The ultimate student guide to free online learning resources

You can continue your university studies from your bedroom

With university libraries closing and students grappling with being unable to access key texts, many sites have made eBooks and online university-level courses free to access.

This week, Cambridge University Press made over 700 textbooks freely available on Cambridge Core until May 2020. The Press is just one learning faculty that has made it simpler for students to continue learning – if they wish to – amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tab Cambridge has collated a guide to other free online learning resources, which will be regularly updated. We hope this is helpful to those who are currently quarantined, or those who will be in the coming weeks and months. Obviously, these are unprecedented times, so many will understandably struggle to focus on academic work (and should prioritise health and self-care).

However, self-isolating doesn’t have to mean wasted time for students – it can also allow for further educational exploration and unexpected academic discoveries.

This list is by no means exhaustive! Tell us what we’ve missed by emailing [email protected].

1) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Core

Here, you can find over 700 textbooks related to 21 different subjects.

2) Oxford University Press

OUP is also offering free resources for students and others affected by COVID-19. You can find useful eBooks, and more, by following this link to their Resource Page:

3) Virtual Museum Resources

Access e-resources from museums! Museums and galleries across the world are now shut, but you can still access art, culture, history, and more online. Below you can find a non-exhaustive list of some incredible museum-related collections.

4) Internet Archive

If you can’t find a rare library book you need for your dissertation, or even video or audio you need, you might just find it here. The Internet Archive has the history of over 418 billion web pages on the Internet – all free to access.

Credit: Internet Archive

5) Coursera

On this American online learning platform, you can find free courses ranging from Chinese for Beginners to Introduction to Philosophy! You’ll need to sign up (also free). The website offers a similar service, which even includes a free Coronavirus course, freely available in 100+ languages worldwide.

6) Memrise

Want to learn a language from scratch, revise literary devices, or perhaps practice your knowledge of political science? You can do that, and more, through Memrise. You can find the app here:

Credit: Memrise

7) Duolingo

You’ve probably heard of Duolingo. But if you haven’t, this free language-learning app is great for students who want to learn or revise a language from the comfort of their bedroom.

8) Perlego

Set up by a Cambridge grad, this website – known as “Spotify for textbooks” – is making every book on their platform (including over 300,000 from the likes of Pearson, Wiley, and more) free for students for 6 weeks. You can access key material remotely, either through their app or a browser. To access these resources, follow this link, choose “monthly plan” at checkout and use code “keeplearning”.

9) Academic Earth

Academic Earth offers free courses created by top universities across the world. You can take a Columbia University course on Virology, an Oxford University class on Old English prose, or attend a Harvard e-lecture on Computer Science. All from the comfort of your home.

10) Open Culture

Open Culture offers a huge range of educational media, such as 1500 free online courses, eBooks, language lessons, and audio books. Seriously recommend checking this one out.


Featured image: Pixabay