Educating the world through Massive Open Online Courses

British Council has developed Massive Open Online Courses that are available for free on FutureLearn, which is the UK’s social learning platform, wholly owned by the Open University, UK with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. These courses draw on the British Council’s expertise in online learning.

You can buy a Statement of Participation for these online courses — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part. You must mark more than 50% of all course steps as complete and attempt all test questions to be eligible to buy a statement of participation.

Click here to register for the course to find more about our courses.

Understanding IELTS: techniques for English language tests

Anyone thinking about taking an English language test will find this course particularly useful, but all English language learners will benefit from the tips and advice given in the course.

Understanding IELTS: techniques for English language tests is a six week long free online course started on 11 July to 21 August 2016. 

The course focuses on the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System). IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. IELTS is accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. Over 2.2 million IELTS tests were taken globally last year.

This course will take you through each stage of the IELTS test — reading, writing, speaking and listening. At each stage there will be advice from our video tutor and a team of experienced IELTS educators. You will also be asked to share your experiences, tips and opinions with other learners.


• Take IELTS with confidence

• Prepare for study in UK, USA and around the world

• Improve your employability

• Learn how an IELTS test is assessed

• Learn more about techniques to teach to take English language tests

• Learn more about techniques to take English language tests

• Improve English language skills

• Live interaction with British Council tutors


By the end of the course, you will:

• be familiar with all parts of the IELTS test

• have some useful tips to help you achieve your IELTS goals

• understand how the IELTS test is assessed

• have an opportunity to have your written and spoken English assessed by other learners.

The British Council has over 80 years’ experience in English language teaching and assessment and delivers IELTS tests in more than 100 countries. The course draws on the British Council’s expertise in online learning and will give you the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation.

Register now!

Exploring English: language and culture

The Exploring English: Language and Culture is a free online course for people who are learning English and who are interested in finding out more about British culture and improving their English language skills.

The sixth run of the Exploring English: Language and Culture MOOC starts on 12 September 2016.  One of the six weeks in the MOOC is on literature and this time the focus will be on Roald Dahl's literature. 

The course will use short videos to present a different topic each week, including English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Filmed in Great Britain, these videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English. Our experienced tutor will examine some of the language used in the videos and will draw your attention to useful points that will help you improve your spoken and written English.

The course does not follow a language syllabus but takes authentic English in context as its starting point. Short quizzes and discussions will help you measure your understanding and practise your English throughout the course. At the end of each week you will be asked to describe your own feelings and experiences about that week’s topic in a short piece of writing.

Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching Program

The Teaching for Success MOOCs incorporate the previous Professional Practices for ELT (PPELT) MOOC, and cover all 12 professional practices in a progressive learning sequence. Teaching for Success is the British Council’s new MOOC for English language teachers.

This free online course is for English language teachers at primary, secondary or higher levels around the world. 


1. Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching (29 August - 25 September)

2. Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners (10 October - 6 November) 

3. Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World (21 November - 18 December).  

Each week, we will look at a different professional practice that helps make a successful teacher. Weekly topics will include lesson planning, classroom management, classroom resources and continuing professional development. Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points of each week. You will be asked to share your own experiences and opinions as you become part of a global community of English language teachers discussing what leads to success.

The course draws on the British Council’s many years of expertise in teacher training and development around the world.