Online Learning Resources

This list is always going to be an ongoing project – and from time to time we’ll review and update it – if you’ve suggestions of your own then we’d love to hear them – please put them in the comments at the end of this post and we’ll review and where applicable add them.

The resources listed below are all third party sourced and Mental Health North West make no statement as to their content or suitability (unless included via personal experience in the comments)

general sources of online learning…

The providers listed below all have a vast range of courses – so you’ll end up taking a while to browse them. Further down this post you’ll find some specific links to things I thought might be of specific interest to outdoor practitioners that I’ve lifted from my Mountain Services site šŸ˜‰

A lot of these providers collect together MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course) – the usual method for these is free learning but chargeable assessment and/or certification. Make sure you understand which one you’ve signed up for!

  • Virtual College is a big hitter in the local authority sector – and consequently run a lot of good quality and accessible courses. They have a lot of paid content too – but the link will go direct to the free resources page. I’ve linked to the safeguarding and well being pages as that’s my experience of them – but their content library is huge.
  • Future Learn – is an online portal for various learning bodies (Open University, Denver University, Rome Academy & many many more) to promote their online courses – the subject matter is vast – and relatively random – so if a French language course is available now it does not mean a French Language course will always be available. However – I’ve done Disaster Planning, Diversity Promotion, French & 18th Century poets with them – my recommendation is to sign up to the newsletter (they email out new courses once a week) and wait and see what you fancy. Their method of operation is that courses are free to take for a time limited duration – or you can pay a fee and have access for a year. Paying the fee also means a certificate will be issued – but you can print out a screenshot of your completion pages for your cpd record/own interest. Fees and course length all vary.
  • Alison University – based out of the States Alison is a medium sized online education provider who have a range of courses – they’re particularly strong in languages – again you only appear to pay for certification.
  • Open Culture – A hugely diverse collection of free stuff (I’ve listed their language courses separately further down). I’d skip the movies unless you’ve a real niche interest (see Entertainment below) – but other content has been of a good standard with providers such as MIT, Pixar, iTunes, & a host of worldwide universities.Ā Note – the site quite often opens an advert first – so double clicking is often needed
  • The Open University ranging from 1hr upwards – huge range of topics available.


  • Duolingo – if you aren’t already – do. Other apps are of course available – but Duolingo works across platforms and has probably done more to improve my French than weeks in a classroom….
  • BBC Language courses – the first french lessons I had. An excellent and easy to work through series. Also covers 39 other languages
  • French Teacher – ostensibly a resource for French Teachers – but I’m currently working my way through a few and finding it a great resource – and yes – I’m up to year 7….
  • Open Culture Language Lessons – I found this quite poor for French & German (didn’t look any further) – BUT there are a vast range of languages listed – so if you want something more esoteric then this may work for you.

Outdoor Movies

Yes yes yes. I know there are a dozen and twenty streaming services. But..if you’re looking for something more of the wall and less mainstream then these might help:

  • Hot Aches – winners of most grand prizes at most mountain film festivals. Technically their catalogue of films will cost you $4 a month – but Paul actually gives you instructions on how to cancel in the first 30 days and watch for free. (personally I’d say pay the $4 they’reĀ well worth it!)
  • Explorersweb – a link that compileslinksĀ  the best of Banff released by the iconic film festival, over 100 films that can be watched for free.
  • Expeditions – from Google’s Education department – showcasing the expanding amount of remote world content they’ve got. I’ve only seen a demo but it was amazing.
  • RedBull TV – an ever increasing resource of event coverage and independent film makers supported by Red Bull
  • The Royal Institute Christmas Lectures – always great value – there’s probably a lot more of them than you realise (38!)


I hope you’ve found this of use – don’t forget to send me any additional resources you’ve found and enjoyed and I’ll add them in.