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Make the most of free courses to support you in your professional development

Are you looking for inspiration to help support your continuing professional development? Most of us are now working from home, juggling home life and work - many of you will also be getting to grips with turning your homes in to virtual classrooms.

However, it’s also important to make sure you find time to focus on your continuing professional development. To help, we are going to be regularly sharing ideas to support your CPD which you can do from home. 


Free Online Courses

There are thousands of free online courses which you can do at a time that suits you. Many are conservation specific, however there are also many other relevant programmes which will help you to refresh or reconsider your understanding of an area of your practice. Some may appear unrelated at first glance but may in fact support your broader professional skills. It all depends on what it is that you feel that you should be focussing on – a clear CPD plan will help you with this.

FutureLearn and the Open University have lots of courses you might consider, however there are of course other options out there as well. 

Examples include:

What is heritage?
Open University - available on Open Learn
What is heritage? This free course will introduce you to the concept of heritage and its critical study, exploring the role of heritage in both past and contemporary societies.

Antiquities, Trafficking and Art Crime
The University of Glasgow - available on FutureLearn
Delve into the seedy underbelly of the art world, looking at smuggling, theft, fakes, and fraud.

The History of the Book in the Early Modern Period
Trinity College Dublin - available on FutureLearn
Explore the history of the book during the early modern period and learn how the invention of printing revolutionised our world.

Understanding Diversity and Inclusion
Purdue University - available on FutureLearn
Develop your attitudes, skills and knowledge of cultural diversity so you're able to create inclusive environments.

These are just a few ideas - but please do share any interesting programmes that you discover by emailing us at We'll be regularly updating the list on googlesheets here


We’re regularly posting ideas to support members in their continuing professional development. To view the other articles in this series please click here.

Let us know what you are doing are by taking a couple of minutes to tell us what plans are. We’re going to be posting updates from the membership regularly to give you inspiration for what you could do.



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