Masters taster courses

These short online courses are designed for graduates or professionals who are considering progressing their studies and want to get a taste of different disciplines at a master's level. 

The courses, delivered on FutureLearn or Coursera, are led by top academics at the forefront of their subjects and are informed by our latest research.  

Each course or collection of courses focuses on a specific field of study and some of them may lead to formal continuing professional development (CPD) accreditation.

Completing these courses can help improve your university application by broadening your understanding of specific topics explored. 

Individual taster courses 

Social Model of Disability

In this two-week course, you’ll learn what disability is and how to identify the barriers that disabled people face around the world. You will explore the origins of the social model of disability and discover the significant contributions of disabled activists around the world. The model will allow you to understand disability from a social perspective rather than an individual one. This social approach to disability is adopted by our online Disability Studies, Rights and Inclusion MSc. Completing this short course will help you broaden your understanding of disability studies at master's level.

Sign up for Social Model of Disability on FutureLearn

Programming for Data Science 

Explore the basics of programming and familiarise yourself with the Python programming language. You will discover the different data types available in Python and how to use them. You will then learn how to apply conditional and looping control structures and write your own functions. This course is a taster to our online MSc Data Science (Statistics) also delivered on Coursera. 

Sign up for Programming for Data Science on Coursera 

Transport Systems: Global Issues and Future Innovations (CPD)

Join this online course and discover how the transport sector can develop infrastructures that meet the needs of a 21st-century population. In this course, you will learn about the challenges faced by the transport sector and learn how emerging technologies can address global issues. The course is an excellent taster if you are considering a master's degree in transport. 

Sign up for Transport Systems: Global Issues and Future Innovations on FutureLearn

Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment? (CPD)

England and Wales have the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe. In this course, you will take a look inside the prisons of England and Wales, explore the ethics of imprisonment and identify prison alternatives. This course is an excellent taster if you are considering a master's degree in law or social sciences. 

Sign up for Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment on FutureLearn

Business Ethics: Exploring Big Data and Tax Avoidance (CPD)

Learn why big data and tax avoidance are some of the biggest ethical issues facing businesses today. In this course, you’ll examine the benefits and ethical challenges inherent to big data, including the issues of privacy and data security. You will also learn what tax avoidance is and discover how globalisation is increasing the likelihood of its occurrence. This course is an excellent taster if you are considering a master's degree in ethics. 

Sign up for Business Ethics: Exploring Big Data and Tax Avoidance on FutureLearn

Collections of online courses 

Managing Major Engineering Projects Specialization

This Coursera Specialization consists of three courses that deliver a rigorous exploration of the best practices for planning and delivering major engineering projects.  Each course within the Specialization explores a different aspect of project managing major projects from understanding how to measure their performance to their governance, and financing. At the end of the three courses, you may choose to complete a research project that will allow you to develop your skills further. 

The Specialization provides a pathway to the Online MSc in Engineering Management or can be completed by professionals aiming to improve their project management skills as applied to large engineering projects.  

Sign up for Managing Major Engineering Projects on Coursera

Environmental Challenges (CPD)

This collection of five online courses explores how human society interacts with the natural world and the challenging decisions we face when managing natural resources.

Through case studies and lively discussions, you will learn how environmental management policies are developed and understand the challenges surrounding their formulation. These courses will introduce you to concepts explored by master's degrees in environmental management. 

You can access all courses within the collection for free and in any order, providing a flexible way to enhance your knowledge.  

Learn more about the courses included in the Environmental Challenges collection