A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

5 Questions About MOOCs

While exploring how to move forward with my education after soon graduating from Psychology, I have often come across a recent educational trend: Massive Open Online Courses, short: MOOCS, that are offered by top universities from all over the world. They are openly accessible and put no maximum numbers on participation. Students may learn by means of lectures, readings or problem sets but also engage with peers, professors and teachers as well as taking quizzes and working on individual assignments.

No matter if you are in an orientation phase, motivated to learn more about a topic or area outside your academic curriculum or willing to educate yourself further after graduation – online courses may be the answer.

I quickly became excited about the concept but some questions remained unanswered at first glance.



1. Are there any requirements to sign-up for a MOOC?

The only thing you need is a tablet or laptop and a well-working internet connection. Prior knowledge, skills or specific degrees are not required.

2. What are popular providers of MOOCs?

There a countless international and country-specific websites. Popular ones are Coursera and edX. They both provide a massive amount of courses which can be navigated through by area of interest, level of experience, language etc.

3. Are MOOCs free?

It depends. Coursera and edX both provide completely free, partly free (attendance but not certification) as well as quite costly courses.

4. Will MOOCs count towards my degree?

While some of the MOOCs are eligible for academic credit, many may not yet be recognized by your university. I recommend you to verify the unit of your interest first and then check with the Front Office or your study advisor.

5. Does Leiden University offer MOOCs?

Back in 2013, Leiden was the first Dutch university to offer MOOCs. Since then, the list has been growing up to over 20 different courses on a variety of subjects. No matter if you are interested in mindfulness practice or EU policy and implementation, it is worth to take a look!


Personally, I would like to take an online course in French language over the summer holidays. Have you ever taken a MOOC or are you planning to sign up for one? Let me know in the comments below. I am looking forward to read about your experience and ideas.



2 comments on “5 Questions About MOOCs

  1. Esra@theleidener
    May 3, 2019

    Really nice Article! I attended the International Arbitration course offered by Leiden University on Coursera before I started studying here 🙂 Another tip can be that if both EdX and coursera offer scholarships for students for certificates.

    • Anna@theleidener
      May 3, 2019

      Thank you Esra! Really nice tip. I’ll check it out! 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2019 by in Anna B., Study, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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