkit

The government has launched some free resources via the skills toolkit which includes things like digital marketing, how to present your work, coding etc. There is a keen focus on digital and numeracy skills, which are sought after skills for recruiters, so why not up your skills?

Use your course towards the RED Award

Completing the RED Award? We’re happy for you to use online courses to count towards RED training and development hours. To evidence this, simply take screenshots to show you have completed the course, or in some of the courses you may also get a certificate for completion and this would be fine as proof of completion.

Not signed up to complete the RED Award yet? Find everything you need to know on our RED Award webpages or email red@reading.ac.uk.

That’s our list for now, but if you find a brilliant online course that you’d love to share, get in touch and we’ll add to the list!