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Sign up for free Higgs boson MOOC

A new online course which offers people the chance to study the work of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Professor Peter Higgs is being offered.

The free seven-week course, entitled The Discovery of the Higgs boson, launches on Monday, 10 February and has already attracted more than 10,000 learners to register.

The course explores the scientific advancements that have led to the building of the Large Hadron Collider, in Switzerland, and to the detection of the boson.

It features interviews with Professor Higgs and filmed lectures by a team of world-class physicists from the Higgs Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Students can debate what they have seen using dedicated online discussion spaces, as well as social media.

Professor Higgs’ research has provided us with profound insight into the building blocks of the Universe and this course will allow anyone with a computer and access to the web to take part in the exciting and revolutionary times that we live in.

Professor Arthur TrewHead of School of Physics and Astronomy

Online learning for all

The University of Edinburgh is offering the Higgs course as its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) via the FutureLearn platform.

FutureLearn is a partnership of 26 leading universities, along with the British Museum, British Council and British Library, offering learners the opportunity to access high-quality courses for free.

Since Edinburgh offered its first MOOC in January 2013, over 600,000 people have signed up for one or more of the courses. Edinburgh is currently offering 14 MOOCs on the FutureLearn and Coursera platforms, with more in development.

This is a hugely exciting opportunity for learners to experience university-standard courses, at no cost to themselves. In the coming months, we will be offering MOOCs across a range of subjects, reinforcing Edinburgh’s position as a world-leader in online learning.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal of the University of Edinburgh

Quality assured

Edinburgh’s MOOCs have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured via comparable quality-assurance methods as for our other credit-bearing courses.

The courses do not offer a credit towards entrance to the University of Edinburgh, but are taught to the same high standards as our other online courses.

Online learning at Edinburgh

MOOCs complement the University’s substantial offering of high-quality online postgraduate programmes.

We offer Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters qualifications across a broad range of subject areas.

These involve the same level of work overall as our on-campus programmes, and the qualification awarded is of equal value.

Our online learning courses also offer flexible delivery and exit routes, allowing you to shape your academic journey to suit your needs.