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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Are The Courses On edX Free

Are The Courses On edX Free?

In recent years, best edX online courses have become incredibly popular, and it’s easy to see why.

Online courses make learning accessible to those who cannot travel to a school or college to complete a course, and the flexibility of these courses generally allows people to fit in learning around their full-time job.

They are less daunting for mature students and really are the future of education. 

If you are thinking of participating in an online course, then you may have heard of edX. edX is a popular online course provider that offers a range of different courses in lots of different disciplines like computer science, machine learning, and data science with graded assignments. 

Quite often, e-education platforms will offer quite a lot of completely free and accessible courses for people to complete. So, if you are researching edX, you might be wondering if their courses are free, or if you have to pay for them.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at just that as we answer the question “Are the courses on edX free?”. 

Read on to find out more. 

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What Is edX?

First things first, let’s take a look at what edX is. As we have already established, edX is an online learning platform that offers lots of different courses to e-learners.

The platform was founded in 2012 and it was created by Harvard and MIT. The platform was designed to provide university-level online courses in a range of different subjects and disciplines to students all over the world. 

The idea behind edX was to make the platform accessible, and this is the reason why quite a few of the courses are accessible free of charge.

The idea behind this is to allow people to build new skills and advance in potential careers without having to attend Harvard University in order to do so. 

Harvard and MIT are some of the largest colleges in the USA, so you might be puzzled as to why these organizations would put together a platform that offers free learning.

The simple reason behind this is that both colleges benefit from people using the platform. 

In return for offering free courses, Harvard and MIT use edX to complete research into the students using the platform, how they engage with the platform, and how the course allows them to learn.

So edX is free because it is part of a mutually beneficial agreement. 

Are The Courses On edX Free?

Are The Courses On edX Free

Now that we’ve established exactly what edX is, let’s take a look at whether, or not, the courses that the platform offers are free. 

If you were hoping to access free online courses on edX then you are in luck. The vast majority of the professional education courses offered by edX are available to those who enroll on the platform for free.

As we have just said, edX was founded as a research project by Harvard and MIT, so free courses are offered to learners in return for the learners allowing their data to be accessed for research purposes. 

It is important to note that not all the courses on edX are free. While there are a lot of courses that are accessible free of charge on this platform, there are some courses that you will have to pay for.

Any courses that are not free will clearly be labeled and you will easily be able to tell that a fee will be charged for accessing these courses.

So, it is very unlikely that you will accidentally purchase a course that you have to pay for. 

Most of the time, the courses that are not free to access on edX will include professional education and executive education courses, as well as boot camp courses.

So, if you do want to access one of these courses, be aware that you will need to pay a fee in order to complete these qualifications. 

Is Learning On edX Free?

There is a slight catch when it comes to learning on edX. That catch is that learning on edX is free, but obtaining the certificates and qualifications for the courses that you complete is not.

So, as long as you enroll in the free audit track on the platform, you will be able to complete all of the coursework for the courses without charge.

, if you want a certificate to prove this, you will need to pay. 

This is the main reason why a lot of people tend to use edX to learn new things, rather than to get qualifications.

If you simply want to expand your knowledge and teach yourself new things, then edX is a brilliant and cheap way to do this.

But, if you are looking to complete online qualifications, with proof that you completed the qualification, then edX can quickly become a fairly expensive e-learning platform. 

So, in short, learning on edX is free for the most part. There aren’t many courses on edX that charge a fee to access them, so you will be able to access the course material for lots of qualifications for free.

However, if you want a certificate as proof that you completed the qualification, then you should be prepared to pay a fee in order to receive this certificate. 

  • Diverse courses
  • Flexible access
  • Certificates/degrees
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Which Courses On edX Are Free?

In order to find out which courses on edX are available free of charge, the easiest way to do this is to visit the edX website.

On the edX platform, you will be able to find out all the information that you need to know about the courses on offer, and which ones are free. 

However, it is worth noting that there are lots of different subjects and styles of courses available on edX.

From business courses to courses in analytics and programming, there is a wide range of different subjects available. So, you will be able to learn about lots of different things on edX totally free of charge. 

The great thing about edX as a learning platform is that the courses themselves are designed by the colleges that founded the platform.

So, when you complete an edX course, you will be completing a course that was created by Harvard or MIT, totally free of charge.

Is edX Worth It?

If you are looking to expand your knowledge then edX really is worth it. There are lots of courses that you can access for free on the platform and tons of different subjects for you to learn about. 

However, before you start learning it is important to remember that the courses are only free as you are signing over your data to research in order to complete the course.

It is also important to remember that you need to pay if you want to receive the verified certificate for completing the course. 


In summary, yes, quite a lot of the courses on edX are free to the public. The vast majority of free edX courses are accessible, which is why it is a lot more noticeable when a course on edX requires payment.

Generally, the only edX courses you will need to pay for are our professional education, boot camp, and executive education courses.

But these make up the minority of their courses, which is why you can access most of them free of charge. 

Thanks for reading!