You don’t have to sign up to an evening course or go back to college to learn something new these days. You’ve got everything you need right at your fingertips thanks to a vast range of helpful websites and apps that allow you to boost your skills online.
From learning new languages to expand your knowledge on a whole host of subject matters, or even just finally figuring out how to play a game of chess – this comprehensive list of the best resources to learn something new is all you'll ever need. Even better, you can learn at your own pace and on the go.
Take an online educational course
1. FutureLearn: Join nearly two million people learning together at FutureLearn. Try high-quality online education and enjoy the free online course from top universities and specialist organisations — a fantastic resource.
2. edX: As the name suggests, edX is all about the exchange of education where you can take great online courses from the world’s best universities.
3. Class Central: Never stop learning and discover free online classes from top universities such as MIT, Harvard and Penn.
4. Coursera: Take the world’s best courses, online, for free. Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with leading universities and organisations worldwide.
5. Academic Earth: Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to world-class education. In 2009, they built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities. Today, that portfolio has expanded to include the very best curated list of online courses – all for free.
6. OpenLearn: The home of free learning from The Open University, this is a website where you can access a fantastic range of free courses.
7. Degreed: Degreed is a community of college students, professionals, and lifelong learners dedicated to advancing their education. When you join Degreed, you get tools to help you track, organise, share, and validate everything you learn.
Develop your skills
8. Coursmos: Achieve your dreams with online micro-courses. From technology and business to health and spirituality, Coursmos is one to check out.
9. SkillShare: Learn from the world’s best creators and explore thousands of online classes in design, photography, business and much more.
10. HighBrow: Highbrow is a subscription-based service that brings cool and exciting bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.
11. Udemy: With more than 30,000 courses and over 7 million students, Udemy is an incredibly helpful website packed with everything you want to learn, all at your own pace on any device.
12. Alison: Alison is a five million-strong, global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality online education resources to help you develop essential, certified workplace skills.
13. CreativeLive: Live classes from the world’s top experts – that’s the claim from CreativeLive. Simply learn and be inspired.
14. Curious: Online video lessons that will help you to boost your skills.
15. Coach Me: Build your career, get in shape and learn a new skill with this free app that helps you track your improvement toward goals. With expert coaches that give you 24/7 support to reach them.
16. One Month: What would you do if you had just one month to learn something new? One Month promises to teach you a new skill in four weeks, helping you to advance your career, build your app or grow your business.
Expand your knowledge
17. TedEd: Want to find out how a jellyfish gets its sting? Or have the Greek Crisis explained in less than three minutes? TedEd is the perfect way to expand your knowledge.
18. Guides: A website that offers you hundreds of guides on subjects ranging from startups and entrepreneurship to life hacks and technology. Not to be missed.
19. Big Think: Big Think is a knowledge forum. Every idea on Big Think comes from its ever-growing network of 2,000 Big Think fellows and guest speakers, who comprise the top thinkers and doers from around the globe.
20. Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empowers you to study at your own pace in and outside of the classroom. With maths, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
Learn a new language
21. Duolingo: Learn languages completely free, without ads or hidden charges. One of the best apps out there.
22. Babbel: Babbel is one of the stalwarts of the online language-learning sphere.
23. MindSnacks: Feed your brain with award-winning apps loved by millions and learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese or Japanese.
24. Speaky: A language exchange, Speaky allows you to learn languages for free, talk to people and make friends along the way.
25. LiveMocha: Livemocha offers free online language learning, lessons, and other language learning activities. Its free language lessons are available in 35 languages.
26. Fluentu: Fluent brings language learning to life with real-world videos. Access the web’s best foreign language content and start learning a new language through authentic video experiences.
27. Linguist: Learn a language in 200 hours – that’s the promise from Linguist, online language courses that you can follow on all computers, mobile phones and tablets.
28. italki: A great language exchange website where you can find an online teach for personal language lessons.
29. Memrise: Memrise promises to make learning languages more joyful with courses in more than 200 languages. This is the place where you can use flashcards to learn new vocabulary.
30. Busuu: busuu is the world's largest social network for language learning.Connect for free with native speakers worldwide on your computer, tablet or mobile.
Learn how to code
31. Code Academy: Learn to code interactively, for free. Simples.
32. Code School: Code School teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts.
34. Code Combat: Learn to code by playing a game. Yes, really.
35. Udacity: Become a web developer, data analyst, full stack developer or mobile developer and earn yourself a Nanodegree through Udacity.
36. Codeplace: Codeplace teaches you Ruby on Rails by showing you how to build real world applications.
37. SitePoint: Become a better web developer by accessing thousands of video tutorials plus all of SitePoint’s books.
38. Treehouse: Whether you are just starting or are a tech industry pro, Treehouse exist to provide you with the tools to help you excel.
40. Safari: A massive amount of content available at your fingertips, with 200,000 hours of courses, books and conference videos – Safari is one of the best resources online for developing your technical skills and staying current – highly recommended.
41. Bloc: The world’s largest online bootcamp for wannabe coders.
Learn a new craft and get creative
42. Craftsy: Learn from the world’s best instructors in everything from sewing and quilting to cake decorating and cooking.
43. Creative Live - Craft: Ok, so we’ve mentioned Creative Live before, but they’re definitely worth a mention again. Spark your creativity with hundreds of online craft classes.
44. Udemy - Arts & Crafts: Become an Arabic calligraphy artist from scratch or learn how to paint with acrylics. Udemy has something for everyone.
45. Universal Class: Explore your creativity with over 70 online courses for crafters, hobbyists or for anyone wanting to explore their creative talent.
46. CraftArtEdu: Over 450 classes across 20 categories, including beading, fine art, jewellery and polymer clay.
47. Craft University: Attend online craft classes, courses & workshops from expert craft instructors in quilting, sewing, needlework, knitting, mixed media, crochet, spinning, weaving and more!
48. Craft Classes Online: It does exactly what it says on the tin, Craft Classes online for your enjoyment. They even show creatives how to run their own craft businesses.
49. Faber Academy: If writing is your thing, then the Faber Academy has the perfect online writing courses for you. With advice on writing a novel to boost your fiction writing skills, this lovely little website will set you off on the right track.
50. SquareKnot: Learn new creative skills from other people who have stared their own step-by-step guides with this growing global community.
51. Artists Network University: Home to quality online art classes & workshops, you can learn everything from watercolour painting techniques to drawing tips & using acrylics. Whether you’re a beginner with an itch to learn how to draw or a professional artist with a working portfolio, the techniques you learn in these online art courses will advance your skills to the next level.
52. Instructables: What do you want to make today? Create summer fruit iced tea, your copper pipe candlesticks or a pretty hair flower – all with fun and crafty learning tutorials from Instructables.
Learn something fun
53. Pianu: A cute website that teaches you how to play common tunes and
54. Yousician: Offering your music teacher, Yousician is the easiest way to learn to play a musical instrument. With step-by-step tutorials, real feedback and the ability to track your progress, this is a website that budding musicians will love.
55. Mind Games: Play the best free Mind Games online with brain, maths, puzzle, word games, and memory games.
56. Chess Academy: Always wanted to learn how to play chess? Watch videos, solve puzzles and play games – all for free, to understand one of the world’s best-loved games.
57. Lit Lovers: Love books? Get more out of your reading by taking Lit Lovers’ online LitCourses. They’re quick, fun and free – designed to deepen your enjoyment of fiction.
58. Cooking School 101: Learn to cook thanks to CookSmarts – the meal planner app that makes cooking a breeze. This section on its website covers the basics and gets you cooking in no time.