Upgrade Yourself Free: Courses Online

by Chad Agrawal

Josh Hill

The Internet grants us access to a wealth of information, an immense repository of knowledge, enabling us to freely improve our learning in our areas of interest. A number of universities, including prestigious institutions like Harvard and Yale, have fully embraced the potential of the Internet to enable a more inclusive culture of learning, creating free online courses with high quality video lectures.

Delivered by experts in their field, there is a huge and diverse range of courses available, allowing anybody with Internet access to structure their own path of learning through a wide variety of subjects. Here are some examples of great university courses and study materials available online.



Yale: Introduction to Theory of Literature



If you’re a bit of a book buff why not begin your online learning with Professor Fry’s Introduction to Theory of Literature, part of Open Yale’s online English study programme. The lectures provide a useful overview of the key schools of 20th century literary theory.

Yale: The American Novel Since 1945



Interested in joining Jack Kerouac On the Road? Want to hide away with J.D. Salinger? Professor Hungerford’s Open Yale course, The American Novel Since 1945, is an excellent introduction to some of the USA’s finest post-war scribes and their tomes.



Gresham College: An Even Shorter History of Nearly Everything



In this fantastic lecture, given to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, the brilliant Bill Bryson proves his public speaking matches his writing, as he casts his eye over the history of science and the Royal Society itself

Stanford: Darwin’s Legacy


Throughout this great collection of lectures and panel discussions, which feature Professor Richard Dawkins, the important legacy of Charles Darwin is analysed in its rich complexity, taking into account the extensive influence of the theory of evolution across an eclectic range of disciplines.



Yale: Introduction to Ancient Greek History


Professor Kagan’s Open Yale course provides a wonderful Introduction to Ancient Greek History, charting the significant developments in the ancient civilisation which came to dominate the world. Ensuring students know their Spartans from their Athenians, the lectures are incredibly interesting.

UCLA: Modern Civilization from 1750 – The Present


There’s a deep mine of historical information contained within Professor Hunt’s course of lectures on the historical development of Modern Civilization from 1750 – The Present, which analyse seismic world events like the French Revolution and World War I.



Harvard: Foundations of Leadership


Harvard Professor David Gergen gives a stirring lecture on the Foundations of Leadership, which is essential learning for anyone interested in being a successful and effective leader, underlining the importance of character, principles and team building.

Berkeley: Entrepreneurial Best Practice Series


Talented practitioners assemble for this Berkeley course to highlight the crucial practical aspects of entrepreneurial activity, presenting lectures on a large array of topics, which include legal issues, developing business plans, financial modelling and recognising a sound business opportunity.


Further Reading...

To discover more online university course visit the excellent websites Academic Earth and Open Culture.

Upgrade yourself was written for us by Alton Towers Breaks, offering entertaining (though perhaps not educational) experiences for children and adults alike.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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