Another online learning innovation for Leeds


The University has teamed up with the world’s biggest online course provider, Coursera.

It becomes one of the first universities in the UK to deliver online courses on its platform that can count directly towards postgraduate degree programmes.

Coursera has more than 30 million users across every country in the world. It has partnerships with 150 world-leading universities across the globe; its new partnership with the University of Leeds will enhance the international profile of the University as a world-leader in digital education, as well as expanding Coursera’s portfolio of credit-bearing courses.

Launching today, Managing Major Engineering Projects is a collection of online courses, known as a Specialization, which look at some of the key reasons big projects suffer delays or go over budget. It can lead to the award of 15 postgraduate credits from the University of Leeds, which can then count towards the MSc Engineering Management online degree from Leeds.

Professor Neil Morris, Director of Digital Learning at the University of Leeds, said: “The University is very proud to be teaming up with Coursera to deliver online learning courses to learners all around the world.

“This new partnership is in line with our strategy to be a world leader in digital education. We are also pleased to be offering postgraduate credit-bearing courses on Coursera, which learners will be able to use towards fully online distance learning programmes. This will provide flexibility and access to learners from all over the world, and will provide much-needed education and skills training.”

Isabelle Finger, Head of the University Partnerships Team at Coursera, said: “Coursera is excited to be working with the University of Leeds to develop high-quality online content. This specialization, in particular, will be a strong first step for our partnership and will be the first of many online programmes from Leeds that support learners as they develop their skill sets.”

Course leader Dr Giorgio Locatelli, Lecturer in Infrastructure Procurement and Management in Leeds’ School of Civil Engineering, said: “Major engineering projects all over the world play a crucial role in shaping the lives of millions of people. They are often controversial, with spectacular failures as well as breath-taking success stories.

“We designed these courses to help learners make sense of current and past projects, and learn the skills and know-how to become protagonists in the fascinating realm of major engineering projects.”

The latest innovation complements perfectly Leeds’ existing pioneering partnership with the UK’s FutureLearn online learning platform, on which it launched one of the country’s first massive open online courses (MOOCs) in 2013. More than a million learners have joined the 48 courses developed by Leeds’ Digital Education Service since then. In 2016, Leeds was the first Russell Group university to launch, with FutureLearn, online courses to earn undergraduate academic course credits which count towards degrees.

How it works

Managing Major Engineering Projects is made up of three courses and a credit-bearing Capstone project

Learners will be able to work through the three courses at their own pace.

Each course will take about five hours of study each week for five weeks, using a series of online video lectures and assessment activities, as well as reading.

Eligible learners who successfully complete the three courses will then be able to apply for the Capstone project, which requires 75 hours of study over up to 12 weeks. This Capstone project will include extra content, including access to University of Leeds online library resources, and guidance, feedback and marked assessments from tutors, together with interaction with fellow learners.

Those who successfully complete the Specialization and the Capstone will earn 15 postgraduate taught student credits from the University of Leeds. They will then be encouraged to apply for a full online master’s programme in Engineering Management, towards which the 15 credits will count, and earn them a fee reduction.

The new course is part of Coursera’s Physical Science and Engineering range.

To find out more, or enrol on the new course, visit the course page

Further information

  • Journalists with questions or interview requests relating to this news story should contact University of Leeds Media Relations Manager Gareth Dant on 0113 343 3996 or email
  • Coursera is an education-focused technology company that connects millions of learners around the world with the skills and knowledge they need to transform their lives and careers. We're providing access to top-quality university- level education at a previously unimagined scale, empowering learners, organizations, and enterprises to build the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. We are headquartered in Mountain View, California, and are backed by top venture firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Laureate Education Inc, and Learn Capital.