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Best Free Online Courses With Certificates in South Africa


Following the advancement in technology, more universities are adopting online learning to cater for distant students. The best free online courses with certificates in South Africa are offered by accredited universities to meet the growing demand for online courses.

Distant learning is a great innovation that seeks to make education accessible to everyone regardless of their distance from the campus. Through the internet, your electronic devices and tools, you can now easily connect to online courses from your comfort zone. There are also free online master degree programs online presently.

Probably, you’re in search of the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa. Or maybe, you don’t really understand what these free online courses are about.

Whatever your situation is, you don’t have to worry. We’ve answered those important questions in this article for you. All you need to do now is relax, and read.

To help guide you better, we will start with some frequently asked questions about these free online courses in South Africa before we list the courses. See below:

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Online Courses in South Africa

What are Online Courses?

Let’s make it simple for you to understand.

Online Courses are courses, lectures or training that you attend over the internet. What this means is that you don’t have to go to the classroom to learn.

All you have to do is turn on your learning device (phone or laptop) and connect to lectures, assignments and other resources.

Most of these online courses are offered by institutions, while others are created and distributed by professionals in different fields and career paths. You can access online courses through websites using your electronic gadgets like mobile devices or computers.

However, there are different types of online courses. Online courses could either be:

  • Paid online courses: In paid online courses, you pay a fee to access the courses and certificates as well.
  • Partly free online courses: In partly free online courses, you have free access to the online courses for a period of time. However, you will be expected to pay for a certificate.
  • Entirely free online courses: You do not have to pay for these online courses as they are offered to you for free.

What are free online courses?

Like the name implies, free online courses are distant learning programs that you do not have to pay for. It is free of charge and most times all you have to do is meet the requirements, and register to start your learning journey.

However, in some cases the access to these digital courses are free, but you will be required to pay a token to process and receive the certificate.

Free online courses could be of different types:

  • MOOCs: This means Massive Open Online Courses. They are courses offered over the internet, with free access for everyone. MOOCs were designed to give everyone access to affordable education. This makes it easier for people to develop/further their career, learn new skills, and also share their knowledge at a large scale through quality instructional experiences.
  • Free marketplace online courses.
  • Others.

What are the Best Sites for Free Online Courses?

The best sites where you can find free online courses are numerous. However we have listed some of the popular ones here. They are called online learning platforms or e-learning platforms. See them below:

  • LinkedIn learning
  • Coursera
  • Skillshare
  • edX
  • Khan academy
  • Udemy
  • MIT Open course ware
  • Future learn
  • Alison.

In What Format Will I Receive these Online Courses?

Some of the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa and in other parts of the world are conveyed in the following format or forms:

  • Educational videos
  • Audio files
  • Images
  • worksheets
  • Other documents
  • Discussion forum
  • Community groups
  • Messaging options.

Some online courses/distance education programs make the lectures and resources available in one form listed above. However, other online courses convey their lectures with a combination of formats.

What are the Requirements To Enroll For these Free Online Courses with Certificates In South Africa?

Enrolling for the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa is quite easy. You won’t be required to sell a fortune or rob a bank to get started.

The tools you will require to successfully take these courses are not so expensive, and you can find them almost everywhere.

Below are the basic things you will require to start your online learning journey:

  • A working computer or Mobile Phone
  • Reliable internet connection
  • An operating system that is compatible with the course requirements.
  • Useful tools and software (as outlined by the online course provider)
  • Check the storage space, RAM, and processor speed of your learning device to see if it fits the course requirements.
  • Web browsers.

Which Universities Offer the Best Free Online Courses With Certificates In South Africa?

Several South African universities partner with some online educational platforms to provide individuals with the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa.

Below is a list of some of these universities that provide the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa:

How Long Will it Take To Complete A Free Online Course With Certificate In South Africa?

Free online courses can be completed in a short time. We all know traditional education can take about 2- 5 years or more. However, free online courses might not take that long. Free online courses can range from as little as a few hours to over a year.

Although these best free online courses with certificates in South Africa may take less time than traditional education, they still require that you are committed. This will enable you to get the best out of these courses.

Some e-learning platforms may suggest schedules that will help you complete the course. They may also input a fixed time average for you to complete.

10 Best Free Online Courses With Certificates In South Africa

1. Innovative Finance: Hacking finance to change the world

This course argues that applying the tools of finance correctly can enable the creation of the desired social and environmental results.

This course will empower you to create innovative financial strategies that is aimed financial inclusion, energy access and access to education as well. This free online course breaks down innovative finance into a five component process.

Enroll Here

2. Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries

This course is focused on challenging individuals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. This course aims at inspiring individuals to lift their societies out of poverty and grow their economy in a climate friendly way.

You will be introduced to ways you can approach the complexity of growing an economy and doing so in a climate safe manner. You will learn techniques for process facilitation, energy modelling, scenario building, and making policies.

Enroll Here

3. Climate Adaptation in Africa

This course free online course explores the importance of adapting to climate change in the African environment. Climate related problems have caused lots of negative impacts in different parts of the world.

This course aims to prepare individuals to position Africa to adapt to these climate changes. The knowledge this course seeks to pass across is designed around building Africa’s resilience through adaption. This will help Africa secure its future against any climatic disaster that may arise in the near future.

Enroll Here

4. Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics

This is a free course for clinical practitioners and medical students who want to keep up with the knowledge and new development in the medical field.

You can gain greater confidence from this course, that will help you understand statistical analysis. The results of this understanding will be beneficial to you if you’re a working professional or if you’re carrying out a research.

Enroll Here

5. Severe to Profound Intellectual Disability: Circles of Care and Education

This course will help you understand intellectual disability. It covers the history of intellectual disability and the different levels of severity of intellectual disability.

This course is designed to teach caregivers who work or wish to work at a special centre or in a private home. This course have inputs from experts, which aims to solve learning problems.

Enroll Here

6. Research for Impact

The research for impact is a research technique, that involves principles and practices that makes the best impact.

Research for impact deviates from the traditionally known method of research, and uses a different method that achieve greater impact. This research method taught in the course can be used to influence policy, behavioural and practical change.

Enroll Here

7. Doing Clinical Research: Biostatistics with the Wolfram Language

This course gives you the knowledge you can us for statistical tests that can be applied into your dissertations, used in your research papers, aw well as presentations.

It will improve your ability to summarize data, make plots and design charts. This course will make your analysis of scientific research better.

Enroll Here

8. Becoming a change maker: Introduction to Social Innovation

This course is offered by the university of Cape town, and is meant to last for 6 weeks. This course will help you to explore the problems within us, no matter how complex. It will help you to think towards creating solutions to problems.

If you’re interested in the field of social innovation or social entrepreneurship, you should check out this course. It will help you along your journey of creating social impact.

Enroll Here

9. Teaching Children with Visual Impairment: Creating Empowering Classrooms

This course amongst the best free online courses with certificates in South Africa was designed by the university of Cape town to create knowledge surrounding teaching children with visual impairment.

This course focuses on helping teachers design and integrate content into their curriculum that will help visually impaired individuals learn what sighted individuals learn through observation.

Enroll Here

10. Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space

This course is aimed at providing you the knowledge that would make you a competent academic writer. This course would give you practical insights that will guide your academic essay.

The course is centered around the concept of identity. You will also have access to academic text, which will help you understand how to properly construct your own academic writing.

Enroll Here

Reason why you should take Free online courses

Millions of people around the world undergo online courses for different reasons peculiar to their needs. Nevertheless, there are several vital reasons why you should take these best free online courses with certificates in South Africa.

These includes:

  • Career development and advancement
  • Careers change
  • Preparation for college
  • Supplemental learning
  • Lifelong learning
  • Corporate eLearning
  • Training
  • Learning a new skill
  • Personal development
  • Others.

As an addition, these courses are convenient for you, and do not collide with your schedules since you decide how and when you want to take them.

They offer your resume improvement and give you an edge over other job seekers. For example, these free computer courses could prepare you for professional exams that are in demand. What’s even more interesting is that you can gain all these for FREE.


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