Short courses

Get ready for the new year with career-focused short courses

As the year draws to a close and thoughts inevitably turn to New Year’s resolutions, The Open University (OU) is emphasizing career change in 2022 and urging employees and employers to consider its innovative range of short courses.

Known as microcreditsthese career-focused courses are hosted on UO’s co-owned social learning platform, FutureLearn. They have been designed to provide organizations and learners with the opportunity to quickly develop and stay current in in-demand areas, from cybersecurity and Python programming to agile leadership and managing uncertainty.

Created by world-renowned OU scholars, many are endorsed by leading industry partners, including Amazon Web Service (AWS), Cisco, and the Agile Business Consortium. They can be completed in just 10-12 weeks and learners earn college credits boosting their CV upon completion.

A timely response to the growing skills gap

As employers continue to report skills shortages in their workforce and three in five organizations* say they are not as agile as they should be, micro-certifications are a timely response to this. growing skills gap.

Tommy Breslin, Senior Development Officer for Scottish Trade Union Learning at the Scottish Trades Union Congress, has been granted a number of OU microloans and even promoted as a result. He says:

My line manager said that while these courses have greatly enhanced my personal and professional development, they have also prepared me to take on general management responsibilities, and that the skills I have developed will be invaluable in leading our organization through a digital transformation process.

“I would recommend microtitles to anyone looking for accessible and inclusive learning experiences. The quality of the learning materials is excellent, the tutors are great, the administration is simple and efficient, and the pace of the lessons is demanding but well thought out..”

Tim Plyming, OU’s Managing Director for Short Courses and Fee Microloans, said:

Learners demand new ways to develop knowledge, skills and competencies, and want to do it quickly, from small, quality-assured courses. Upgrading skills through our micro-certifications is a great way to continue professional development while gaining in-demand skills and specialist knowledge.

“Courses include our hugely popular online teaching suite, which draws on our cutting-edge academic expertise and 50 years of experience in assisted distance learning. These are in addition to our business and management courses, designed by academic experts from our triple-accredited business school, and highly demanded IT courses, endorsed by leading industry experts. Other exciting courses cover the important areas of climate change and sustainability.

Twenty-four microcredit courses are available for enrollment so far, starting in March. Further courses will be available throughout 2022, starting in June, July and October.

For more information and to register, visit


* Confederation of British Industry (CBI)