Free Online Courses for Seniors

Last modified on December 15th, 2023

Keeping the mind active with  education is one of the best things seniors can do, both for their mental health and their happiness. When we’ve reached the age of retirement, we often end up with so much free time on our hands and generally want something to fill our time up with. Taking courses in retirement is the perfect solution to better health, keeping us busy, and giving us the structure that we’re missing from previous commitments of work or children. Learning is a lifelong journey that gives us something to strive towards, and a means to continually improve ourselves. 

With the huge range of free online courses for seniors, you can expand your knowledge and expertise in almost every area you can dream of. Whether you’d like to learn about something fun and creative or dive into an intellectual topic you’ve always been interested in, the possibilities are endless. You can choose from courses that take anywhere between 1 hour and several weeks, part-time or full-time,  depending on how much free time you would like to invest in your learning.


What kind of free online courses are available for seniors?

The sky is the limit when it comes to learning. You could also start a study group at your village. There are many online courses on various topics such as: 


Creative and Arts courses

• Watercolour painting 

• Interior design

• Pottery

• Poetry

• Music theory

• Calligraphy 

• Textiles

• Hair and beauty

• Languages

• Philosophy

• History 

• Design

• Horticulture  


Physical wellbeing courses

• Dance 

• Sports

• Fitness and recreation

• Health 

• Nutrition


Emotional development courses

• Compassion

• Emotional intelligence 


Academic and other courses 

• Business

• Finance

• Digital literacy

• Education

• Tourism

• Real estate

• Science 

• Information technology


Why take an online course in your retirement? 

There are so many benefits for seniors to take an online course, for your mental, emotional, social and even physical wellbeing, depending on what you choose. Studying an online course will allow you to do something productive with your time, grow your skills and help you connect with other like-minded individuals. You can also improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Learning is a valuable investment in yourself that you’ll want to do no matter what age you are. Additionally, it’ll give you a sense of purpose and goals that you can strive to achieve. 

With the knowledge you’ve attained from your online course, you can pick up a new hobby, teach someone else what you’ve learnt, or even volunteer your time and expertise in the area you’ve studied. 

The best benefit that comes from studying in older age, is that it can help protect your brain, and prevent or delay cognitive aging. We should be exercising our brains just as much as we are our bodies, which is recommended all throughout our lifetime. Studying has the ability to stimulate the growth of new brain cells and slow down or prevent the onset of dementia. Challenging courses can have an even greater impact on helping your brain, but undertaking any kind of learning will strengthen your mind. 


Where can you find the free online courses? 

You can apply for a range of government-funded courses, free TAFE or university courses, or use platforms that offer free short courses. Here are a few learning resources for seniors:

 Courses For Seniors – government-funded programs like Tech Savvy Seniors, and University of the Third Age

iTunes U 



Duolingo – languages 

Digital Literacy for Older Australians

Broadband for Seniors 

There are courses available for everyone, no matter what interests you have, or how much time you have. Online learning these days also offers a lot of flexibility, so you can learn at your own pace, at whichever time you would like. Take some time to research what kind of subjects you might like to learn about, and begin your online learning journey!