futurelearn online courses
Attending grad school online would allow you to proceed with your career development plans. Source: Peter Parks/AFP

Attending grad school online may be your best option right now. Look closer and you’ll see that it’s a solid offering independent of the COVID-19 crisis. Think about it. Grad school is a huge commitment, right?

You’ll need to set aside a huge chunk of time that could be spent with your spouse, children and friends. Loans would probably be necessary as a postgraduate education doesn’t come cheap. And you’ll most likely have to quit your job and say goodbye to the accompanying financial security.

Having to sacrifice one less element from the above could do a lot in helping more working professionals cope with grad school. Which is why Deakin University’s partnership with online learning platform FutureLearn could be a sweet new deal for aspiring postgraduate students.

FutureLearn online courses for master’s and postgraduate certificate study

FutureLearn online courses each starts with a free two-week trial course before applicants decide whether to enrol in a full postgrad degree, delivered in convenient two-week blocks until they graduate with an internationally-recognised qualification. Professor Beverley Oliver, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education said: “FutureLearn is an innovative global platform at the forefront of online course delivery. These courses offer a highly interactive social learning experience delivered to you in easily manageable steps.”

The first of its kind, FutureLearn online courses offer a mixture of master’s degrees and postgraduate certificates. They range from the long-established crowd favourites (Business and Management, Law) to future-focused fields (Healthcare & Medicine, Science, Engineering and Maths, IT and Computer Science).

More flexibility around grad school scheduling, just like in Deakin’s new programme, could free up time for students to continue working full-time or take up part-time work — note that this will be a very tough balance as written by many before.

On top of that, Deakin touts the programme’s ability to foster international engagement through discussions and debates with other participants and the instructor on the platform.


In March 2020, FutureLearn took its unique offering one step further with FutureLearn Campus. Through this programme, online short courses from partner universities — which include 25 percent of the world’s top institutions — will be available on the platform. Students and staff can sign in using their university account to join the university’s short courses with free access to premium features.

The University of Michigan is the first institution to sign up to FutureLearn Campus. “In an increasingly digitalised society, FutureLearn Campus will provide universities with the tools they need to share their content with students and staff all over the world while bridging that gap between their online and in-person offerings,” said Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at FutureLearn. In the words of FutureLearn’s Director of Partnerships Mark Lester: “The nature of the platform means that no one misses out, regardless of where they are located.”