Free courses on World Cup and referendum

Two of 2014’s key events are forming the basis of free online courses from Edinburgh.

The FIFA World Cup and Scotland’s independence vote will be the focus for the six-week courses, which will involve a mix of teaching styles, including video presentations, online debates and role-play exercises.

They are the latest in a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) being offered by the University, in conjunction with FutureLearn, the social learning platform. More than 800,000 people have signed up for Edinburgh’s MOOCs since they were launched in July 2012.

Historic vote

The Referendum course will be led by Professor Charlie Jeffery and Dr Nicola McEwen.

Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum will begin on 25 August and coincide with the vote on 18 September, allowing analysis of the result and discussion of its implications.

We will place learners at the heart of the Referendum question by examining arguments for and against independence, with lively debate guided by University academics. We will also ensure a distinct international dimension, by examining implications for other regions whose populations have expressed desire for greater autonomy, including Catalonia, Flanders and Quebec.

Professor Charlie JefferySchool of Social and Political Science

The people's game

The Football MOOC will explore the world’s most popular sport and its role in the world today.

Football - More Than a Game will begin on 20 October and coincides with the Homeless World Cup, which will take place in Chile from 18 October. The course will be led by Professor Grant Jarvie, along with colleagues from the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences which sits within the School of Education.

From Mandela to Messi, the Women’s World Cup to the Homeless World Cup, the people’s game to global spectacle, we will place learners at the heart of this football journey. The University of Edinburgh’s influence upon the origins of football has, for some time, been acknowledged. In launching Football: More than a Game, the University recognises not only that football is an international language but that it can help to widen access to education.

Professor Grant JarviePersonal Chair in Sport

Online learning innovation

The University currently offers 16 MOOCs. Topics covered in these popular higher education standard courses include The Discovery of the Higgs boson; Introduction to Astrobiology and The Search for Extraterrestrial Life; and Warhol, a study of the Pop Art movement pioneer.