Coventry University has become the first UK higher education institution to launch a range of fully online postgraduate degrees in collaboration with FutureLearn.
The university will launch 50 degrees over the next five years with the UK massive open online course provider. The first master’s programmes will be available from early 2018.
The initial set of degrees will be in business and law, health and life sciences, and engineering disciplines.
Coventry is the second institution to announce such a collaboration.
As with the Deakin partnership, online students at Coventry will be able to begin studying for free and can complete a range of short pathway courses before deciding whether to enrol in a degree.
The degrees will be “pay as you go” to make learning flexible.
Ian Dunn, Coventry’s deputy vice-chancellor for student experience, said that the new degrees would also change how the university’s campus-based programmes are delivered.
“Higher education is not limited by the physical or geographical boundaries that it once was, and we believe that online learning has a huge role to play in the future of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship,” he said.
“The growth of our online programmes will be a catalyst to revolutionise the way we teach at our university, with possibilities emerging for bite-sized learning for those with busy lives and free modules for those who want to try before committing to study.”
Simon Nelson, the chief executive of FutureLearn, said that in the face of political and economic uncertainty, UK universities “need to find new ways to attract and serve an international cohort of students, as well as compete globally”.
“We are delighted to be working with a world-leading institution such as Coventry University to deliver an initiative of such scale and significance to the global higher education market,” he said.