Websites that offer Free online courses with free certificate of completion (2021)
Free learning with free proof.
Lets get it to the point - you might be surprised to not see other most popular free online course platforms such as edX, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy and Alison\ in this article. Don`t be! As this article is all about those free digital course platforms that also offer certification at no cost at all, we excluded Coursera because it offers free certification with free courses but you have to apply for a financial aid or scholarship and be approved too.
Similarly, while you have to pay to get certificates after completing the free courses at edX, Udemy and Alison, another free course site called Udacity does not provide any certificates at all and hence these 4 websites also does not fit into this article. However, note that these providers can be your top choices if you are only looking for web based course platforms that does not cost you a penny and at the same time you do not need any certificates or can pay a small fee for the certification.
With these points in mind, lets see which are the websites that provide internet based courses for $0 with free certificates:
- OpenLearn by The Open University
- Great Learning Academy by Great Learning
- Free courses at FutureLearn
- OpenWHHO by World Health Organization (WHO)
- Digital Marketing Course by Google Digital Garage
List of free online course websites with free certificates
OpenLearn is a platform by Open University where anyone (over 13 years of age if you want to sign up) can take courses without signing up and without paying any fees. But when you register, it will help you to keep track of your progress in the course you are enrolled into and an ability to download course completion proofs such as Statements of Participation (which can be downloaded in PDF format) and digital Badges.
Digital badges are awarded if you complete all the parts of a course and pass the quizzes which can be made public if you choose to do so. You can also share these badges in social media platforms such as in LinkedIn to create portfolio in your resume. You can also download the course in various file formats like PDF, MS Word, Kindle, Epub and others even without signing up.
The courses are divided under eight subject categories where you can view the course title, course completion time in hours (maximum 24 hours) and level under each of the subject domains like:
- Health, Sports & Psychology (example course: Introducing Corporate Finance)
- Education & Development (Unerstanding Dyslexia)
- History & The Arts (Exploring the English language)
- Languages (English: skills for learning)
- Money & Business (Commercial Awareness)
- Nature & Environment (Water in the UK)
- Science, Maths & Technology (Metals in Medicine)
- Society, Politics & Law (Forensic psychology, Perspectives on social work: Individual stories)
While anyone from any part of the world can enrol, this is also a good platform if you are looking for free course platform based in UK as this charity is incorporated in the UK and it also has specific courses related to the UK such as "Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales" and "The law-making process in England and Wales".
2. Great Learning Academy
Great Learning Academy is a free online course platform created by an India based Ed-Tech company called Great learning. This service which is also available for Android devices is used by millions of learners in more than 150 countries. The courses at this website are self paced and you will also get a free course completion certificate after the completion of the course.
There are three modules in the courses - "Learning Videos" module, "Quiz" module and "Claim your course certificate" module. The "Learning Videos" module consists of a series of videos divided into various topics and you can also create an editable and deletable note while watching a video. After you complete watching the videos, submit the assessments and get a passing marks, your certificate appears under the certificate section of your profile.
Some of the courses you can enrol at here are as follows:
- Excel for Beginners
- Data Science Foundations
- Python for Machine Learning
- Introduction to Digital Marketing
3. FutureLearn Free courses
The free courses at Future Learn are offered by universities such as The University of Western Australia, University of Leeds and Institute of Coding, King`s College London etc. and organizations like The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, Samsung, British Council, Accenture and others. Although there are free courses without certificates, you have to take courses with "Free digital upgrades" to get a free certificate.
You can view how many students are currently enrolled in the course, duration and weekly hour for the course, course overview, topics covered, start dates, who can take the course, educators/ who developed the course, what is included in the course,learner reviews and more related courses in the course description page. While the course are divided into weeks then sections and steps, it is up to you how you complete the course - slower or faster.
There are videos, articles, discussions and polls in the courses and you will be able to view transcript for a video and also able to download the videos, glossaries etc. The online certificate at this service mentions the time you spent studying the course and your average score.
Following are some of the courses with free digital upgrade at this UK based online course provider:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Digital Marketing
- Bioinformatics for Biologists : An Introduction to Linux, Bash Scripting and R
- Basic English 1: Elementary
- English for Healthcare
- Protecting Children during COVID-19 and other Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- COVID-19: Psychological First Aid in Africa
- Agriculture, Economics and Nature
- Bacterial Genomes: Disease Outbreaks and antimicrobial Resistance
- COVID-19: Effective Nursing in Times of Crisis
freeCodeCamp is an entirely free open source non profit community of contributors used by millions of learners every month which provides free verified certifications for a number of coding courses. In order to get your certification, you have to fulfil some requirements which include accepting their Academic honesty policy, completing the certification projects related to the course you are taking and making your profile settings, certification setting & name public.
While the average course completion time is 300 hours and they recommend to complete the courses on pre defined order, you can set up your own pace and set your own priority for which course you want to enrol to first. It is also upto you to sign up or not as registering gives you a chance to save your course progression. Your chance of getting jobs as a software developer increases if you take the course at this site, as evidenced by the fact that there are thousands of alumni of this community already working in hundreds of companies.
Some of the courses at this site are:
- Scientific Computing with Python
- Data Analysis with Python
- Information Security
- Machine Learning with Python
Also, if your are a teacher, you can use the freeCodeCamp course as a resource without even requiring any special permission or license from them. Many coding bootcamps, colleges, high schools and adult education programs are already using freeCodeCamp courses in their curriculum.
There is also a forum to ask questions, share tips regarding coding and also discuss or get feedbacks on various topics.Other than English, there are forum posts in various topics in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese.
If you are working as a frontline responder or preparing to do so then WHO offers free courses (including lots of COVID-19 and other epidemics related courses) in the respective official languages of the serving countries for which the courses are targeted such as Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Ukraine and Viet Nam.
You can also access the courses via mobile apps available in English and German for iPhone, iPad/ iPod touch and for Android devices. It is possible to get a certificate of completion and a badge if you obtain 70% in the test taken after finishing the course.
The courses you can find at OpenWHO are:
- Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: investigations and care for mild, moderate and severe disease (English, Hindi and Nepali)
- Neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: impact and guidance (English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese)
- COVID-19: How to put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE)(Kazakh, Arabic, Macedonian, Shiq, French, Thai, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Tetun, Russian, Somali, Turkish etc.)
- Occupational health and safety for health workers in the context of COVID-19 (English, Macedonian, Portuguese, Spanish, Kiswahili, Bahasa Indonesia, Dutch)
- Risk communication for Zika virus disease (English)
The free distant learning courses funded by UK government with NCFE CACHE level 2 certification at FreeCoursesOnline have following criteria for enrolment:
- You must have resided in the UK or EU for the last 3 years for purposes other than study
- Older than 19 years of age
- Not on an apprenticeship and
- Not completed any part of the course before
Every learner is provide with a tutor who will give you feedback on assessments and with whom you can interact regarding any queries that you may have as there are no exams but assessment questions based on the course content. The average course completion time is around 20 days but you are free to finish the course in less than or more than this time period.
There are below mentioned courses and others in this website:-
- Children and Young People’s Mental Health
- Team Leading
- Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Data Protection and Data Security
- Business Administration
- Cyber Security
- Nutrition and Health
- Digital Skills – Engineering
Unlike other free course platforms however, you can take only one course at a time and upto 5 courses in a year. Each of the course description page at this site provides you an overview of the course along with information on how to enrol into the course, reviews, units covered and eligibility criteria for the course.
7. Google Digital Garage
There is only one free course with certification at this 100% free online course platform which is "Fundamentals of digital marketing" but you will be able to access a course with high in demand tech skills developed by trainers at Google itself and accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. You have to complete all the 26 modules of this 40 hours beginner level course and pass the final exam consisting of 40 questions.
You will also be able to unlock a badge for every module you complete successfully. The modules at this self paced course are divided into lessons which contain a video tutorial with transcript/ key learnings and a quiz to test your knowledge. You will learn about content marketing, display advertising, Search engine optimization, email marketing, analytics, online store and more with this course.
Beside these, there are lists of other free courses created by Google and other organizations including universities but provided by third party websites such as Grasshopper, Skillshop, YouTube, platforms mentioned above and others in career development, data & tech category with length of courses ranging from under 2 hours to 20 plus hours for Intermediate and advanced levels. Following are some of the courses at this platform:
- What is Data Science? (Created by IBM)
- Elements of AI
- Fundamentals of Graphic Design
- Python Basics
- English for Career Development (Created by University of Pennsylvania)
- Foundations of Everyday Leadership
- Content, Advertising and Social IMC
- Introduction to Cybersecurity (by Udacity)
- Think like a computer: the logic of programming (by OpenClassrooms)
- Business Writing
Other free online course services
After reading about all those platforms (maybe you have tried out some of these in the meantime!), there are still some online services where you can take free courses from the comfort of your home or office (or anywhere) such as SkillUp by Simplilearn (you will get certificate of completion but have to provide your phone number and might encounter problems while signin up), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) if you are from India (redirect to third party providers such as Great Learning and Skill Tech).
There are also MOOC platforms from top universities for example MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) where you can also download the course in PDF format without any sign up, Online learning by Harvard and Stanford online where you will be redirected to sites such as edX or Coursera for taking the course.
You have to explore a bit on these sites to find the exact course you are looking for as everyone has their own requirement criteria for even a course with the same topic.