Free Online Course on Introduction to Geology

The Open University is offering free online course on Earth in My Pocket: an Introduction to Geology. The course will help you reassess and appreciate the wide variety of natural resources that surround you all of the time.

In this four week course, applicants will get an introduction to geology. Discover where materials that make up everyday objects come from and how to use them sustainable.

Course At Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 3 hours/week
Subject: The Earth in My Pocket: an Introduction to Geology
Institution: The Open University and Future learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Available now

Providers’ Details

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. The Open University is rated one of the best in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

About This Course

The course will introduce you to some basic geological processes, focusing on ‘how, where and why’ different rocks and natural resources from across the Earth. You will look at some of the considerations geologists need to take into account when extracting and processing these resources.

Why Take This Course?

This free online course, you will discover the link between the ocean floor, volcanoes and your mobile phone; why tiny marine plants and animals are at the core of the plastics industry; and how colliding continents and mountain building processes influence the appearance of many buildings and numerous kitchen worktops.


The course is open to anyone with an interest in geology and the natural environment. It will be particularly useful for anyone considering an environmental science degree course or teachers who are looking for additional geology and geography resources to use in the classroom.

You will need a camera capable of taking a digital photo – a smart phone is fine. You will also need a Flickr account – this is free and easy to use.


Anne Jay

Anne Jay is a Daphne Jackson Research Fellow in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Open University. I research a type of volcano called large igneous provinces.

Marcus Badger

Marcus Badger is a Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Open University. I use organic molecules preserved in rocks to study the past 66 million years of the Earth’s carbon cycle and climate.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof oflearning on the course topic(s)).

Apply Now


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