Ah, the good old days! Back when Class Central started covering massive open online courses (MOOCs), almost all course certificates were free. Then, one by one, the major MOOC platforms began offering paid upgrades to verified certificates, then all but stopped giving out free certificates.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t still great content available for free. In fact, Class Central lists more than 1,150 Coursera courses that are still completely free. We’ve also catalogued close to 400 courses you can take for free, that are essentially the same courses that are offered for credit in online degree programs.

As it turns out, there are even a few courses in which you can still earn a free certificate. While trying to collect pricing data for FutureLearn courses, I discovered 17 courses on the FutureLearn platform that offer a free “digital upgrade”, which includes unlimited access to the course, quizzes, and a Certificate of Achievement on completion. These courses span a wide range of topics, from soil science to social media. They come from private companies like Accenture, public institutions like the British Council, and respected universities like King’s College London.


See the full list below:

Basic English 1: Elementary
King’s College London via FutureLearn
Learn basic English for everyday situations and improve your listening skills with this online course.
★★★★☆ (1 rating)

Basic English 2: Pre-Intermediate
King’s College London via FutureLearn
Develop your English for use in different everyday situations and build more confidence in your listening skills.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Digital Skills: Web Analytics
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn about the role of analytics in business, the types of analytics and techniques used and why they are important.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Digital Skills: Social Media
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn how to use social media for business, from creating a social media presence to measuring success.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children
University of Strathclyde via FutureLearn
Learn about unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children.

Bacterial Genomes: Comparative Genomics using Artemis Comparison Tool (ACT)
Wellcome Genome Campus via FutureLearn
Learn to use comparative genomics to improve your knowledge of microbial genomes.

Digital Skills: User Experience
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn about why user experience (UX) is important, the research and design basics, and the tools and testing techniques used in UX

Digital Skills: Retail
Accenture via FutureLearn
Discover the impact digital technology is having on the retail industry and what it means for customers.

Ideas for a Better World: Leading Change Through Policymaking
British Council via FutureLearn
Learn how to make effective change through policymaking and develop the skills you need to work in the sector.

Digital Skills: Mobile
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn about mobile design, development and creating mobile experiences, as well as bigger concepts related to mobile technology.

What is Genetic Counselling?
Wellcome Genome Campus via FutureLearn
Learn about genetic counselling and how to become a genetic counsellor with this online course for healthcare professionals.

Health Systems Strengthening
University of Melbourne via FutureLearn
The greatest challenges and advances in global health demand systems strengthening interventions.

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK
British Council via FutureLearn
Be prepared for university study in the UK by familiarising yourself with UK culture and higher education.

Citizen Science: Living Soils, Growing Food
University of Dundee via FutureLearn
Learn about approaches to food growing that can help regenerate soil and solve environmental issues.

Introduction to Nursing: The Role of Nurses Around the World
King’s College London via FutureLearn
Understand the role of nurses: from personal care, to supporting families and communities, to public heath and infection control.

Digital Skills: Grow Your Career
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn about how digital is changing the world of work, and how you can successfully grow your career in the digital age.

Digital Skills: Digital Marketing
Accenture via FutureLearn
Learn about some of the different digital marketing strategies and techniques that are available for businesses to use.