Hansen contributes to free football course

Former Liverpool and Scotland footballer Alan Hansen is one of the experts contributing to a new free online course.

Football - More than a Game is a six-week long course which will focus on football’s ability to bring people together, improve lives, and raise educational attainment.

The course, the first of its type in the UK, begins on 20 October and involves a mix of teaching styles, including video presentations, online debates and discussions about the most popular sport on Earth.

It has been developed in conjunction with the Homeless World Cup, whose annual tournament takes place in Santiago, Chile from 19-26 October.

Expert analysis

Contributors to the course include Mel Young, founder of the Homeless World Cup, and Alan Hansen, who provides an insight into the domestic and European dominance enjoyed by his club during the 1970s and ‘80s. He also provides an overview of the Scottish game and a behind-the- scenes look at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

World Cup winner Pele, who received an honorary degree from the University, also makes an appearance.


The University and Scotland’s pivotal role in the origins and development of the beautiful game are explored in this short film.

Football's role in education

The University of Edinburgh operates a range of programmes aimed at unlocking the educational potential of young people. The Educated Pass programme was launched in 2008 with the support of Hibernian, Heart of Midlothian, and the Scottish Youth Football Association.

It works with Edinburgh College, West Lothian College, The Sutton Trust and more than a dozen youth football teams across the Lothians and aims to dispel the myth that young people keen on sport have to choose between their passion and entering higher and further education.

The course is 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 900,000 people have signed up for Edinburgh MOOCs since they were launched in July 2012.

Learners can sign up for Football - More than a Game here:

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.