FutureLearn logo 2016.png
FutureLearn company logo
Type of site
Online education
Available inEnglish, French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese
OwnerThe Open University, SEEK Ltd
Alexa rankIncrease 1958 (June 2020)[1]
Users12.5 million (June 2020)[2]
LaunchedDecember 2012
Current statusActive

FutureLearn is a digital education platform founded in December 2012. The company is jointly owned by The Open University and SEEK Ltd.[3] It is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) learning platform, and as of June 2020 included 175 UK and international partners, including non-university partners.[4]


FutureLearn was launched with 12 university partners, seeking those who "consistently rank at the top end of the…league tables".[5] The 12 founding partners are: The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, King's College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Southampton, St Andrews University, and University of Warwick.[6]

The launch was described as a move to 'fight back' and provide a space for UK institutions to engage in the MOOC space.[7][8]

According to Financial Times, FutureLearn was the first platform to enable students to earn credits towards a degree from a top UK university from their tablets and smartphones, 2016.[9]

In April 2019, FutureLearn announced that SEEK Ltd would invest £50 million in the company. In return, SEEK would receive a 50% stake in the company.[3]


FutureLearn's courses span a broad range of topics. The first course opened on 14 October 2013.[10] The first courses to be made available included "Web science: how the web is changing the world" (University of Southampton), "Introduction to ecosystems" (The Open University), "Improving your image: dental photography in practice" (University of Birmingham), "Causes of war" (King's College London), "The discovery of the Higgs boson" (University of Edinburgh), "Discover dentistry" (University of Sheffield), "Muslims in Britain: changes and challenges" (Cardiff University), "Begin programming: build your first mobile game" (University of Reading) and "England in the time of King Richard III" (University of Leicester). The first course to launch was "The secret power of brands", conducted by professor Robert Jones of the University of East Anglia.

Country restrictions

In April 2017, FutureLearn blocked their courses for users in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria as a result of US sanctions on those territories.[11] These restrictions were lifted in November 2017.[12]


  1. ^ "FutureLearn Alexa Rank". Alexa. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  2. ^ "FutureLearn and Coventry University launches suite of technology focused microcredentials to upskill learners around the world". Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Investors bet big on the companies formerly known as MOOC providers | Inside Higher Ed". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  4. ^ "FutureLearn partners page". futurelearn.com. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  5. ^ Parr, Chris (20 December 2012). "Futurelearn picks league table stars for debut line-up | General". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  6. ^ Marszal, Andrew (14 December 2012). "UK universities to launch free degree-style online courses". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  7. ^ Claire Shaw (20 December 2012). "FutureLearn is UK's chance to 'fight back', says OU vice-chancellor | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional". London: Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  8. ^ Parry, Marc (13 December 2012). "Leading British Universities Join New MOOC Venture - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Chronicle.com. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  9. ^ Moules, Jonathan (26 May 2016). "FutureLearn to enable study on Moocs to count towards a degree". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  10. ^ Parr, Chris (19 February 2013). "PM hails new arrivals to Futurelearn | News". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Restricted course access for learners in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea or Syria". FutureLearn. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Lifting restrictions for learners in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria". FutureLearn. Retrieved 22 May 2018.

External links

  • Official website