Our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are free programmes which extend teachers' and students' learning.

Our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are free programmes which extend teachers' and students' learning through approaches beyond the linguistic. Our MOOCs are delivered on the FutureLearn platform. Find out more about the courses we are offering in 2018.


You can find more detailed course information below

For students and teachers

Writing better emails

Email writing is one of the universally important skills in today’s workplace, but it is rarely taught in higher education institutions and many young people arrive in the workplace having never written a professional email. Equally, people with many years’ work experience have never been taught email writing skills.

Using content developed by the British Council’s Professional Development Centre in Singapore, Writing Better Emails helps people write clear, concise, courteous, correct, coherent and complete emails. The course is packed with advice on how to write emails for different contexts, adapt your style and tone to your audience and to make your messages achieve your aims.

The course is aimed at native and non-native English speakers with at least intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR).

Writing Better Emails is the British Council’s first fully paid-for course with FutureLearn. The three-week course costs GBP 42.00 (EUR 49.00 EUR) to join and learners receive a certificate at the end.

Exploring English: Shakespeare

This free online course will look at the life and works of William Shakespeare and take you from his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe Theatre in London, from where he secured his central place in English literature. We will look at five of Shakespeare’s plays with the help of actors and experts from around the world. They will explain and explore the universal themes Shakespeare addressed in his work. Our video tutor will guide you through the course and look at some of the words and expressions that Shakespeare introduced to the English language.

How to Succeed in the Global Workplace

Landed your first job? Get prepared. Learn the skills and techniques you need to succeed in the global workplace. A new online course from the British Council and the University of Sheffield can help you communicate effectively across cultures, build new relationships and make the all-important good first impression. 

English for the Workplace (starts 03 September 2018)

This course is for people who are learning English and who are interested in developing English language skills for employability and workplace contexts. It will help job seekers and young professionals with the English they need.

English in Early Childhood: Language Learning & Development

The English in Early Childhood MOOC explores how young children learn English and investigates many other aspects of early childhood learning and development. This MOOC has been created for English teachers; early childhood practitioners; or anyone who is interested in the areas of child development and language acquisition. It will also be of interest to parents of young children, who wish to support their child learning an additional language. Length: 6 weeks

For students

Exploring English: Language and Culture

Learn English while you learn more about British culture. This course uses short videos, filmed in the United Kingdom, to introduce you to a new topic every week. Topics include English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Short quizzes and discussions will help you measure your understanding and practise your English throughout the course. This MOOC also marks the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth with a focus on the author's work in the literature module.  

Exploring English: Shakespeare

Improve your English skills with Shakespeare’s life and works. Material includes testimony from actors and experts from around the world. Discover more about the universal themes addressed in Shakespeare's work as well as the many expressions he introduced to the English language and which we still use.

Understanding IELTS:Techniques for English language tests (February 2018)

Anyone thinking about taking an English language test will find this MOOC particularly useful, but all English language learners will benefit from the tips and advice given in the course. The course helps learners improve their English and prepare for tests, such as IELTS reading, writing, speaking and listening. IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test, with 2.2 million tests taken annually.

Exploring English: Magna Carta 

We mark the anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta through a new MOOC that will run for three weeks. This course gives learners the opportunity to improve their English language skills whilst exploring this symbolic treaty, its role in shaping history in England, and its influence around the world. At each step of the course, our video tutor and team of educators will guide you through the topic and introduce a language focus, by looking at some examples of English in use in videos and texts.

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK  (starts 03 September 2018)

This course will give you all the help you need to study and thrive in the UK. You’ll become familiar with studying in English and how higher education courses are structured, gaining a clear understanding of what to expect. You’ll also develop self-study skills, whilst getting a taste of life in the UK.

For teachers

Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching

British Council courses for English language teachers. Develop professionally as an English language teacher with the British Council.

This British Council program will help English language teachers manage their own professional development and share their experience with other teachers around the world.

The program is based on the 12 professional practices identified in the British Council’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework for teachers of English. From planning lessons and courses to promoting 21st century skills, the Framework is a practical guide for teachers in all situations.

The Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching program looks at the 12 professional practices in three separate courses:

1. Lessons and Teaching
2. Learning and Learners
3. The Classroom and the World.

The courses all consist of short video interviews with experienced teachers and classroom films from around the world, along with language activities, discussions and quizzes.

You will be guided through the course by the British Council tutors, and you can share your experiences and opinions with other English language teachers from around the world.

Each course runs for four weeks. Course certificates cost GBP 59.00. When you complete all three courses and buy a Certificate of Achievement for each, you will earn a FutureLearn Award as proof of completing the program of study.

Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching (April 2018)

If you teach English at primary, secondary or higher levels and you want to give your professional development a boost, this is our MOOC for you! The course looks at a different professional practice each week and topics include lesson planning, classroom management and classroom resources. 

Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners

This free online course will help English language teachers develop the skills and practices they need for their continuing professional development (CPD).  In this course they will look at four professional practices: understanding learners, knowing the subject; using inclusive practices and assessing learning.

Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World (July 2018)

This free online course will help English language teachers develop the skills and practices they need for their continuing professional development (CPD). In this course you will look at four professional practices: Integrating ICT, Promoting 21st-century skills, Using multilingual approaches, and Understanding educational policies and practice. 

More courses for teachers:

Language Assessment in the Classroom (April 2018)

Language Assessment in the classroom is for secondary-school teachers and anyone with an interest in finding out more about assessment. In this course, participants will learn about the principles of language assessment. They will develop an understanding of the ideas behind the different types of tests and how they can be applied to assessment for the language classroom. With guidance from experienced test developers and international assessment experts, they will explore practical ways of assessing language knowledge and different language skills, so that they will be able to identify appropriate assessment tools for their educational context.

For Education Agents and Counsellors

Study UK: a Guide for Education Agents and Counsellors 

Develop your knowledge of studying in the UK. This online course from the British Council will provide international education agents, school counsellors and consultants with advice on all aspects of UK education. Further information is included around becoming a professional education agent for the UK if relevant for you. It will develop your knowledge of: the UK education and training system; the attractions for students in the UK; quality assurance systems and how they operate; student lifestyle issues; welfare and support for international students; and application processes and entry requirements.