25 best free online courses in South Africa to choose from in 2022

25 best free online courses in South Africa to choose from in 2022

Today’s concept of online learning has created numerous opportunities for people to register, learn, and get certificates for various courses. Like other regions, Africa has gradually adopted this concept, with many countries now having students taking various courses online. The constant evolution of technology keeps making access to these courses easier. Which are the best free online courses in South Africa today?

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free online courses in South Africa in 2022
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While today’s online space has numerous courses, these often vary in duration and pricing. Some courses are entirely free, others charge for the certificates, and others for the lessons and certificates.

The top free online courses in South Africa in 2022

Here are the 25 best online courses for people interested in various fields.

25. Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics

This is a remarkable healthcare-related free online course in South Africa. The University of Cape Town provides it via the world-famous Coursera platform. The online tutor is known as Dr Juan H Klopper.

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This course is designed for clinical practitioners, medical students, and people dealing with general research studies. It covers topics on how to easily interpret common statistical concepts without involving complex mathematical formulae.

24. Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation

This is a superb 6-week online course that Coursera offers. It typically requires learners to commit about 2-3 hours each week. Keep in mind that while the course is free, you will be required to pay a token for the verified certificate.

At the end of the course, successful learners will be able to create their own strategy for social innovation and begin to promote the concepts, mindset, skills, and relationships that will enable them to become changemakers.

23. What is a mind?

free online courses with certificates in South Africa
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This is a captivating online course designed to bring together learners and practitioners interested in how the human mind works. The course aims to harmonize the traditionally antagonistic approaches to understanding the mind.

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This question has perplexed philosophers, scientists, historians and ordinary people across time and cultures, and this course seeks to get an answer. It is taught by Professor Mark Solms, the chair of neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town.

22. The Right to Education: Breaking Down the Barriers

This is the ideal online course for those who champion every person’s right to education. In it, you will learn how to break down the modern-day barriers to education. The online course is designed and taught by the University of Glasgow.

One of the goals of the United Nations is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. However, we are way off this target. In this course, you will discover why so many children are not receiving an education and hopefully join the cause in looking for a solution.

21. Extinctions: Past and Present

This is one of the most interesting free online courses with certificates in South Africa. The University of Cape Town provides it via the FutureLearn platform. The course teaches about all the extinctions that have happened in the past and how these extinctions have shaped the world as it is today.

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This is a five-week class, with each week dedicated to teaching about one of the past five extinctions. Learners will have to dedicate at least 3 hours per week and will get a certificate of completion at the end.

20. Innovative Finance: Hacking finance to change the world

This course was designed by the University of Cape Town and is delivered via Coursera. It is a two-week free course that requires a maximum time commitment of 2-3 hours weekly. The class covers numerous aspects of innovative financial structures and processes using examples and real case studies from social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, development funders, impact investors, and governments.

19. Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation

This is a 6-week class ideal for anyone who wants to make a difference in the social space. Whether you are already familiar with the field of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, or you are just starting out, this course will take you on a journey of exploring the complex problems that surround today’s society and how to start figuring out the solutions.

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18. Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started

free short courses in South Africa
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Blended learning is a fascinating concept that explores the application of in-person and digital learning methods. The concept’s popularity rose at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced people to embrace social distancing.

The class is designed and administered by the University of Leeds and teaches learners the benefits of blended learning, how to use modern technology to support learning, and ways to connect with professionals in the blended learning space.

17. Theory of Change for Development

The Theory of Change for Development course is among the best free online courses in South Africa. It was created and is administered by the University of Witwatersrand via the edX online learning platform. Learners acquire the knowledge and skills on how to handle and effectively solve problems using the Theory of Change (ToC) approach.

16. Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space

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This short free course provides useful and real-world insights on how to develop the academic skills needed to be a proficient academic writer. Additionally, the course offers learners the opportunity to practice and to develop their own writing styles.

15. Julia Scientific Programming

Julia is a modern, high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language developed for the scientific computing industry. The Julia Scientific Programming course is a four-module course that introduces learners to the programing language.

Julia is largely applicable in bioinformatics, engineering, data science, astronomy, chemistry, and physics.

14. Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

If you work in the healthcare industry and are seeking to better your understanding of antibiotic resistance, this six-week free online course is ideal for you. You will study with the University of Dundee and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and learn how antimicrobial stewardship can slow down or reduce antibiotic resistance.

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13. Academic Writing for Clarity and Meaning

free online courses with certificates in South Africa
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This course is applicable to researchers, people in the writing space, and everyone in general as it builds your critical thinking and writing skills. These will then be quite helpful in your research project and other pieces that require academic writing skills, making this one of the top free online courses with certificates in South Africa.

Due to the increased uptake of university education in South Africa, this has become one of the most popular free online courses in the country. It is provided by the University of Witwatersrand via the edX online learning platform and takes 2 weeks to complete with about 2-3 hours per week.

Learners get certificates of completion which they can attach to their resumes.

12. Systems Dynamics for Health Sciences

This course is designed for those training in medicine or in an associated discipline, teaching about the fundamental principles of system dynamics and how to use the tools to explore and solve problems relevant to the health field.

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Learners gain some special skills needed in the medical field, including the ability to apply system dynamics methodology to a wide range of medical problems. Learners will also figure out how to use system dynamics software to develop models and run simulations of problems rapidly.

The class is self-paced, but learners are encouraged to dedicate at least 2-4 hours per week. Upon completion, you can choose to have a verified certificate for $139.

11. Climate Adaptation in Africa

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the most important global issues in the modern-day world. This free online class explores why climate change adaptation is important in the context of African countries.

The course examines adaptation theoretically and practically through the four sectors that are critically important for climate-resilient development in Africa: Agriculture, food security, water security, and ecosystems and ecosystem services.

10. Teaching Children with Visual Impairment: Creating Empowering Classrooms

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The University of Cape Town created this short online course and delivers it via the Coursera platform. The class teaches learners how to make their classroom, content, teaching, and assessments accessible to visually impaired children through curriculum differentiation strategies.

By the end of the class, learners have the necessary tools to create empowering classrooms where they can teach children with visual impairment in an inclusive, accessible, and attuned space.

9. Democracy and Development: Perspectives from Africa

free online courses
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Africa was once dominated by closed political systems. However, this has gradually changed as democratic political institutions have taken root in numerous African countries over the last 2 decades. In this course, you will learn about these remarkable transitions and understand the opportunities and challenges of democratic governance in Africa.

8. The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art

The American South has a rich history, from small farms to urban neighbourhoods, from the region itself to the more distant worlds of the southern diaspora. In this course, you will discover the stories, music, and art of the American South.

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7. Introduction to Cyber Security

Cyber threats comprise one of the fundamental issues in national and individual security today. This course helps learners discover the essential cyber security trends and acquire skills to protect their digital lives better. The course is provided by the Open University and supported by the National Cyber Security Program of the UK government.

6. What do Architects and Urban Planners do?

People outside the architecture and urban planning fields often wonder what professionals in this space do. Well, if you are one of those people and would like to get definitive answers, then this course is perfect for you.

The University of Witwatersrand provides this free online course in South Africa via the edX online learning platform, and a certificate of completion is available. It will take you about 3 weeks to complete the class with a work effort of 2-3 hours per week.

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5. Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa

This free course aims to empower regulators, students, activists, journalists, lawyers, and virtually everyone interested in ensuring free, pluralistic, and independent African media. The media plays a critical role in democratic societies by informing citizens, facilitating and building freedom of expression, and fostering access to information, making this course essential for interested parties.

4. Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded

free short courses in South Africa
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If you happen to be interested in research on new drugs and medical treatments, you will find this class by the University of Sheffield interesting. The course will enhance your understanding of how health services adopt drugs and treatments through health technology assessments. You will also learn how the decisions are made regarding which treatments to make widely available.

3. Sustainable Consumption and Production in Africa

In this free, short course, learners go on a journey to Africa and figure out the challenges and outlooks for sustainable development on the continent. The course introduces learners to the key approaches, policies, and international frameworks that aim to unlock more sustainable consumption and production patterns.

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Besides the short duration and affordability, this is among the best free short courses in South Africa due to its immediate applicability.

2. Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World

The world has significantly changed since the rise of renowned empires such as Ancient Rome and Greece. Among the most changed sectors is that of health and wellbeing. In this intriguing course by The Open University, you will use archaeological and literary evidence to uncover details about how people from ancient times viewed the human body, mental health, sexuality, ageing, and gender.

1. Starting a Business 4: Business Processes

free online courses in South Africa in 2022
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This online class on how to start a business is among the most popular among South Africans. In this course, learners gain an understanding of how business works and the ways through which performance can be improved to make a business grow. Whether you have an idea for a future venture or have a side-line business already, this course will help streamline your business processes and enhance productivity.

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Who are the best online course providers?

Here are the top ten platforms where one can get quality online courses today.

  • CBT Nuggets
  • Coursera
  • HubSpot Academy
  • Infosec Skills
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Pluralsight Skills
  • Udacity
  • Udemy Business
  • Corporate Finance Institute
  • A Cloud Guru

There are numerous free online courses in South Africa today. Regardless of your field of interest, the online course providers will almost certainly have something for you. So why not take the opportunity to learn something new or advance knowledge in your field?

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