We have two free online courses available. Both will support you to learn more about humanism. While one focuses on the nature of humanism and its response to life’s big questions, the other centres around the people who describe themselves as humanists and the way they live their lives. The courses can be taken in any order.
Our courses run several times a year and last for six weeks. However, learners are free to take the course at their own pace. Access to the material remains open for a few additional weeks after the end of the course. If you are unable to finish the course while the content is available, then a new run of the course is never far away, meaning you can reaccess the course content. The course host FutureLearn can be contacted for support with any issues relating to accessibility.
Introducing humanism: non-religious approaches to life
Join Sandi Toksvig for an exploration of humanism and life’s big questions.
The course covers a wide range of topics relevant to the study of any worldview: identity, knowledge, meaning, and morality. Featuring contributions from philosophers, representatives of humanist organisations, and members of the public, it encourages discussion and debate around life’s big questions: How can I know what is true? What is the best way to live? What kind of world do I want?
You’ll explore the tensions and dilemmas contained within a humanist view, as well as the arguments against it, and the responses humanists give to those arguments. Whether you are a humanist, religious, or none of the above, it should allow you the opportunity to reflect on life’s bigger questions for yourself.
Launched in 2018, over 10,000 people have already taken the course. Over 9 out of 10 would recommend it to others.
Join us for a conversation about the best way to live!
Week 1: Humanism and the human being
Week 2: Understanding reality
Week 3: Making life meaningful
Week 4: Being good
Week 5: Humanism in practice: a better world?
Week 6: What is humanism?
Click here for more information and to register for Introducing humanism.
Join Alice Roberts and hear stories from humanists around the world.
Our second course is much more focused on the people rather than the philosophy (less about humanism and more about humanists). From their stories, you’ll learn about their motivations, the diverse ways in which humanism can be expressed, and the beliefs and values that unite them. You’ll learn about the questions, choices, challenges, and joys found in a humanist approach to life and have the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate it for yourself.
Featuring interviews with scientists, artists, politicians, journalists, campaigners, and celebrants, including Polly Toynbee, Jim al-Khalili, Frank Turner, Natalie Haynes, and Steven Pinker, it will give you the opportunity to learn about what it means to be a humanist today.
Week 1: Life stories
Week 2: Freedom
Week 3: Global goals
Week 4: Hard times
Week 5: More to life
Week 6: Making things better
Click here for more information and to register for Humanist Lives.
Below you will find some reviews of our Introducing humanism course from learners.
‘I can’t recommend highly enough this free online course, from Humanists UK. It’s an exquisite example of how to teach Humanism – not just teach ABOUT Humanism, which our organizations and speakers love to do, but teach Humanism as a way of life and as a response to life’s great questions. This is the way forward for the Humanist movement: to make it clear that we have convincing and fulfilling answers to the same questions religions purport to answer, and to convey those answers in an accessible and engaging way. Well done, Humanists UK!’
James Croft, Ethical Society of St Louis
‘This course has been excellent in its structure and content. The material has been accessible but sometimes challenging, and the responses of other students have been thought-provoking. Use of sources from classical philosophers to young people today have enlivened the learning process. Of particular interest has been the discussion on how humanists approach the construction(s) of moral values. Thank you, course team – this is the best on-line course I have done so far. I have learned a lot and/or been able to name what I already knew. I can now very happily ascribe a positive name to my long-held beliefs. I am a humanist.’
‘Like many others on this course, I was a Humanist but didn’t have a label for it in the past. Previously I would have described myself as an Atheist, but it seems such a negative term. Atheism describes what you don’t believe in rather than what you do believe in. For me, Humanism is a very positive ‘label’ and I am happy to apply it to myself. I think that when and where I face challenges in the future, I will be better placed to handle situations as I now have a better understanding of a Humanist approach to life that I can draw upon.’
‘I took this course because it sounded interesting, but what I got out of it was so much more profound. I found a philosophy that aligns with my values, a new way to look at the meaning of my life, and a wonderful community of like minded people to engage with. Sincerely, thank you.’
‘It has been a very instructive experience and has encouraged me to reflect on my own priorities. How I would love to see humanism becoming a dominant influence in the ways in which we all behave towards each other as I think it would result in a far more peaceful and rational world.’
‘This course has confirmed for me that I am indeed a humanist and an atheist. I have been pleasantly surprised that humanism is not purely “humans” first, and hat there is a great scope to include the environment and other species in this as well. I will probably seek out opportunities to utilise my humanism more in my career and social life. I may even join the campaigns and greater movement to further improve society. I will also spend more time pondering the greater existential questions, to hopefully find a personal answer that leads me to greater sense of purpose, meaning and fulfilment in my life.’
Looking for a local course on humanism?
Contact your local humanist group to find out about any upcoming local courses about humanism.
If you are based in London, Conway Hall often run lectures and courses on themes connected with humanism.
Want to run a course on humanism?
If you are a local humanist group and would like to run a course on humanism in your local area, then try our One Life course.
For more information, please email email@example.com.