Education is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. It can also be an excellent gift for people you truly care about. At a time when the competition of jobs is at its severest, having a roster of qualifications can provide a massive boost to the possibility of you getting the job. Among many online schools that all promise various degrees and courses, FutureLearn is among those who genuinely deliver what they proclaim. However, is it truly worth the price you pay to attend their classes?
This review article will help you understand what is FutureLearn, what are its features, and if it’s worth getting for yourself.
What is FutureLearn?
An online school that’s based in London, FutureLearn offers a myriad of degrees and courses that have full accreditation from various institutions that are recognized all over the globe. It provides its students with different certification opportunities for various industries. Its micro-credentials may also prove to be a big plus as you step up toward your career goals.
This British online learning platform was created to provide Brit students with an edge specifically in tech companies. Currently, FutureLearn has already amassed about 10 million learners and 175 institutional partners all over the world. As of 2019, the Open University owns FutureLearn. Open University is the most prominent undergraduate university in the United Kingdom. At present, the online school is co-owned and co-managed by Open University and the Seek Group.
FutureLearn gets to earn from the tuition fees paid for its different online degrees, courses, and micro-credential programs for its upkeep. Likewise, the company receives payments from subscriptions for its FutureLearn Unlimited, FutureLearn for Business, and end-of-course certificates and assessments. Lastly, the platform also has its FutureLearn shop where students and customers get to purchase accessories and CDs.
Students who opt to sign up for FutureLearn’s various programs, degrees, and courses get access to weekly classes or units. This provides them with multiple learning implements, including videos, quizzes, and assignments. Students who pay for these classes get to receive their certificates either in physical or digital form.
How to Sign Up For FutureLearn
To start earning your credentials via FutureLearn, however, it is essential to sign up first. To do this, below are several steps for you to do.
- Via your browser, go to the FutureLearn website.
- Choose your online degree, course, or program.
- Select your desired payment plan.
- Enroll in a class of your choice.
- Begin your course or program.
- Learn through the weekly units provided. Of course, you get to do different activities, including writing, reading, communicating, listening, and watching.
- Complete your chosen course or program.
- Receive your certification via physical or digital means.
You can choose among the three plans offered by FutureLearn. Depending on your budget capacity and goals, it is best to opt for the program that allows you to achieve your career goals faster.
FutureLearn provides students with a free, no-payment plan. Typically, this option provides you with a limited period of learning. You get to access an entire course length, including a couple of weeks additional. You are also given access to the quizzes or exams provided in the course you opted for. Nevertheless, you do not get formal credit for this free course unless you choose to upgrade.
The best way to get a credential for your hard work is to upgrade your plan. This means that you are required to pay for your preferred FutureLearn course, degree, or program. You get to earn a physical or digital certificate, and you are also granted unlimited access to the different learning implements provided for your chosen course. Fees vary from one course to another, prices come in the $39 to $99 bracket.
Take note, however, that a premium course costs even more. Premium FutureLearn courses cost around $100 to $400. Micro-credential programs will cost even more, with prices soaring up to $600.
Another excellent option is to pay for unlimited access. You get everything for unlimited consumption. This, however, requires you to pay around $269.99 each year.
Micro-credentials vastly differ from the short term courses offered by FutureLearn. These programs can take over 10 weeks to finish. If you opt to take one of these programs, you will be required to pay a fee ranging from $600 to $1600.
You can also take post-graduate studies via FutureLearn. These courses take around six to nine months to finish. They will cost you anywhere from $3500 to $7000 as well.
FutureLearn does not directly offer students financial assistance. Nevertheless, the schools or universities that provide your specific course, program, or degree may have grants available for deserving students. You can inquire from them directly if you want assistance for your learning.
You can also be offered an occasional scholarship such as the Dublin City University/FutureLearn scholarship, a prestigious scholarship grant that’s typically offered to deserving students who are asylum seekers or refugees as well. Being chosen for this scholarship permits a student to get upgraded or unlimited access to FutureLearn courses free of charge.
Accepted Payment Methods
At the moment, here are several accepted payment methods for FutureLearn:
- American Express
Presently, FutureLearn does not accept payments via Western Union, telephone, or other methods.
Categories of Classes Offered By FutureLearn
FutureLearn offers various degrees, courses, and micro-credential programs. You can opt for any of these, either jointly or separately, depending on your preferred plan of action. Payment depends on the length of your desired class or curriculum.
Yes, FutureLearn offers online classes for everyone who wants to take them. At present, the company provides students with a total of 437-course options. To date, here are the bestsellers at FutureLearn:
- 110 courses for Business and Management.
- 105 courses for Healthcare and Medicine.
- 71 courses for Science, Engineering, and Math.
- 69 courses for Teaching.
According to a report, a huge percentage of students are enrolled in Business classes or curriculums. Hence, it is no wonder that FutureLearn students are also mostly enrolled in business courses there. However, the learning platform also offers courses that cater to other industries if you want to diversify your learnings.
Micro-Credential and Accreditation Programs
The company also offers a variety of micro-credential and accreditation programs. These programs provide students with certifications based on specific specializations they aim for. In a sense, these programs allow graduates to get verified and accredited for their chosen degree. Thus, these certifications provide professionals with an added edge, especially when applying for specific jobs that require additional experience or credentials.
These programs typically require students to attend at least a hundred hours over the course of the program. They are in line with the Common Micro-Credential Framework of Europe. Hence, they are guaranteed to provide only top-quality learning, permitting portability and consistency across all MOOC platforms.
These micro-credential programs, then, offer its students the following:
- Highly sought-for credentials and certifications
- University credits
- Project-based and practical assessments
- Cyber Security Operations
- Digital Photography: Creating a Professional Portfolio
- Sports Coaching
- FinTech – Financial Innovation
- Teacher Training: Embedding Mental Health in the Curriculum
- Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making
- Project Management: Managing Front-End Planning
- Research Methods
Students also have the option to enroll in other accreditation programs. These are alternate forms or professional and academic certifications that are equally valuable in various career positions.
There are nine (9) accreditation programs under FutureLearn. Also, these programs are aiming to aid students as they take on academic degrees later on. These programs may take around 10 to 54 weeks to finish. After completion, learners will receive a recognized or accredited credential.
FutureLearn also offers five (5) professional programs to its students. These programs are mainly designed for professionals to allow learners to develop themselves professionally and progress in their chosen careers after graduation. Professional programs can take 14 to 20 weeks to complete, and a professional certificate is given during graduation.
As mentioned, FutureLearn not only offers single courses. It also provides its students with the opportunity to enroll in various online degrees—a huge step up, especially for those who may seriously want to pursue another degree but do not have the time or capacity to attend offline classes. FutureLearn brings these degrees directly to you.
At the moment, FutureLearn offers 34 online degrees to its hopeful students. Nevertheless, the company merely provides a limited list of university choices. At present, FutureLearn is partnered with seven universities. However, you will be surprised because it offers an impressive range of educational levels:
- 3 Online bachelor’s degrees
- 14 Online postgraduate degrees
- 17 Online master’s degrees
All in all, these courses, degrees, and programs are highly sought-after. More so, they are conveniently available online. You don’t have to commute to school and attend face-to-face classes each time. You can log into your classes and do your coursework at your preferred pace.
FutureLearn Features and How to Use Them
At best, FutureLearn offers a variety of features. Aside from their list of divergent courses, degrees, and programs, the learning platform has several qualities that set the company apart from others.
This platform encourages student-to-student discussions and interactions. Courses and programs are aiming to let students communicate with their peers, allowing them to share acceptable practices and learning experiences. This feature eradicates those feelings of isolation that typically affects students who opt to enroll in online, do-it-at-your-own-pace coursework.
Discussion boards are present is there for students to use. Thus, students get to do peer-to-peer discussions where knowledge sharing is highly supported. You get to meet people with who you can build rapport with—people like you who may also be working professionals, stay-at-home moms, retired employees, and so on. You can even utilize these boards to inquire about career questions or even ask for help regarding assignments and other academic requirements.
Although most of FutureLearn’s courses, degrees, and programs must be paid for, you can also take advantage of the 28 courses offered by the company for free. These are fantastic opportunities as well, especially if you want to earn a few more credentials that may help you progress your career.
Navigation and User Interface
Courses are provided with schedules, instructor names, requirements, and prices. You don’t have to go through a difficult time finding the exact course you might want to enroll in. Similarly, you can also do your work at your desired time and place. Even if you decide to go on a hiatus, you can quickly get back on track as your progress is well-documented. This permits you to go back to your studies without the hassle of starting all over again.
Each course or program is created with an in-depth syllabus. You know what to expect and get what you pay for—and more. Credible and knowledgeable instructors teach these courses. These syllabuses are easily understandable as well.
FutureLearn vs Other Learning Platforms
Of course, it is crucial to consider the different learning platforms that are also available online. The following are several educational platforms that you may want to check out. Comparing FutureLearn with these services may help pinpoint the best e-learning site for you.
Like FutureLearn, MasterClass also offers a variety of classes that you might want to enroll in. Through this platform, you get to experience learning from world-famous coaches who are experts in their specific fields like James Patterson, Steve Martin, and Malcolm Gladwell. Annual membership to MasterClass is currently going for US$180 per year.
You could also check out Udemy. This platform provides learners with more than 10,000 courses to choose from. The courses aim to teach students various skills and technical know-how. You can even apply to be an instructor there and create a dedicated channel where you can post your videos, allowing potential students to find you. Lastly, you even get to earn extra money by doing so.
If you want a platform that’s more in line with FutureLearn’s offers, it might be best for you to visit Coursera. Also, this platform provides students with courses designed to develop students’ academic standing, allowing them to earn academic credentials and learn specialized skills. Coursera even offers these courses for much lower prices compared to FutureLearn.
Another popular e-learning site, Skillshare, provides students with practical skills that permit students to further their knowledge. Among these skills include photography, video editing, and guitar playing. Similar to Udemy, you can also create your channel at the site. Also, you can earn some money when learners choose to follow and learn from you. However, Skillshare does not provide students with academic courses and programs that make graduates fully accredited.