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Monday, 17 June 2019

Studying the Classics with OpenLearn - A Free Introductory Programme


Ancient history is a fascinating subject. So much of ancient culture stimulates thought and ideas which remain relevant in our modern society. I'm particularly interested in classical studies because of the development across so many areas of learning: history, literature, philosophy, art...

I have not had the benefit of any formal or directed study in the classics for many years, not since being at school. Since I hope to include a qualification in Ancient Civilisations in my forthcoming year-long study project, I looked to the extensive library on OpenLearn to introduce me to the subject.

From the wonderful selection of materials available on OpenLearn, I've developed for myself a short programme of study, which I intend to complete over the summer months. This programme consists of 10 courses ranging in difficulty from Introductory to Advanced, with length of between 3 and 20 hours study to completion. Much of the content of these courses are derived from degree modules from The Open University, which suggests they are an ideal springboard to encourage further study.

Classical Studies Programme with OpenLearn

I've listed the Classical Studies free courses from OpenLearn below, organised by level and roughly by how I think one module will flow smoothly into the next. I would highly recommend creating your own free account with OpenLearn which will enable you to keep track of your progress and download certificates upon completion of each course.

Level 1


Level 2


Level 3



Of course, there's no need to study in this particular order, or even to complete one course fully before moving on to another. Virtually all of these courses comprise of sections and modules, allowing us to dip in and out as time and interest dictate.

Free Printables

If you would like to keep track of your progress, I've also designed free printables which you can use to tick off the courses and modules you've completed. These are A4 size, in PDF format which you may freely use and distribute as you wish:

I've chosen to print the enhanced list in "two up" format, so that both pages are printed on a single side of A4, so that I can slip it into my A5 academic diary for easy reference. 

Content to enrich and enhance


In addition to these certificate courses, OpenLearn has a vast range of articles, videos and activities to enhance and enrich the learning experience. Although I haven't included these specifically in my introductory programme, I'll be sure to use these materials over the next few months. Here are some of my favourites:



Learn with me?

Please let me know if you're interested in following along with this programme of study, either by leaving a comment below or via my contact page! I'll post updates of my progress on Twitter in addition to monthly round-ups on this site.

If you know of any other useful Classical Studies resources, I'd love to know about them, so please feel free to share.

Featured photo credit: Nick Kenrick, via Flickr

Amanda Kennedy / Author & Editor

Amanda Kennedy is a writer and content creator whose websites chronicle many interest areas. She is a lifelong learner who lives in the UK with her family.

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