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What are some of the best free online psychology courses?

I’m currently trying to pursue a diploma at my local community college, but it’s really difficult balancing between work and school. I’m considering long distance learning as an alternative to going to class, but I‘m not sure how effective it is as a study mechanism. Are there free online psychology courses that may lead to a degree? Is there a free online summer school that offers accredited courses? I’ve been advised to try the Yale online course selection as Yale is a well-known college and their certificates are appreciated.

Samantha Stevenson

in Online Courses

1 answer

1 answer

Donald Ward on April 5, 2018

Learning long distance has led to the concept of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) which essentially aim at bringing education to a greater majority of people in an affordable way. The vast majority of people cannot access quality education because of a lack of time and tuition. Distance learning affords the opportunity to get into career preparatory courses or get a certification in others. While it is very difficult to get an online MOOC that affords you a full degree, you may find one or two that give enough courses credits that can be transferred or you can build upon if you are going for a diploma or a degree.

The online Yale course selection is a good place to start. Through their online Coursera platform, you can access content recorded in real Yale classrooms and with world-renowned professors to give you a start if you can’t afford to visit a real Yale classroom. However, you will not be able to get a certificate, degree or course credit through this platform. You can get several Psychology courses online through Coursera, but these are limited and are only meant to be inductive lessons to the course.

There are several free platforms that I can think of offering courses all through the year and not just the summer. One online summer school that’s free specializing in Psychology courses that I can think of is Alison. You’ll get a good number of Psychology courses on the platform. One thing you need to note is the fact that although you may get an Alison ‘certificate’ or ‘diploma,’ these are not recognized by any institution. What I mean is you won’t present these to any university or employer as real credentials. However, a good number of institutions are cognizant of what Alison is trying to do and the quality that their courses present, and any certificate which you get through Alison will ultimately count for something.

Other online free Psychology courses that you may find include:

  • MIT-Open Courseware with courses ranging from Introduction to Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior to the Nature of Creativity.
  • John Hopkins Open Courseware with courses such as Psychiatric Epidemiology and Statistic for Psychosocial Research.
  • AcademicEarth.Org with courses such as Social Psychology, Comparative Human Behavior and Scientific Approaches to Human Consciousness.
  • EDX by Harvard University, offering courses such as the Psychology of Criminal Justice, How the Brain Works and Trends in E-Psychology.

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