Open online courses

The Bristol Futures open online courses are a great way for students, staff and alumni to develop essential skills and attributes and to learn about the three Bristol Futures themes of Innovation and Enterprise, Global Citizenship and Sustainable Futures. Hosted on the online FutureLearn platform, they offer the chance to work collaboratively with learners from across the world to explore interdisciplinary approaches to global challenges. They are also an essential element for students taking part in our Bristol PLUS Award.

New courses

The three Bristol Futures themes have been chosen to resonate with the shared values of the students and staff at the University and of the city of Bristol.   

Innovation and Enterprise

Enabling students to act on their ideas, use their initiative, and shape change in diverse sectors.  

Watch the course trailer.

Global Citizenship

Fostering critical self-reflection and understanding to tackle international insecurity, culture and heritage in an increasingly globalised world, and negotiating the challenges of energy and resource management. 

Watch the course trailer.

Sustainable Futures

Equipping students to engage with the challenges of improving the quality of life for all humanity, while sustaining the natural environment and finding ways of living with the environmental change that we cause. 

Watch the course trailer.

Collaborative online learning through FutureLearn

FutureLearn offers an innovative and collaborative working environment where our students will be able to study alongside and converse with external learners, sharing ideas and developing important skills. 

The University of Bristol's open online courses build upon Bristol's My Skills framework and together form the FutureLearn programme 'Unleash Your Potential'. They have been designed to be flexible with assessment that promotes personal developmentThe courses don’t count towards a degree, meaning that students can engage flexibly.

The courses are intended to be thought-provoking and engaging. They are not constrained by level, meaning that they will appeal to a wide range of learners, from prospective undergraduates to postgraduate research students.

The courses run regularly throughout the year, with each lasting for four weeks. The typical workload for students is three hours per week.  

Sign-up is always open - find out how to join.

We hope that you will be inspired to take these courses or recommend the Bristol Futures open online courses to your students if you are a member of University staff. Want to know more? Contact

Students in group talking. How to join

Enrolment information for students, staff and external learners.

Smiling student talking to camera. Benefits to students

Find out how our Open Online Courses can benefit your University experience.

Academic talking to camera. Impact on the University

Open Online Courses positively impact the University - find out more.

Symbols themed for innovation and enterprise. Innovation and Enterprise

Watch the Innovation and Enterprise Course trailer.

Symbols themed for global citizenship Global Citizenship

Watch the Global Citizenship Course trailer.

Symbols themed for sustainability Sustainable Futures

Watch the Sustainable Futures Course trailer.

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