Collaborating with Colleges and FutureLearn

August 2021 - Samantha Launchbury

Educational Enterprise is collaborating with Colleges and FutureLearn to shape the first two credit-bearing microcredentials.

We previously announced the extension of our partnerships with both FutureLearn and Wiley Education Services. The FutureLearn partnership offers the opportunity to develop a range of credit-bearing courses, including microcredential courses. The agreement facilitates our ambition to expand our CPD, short course, and microcredential offer to meet an evolving demand for flexible, personalised and online delivery.


Microcredentials are designed to fit around learners’ lives and time zones and can help to build career skills in rapidly-growing sectors at an accessible price. Microcredentials can be standalone as an independent credential or can offer academic credit to use towards a degree to allow a deeper understanding of a subject.

Mobilising around expansion of the portfolio requires a collaborative effort to combine the goals, insights and needs of all the different stakeholders involved in the process.

Market-led courses

We worked with FutureLearn to understand their view of the market for short courses and microcredentials. FutureLearn’s demand algorithm considers learner demand, employer demand and potential audience and they identified a range of growth areas and professional clusters that would be attractive for development as microcredentials. The insights were disseminated via Steering Group meetings, College Portfolio Diversification meetings, and discussions with key stakeholders.

market research slide

Proposal and approval of microcredentials

Partnering with Postgraduate Recruitment, we engaged with College stakeholders to consider ideas and opportunities for online short courses. Proposals for microcredentials were submitted to FutureLearn and mapped against market insights. Following consultation with FutureLearn and College partners we prioritised and approved the first microcredentials to progress. Course proposers were guided through the proposal and approval processes and the courses were recently approved by the Short Course and Microcredential Steering Group and College Committees.

First Credit-Bearing Microcredentials

We are proud to announce the first two microcredentials, both 10 credit, 12 week part-time courses launching this academic year, with three runs per year:

  1. TESOL: Introduction to Language Teaching Methodology: A microcredential aimed at a growing population of people who want to become teachers of TESOL (Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages). Teaching English is a topic that appeared high on FutureLearn’s market insights, yet they have no microcredentials on the topic. This is a great opportunity to bring to bear the University’s Department of English Language and Linguistics’ strong reputation in this market.
  2. Food Control Systems: A microcredential providing an introduction to national food control systems, the principles and how they can be implemented to enable safe food. The food and drink industry is the largest industrial sector in the UK and FutureLearn feel there is a strong demand for such a course based on their employer and learner insights. The course will provide students with an opportunity to explore new career opportunities in the field of food safety, or can be used to build up credits towards a postgraduate degree in the subject.

This collaboration see the Educational Enterprise learning designers work on the design and build of the online courses working together with the Academic Leads, Creative Media and FutureLearn. Every microcredential will go through our rigorous design process - Shape, Build, Run.

We are excited to work in partnership with FutureLearn, College stakeholders, academic teams and professional services colleagues to shape, build and run online courses that expand and diversify the portfolio of programmes for a global audience.


Professional Services