FutureLearn partners up with Australian university to offer full postgraduate qualifications through its online platform

FutureLearn partners up with Australian university to offer full postgraduate qualifications through its online platform

You can soon earn a postgraduate qualification through popular online course provider FutureLearn, which is teaming up with Deakin University in Australia to offer six postgraduate programmes.

The courses will commence from early 2017, and include Master’s degrees in cyber security, development and humanitarian action, information technology, and financial planning, as well as a graduate certificate in diabetes education and a graduate diploma in property.

Students will get the chance to dip their toes into online learning through a free two-week taster course to help them decide if it’s for them, after which they can enroll onto the full programme.


Each programme comprises five short courses, and in order to obtain Master’s degree, students will need to take 12 or 16 programmes.

The online courses will have the same entry requirements as traditional courses, but unlike the usual face-to-face programmes, international and domestic students will pay the same fees.

Tuition fees for the master’s degree will range from AU$30,000 to $40,000 (£18,000 to £24,000), while the graduate certificate and the diploma will each cost AU$13,140.

FutureLearn chief executive Simon Nelson told BT: “Studying a postgraduate degree is a significant commitment so we are very pleased to be able to give students the opportunity to start to learn for free and pay-as-they-go before committing to the full degree.”

“Our aim is to allow our learners to study a full degree flexibly, whenever they like, wherever they are, fitting the courses around the rest of their lives.”

He added that learning as part of a global group would “deliver a rich experience for learners that we think will add a new dimension to this type of postgraduate study”.


Speaking to Times Higher Education, Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Beverley Oliver said they expected most of the students signing up for the programmes to be “mature, self-directed learners” looking to advance or switch their career.

She added that while many universities offer their own in-house online courses, FutureLearn’s global platform will enable students who are studying different subjects and based in different parts of the world to interact “more freely” with one another.

Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, said there were already plans to expand the range from the six initial programmes.

“These degrees are only the start, we are already exploring options for credit sharing with other FutureLearn partners around the world to further enrich the experience for our learners,” she said.

Earlier this year, FutureLearn, which is owned by the UK’s Open University, formed a partnership with the University of Leeds to allow students to earn academic credits through its MOOCs.

Image via Shutterstock

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