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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
coursera subscription

How To Start A Coursera Subscription

Anyone who is interested in online learning has probably come across Coursera.

This is one of the most prominent online educational platforms available, and it offers courses on a variety of topics including Data Science, Business, Health, and much more.

Coursera provides a variety of educational programs, ranging from individual classes to specializations and degrees.

If you want to try online learning, then signing up for Coursera should be your first step.

Here’s everything that you need to know about Coursera subscriptions and how to sign up.

What’s Coursera?

Coursera is an online education platform that collaborates with prestigious universities all around the world to make their online courses, known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), available to students.

The leading universities of Duke, Stanford, Princeton, Penn, Peking, Michigan, and HEC Paris are all involved in this partnership.

Coursera also has partnerships with organizations such as IBM, Google, and Amazon/Amazon Web Services (AWS), all of which have developed their own courses on the platform.

At the moment, it has 296 partners from 58 different nations across the globe.

Coursera provides its users with the opportunity to enroll in individual classes as well as 38 different online degrees, in addition to 400 different sets of classes referred to as Professional Certificates, Specializations, and MasterTracks.

Is Coursera Free?

The answer to this is “kind of”. There are only a handful of courses on Coursera that require payment. On Class Central, a tiny green dollar sign shows that you must pay for the content.

The majority of the courses include some component that is “free.” Most of the time, you may watch the videos without paying anything, but if you want access to graded assignments and certificates, you will need to pay.

Despite this, there are still numerous courses available on Coursera for which even the graded assignments are provided at no cost.

Do I Have To Pay For My Certificate?

When Coursera was first established, certificates were offered at no additional cost. Sadly, there is no longer a way to earn a free certificate by completing courses on Coursera.

However, if you don’t have the money to pay for a certificate, you can submit an application for financial aid to cover the cost of most of the classes.

How To Start A Coursera Subscription

Before you can view the price, of any course you need to create a Coursera account by clicking the “Join for Free” button. (See our ‘Guide On How To Sign Up To Coursera.’)

Once you join you can choose what kind of Coursera subscription you want. If you want you can only make use of their free courses, but there are a few subscription options available to you.

After you join up, you get the first week of the service for free, and after that, you’ll be charged on a monthly basis.

You are only able to select the option for a free trial of 7 days when you sign up for Coursera Specializations.

You are unable to choose the audit for free option. You will need to join up on each of the individual course pages in order to gain access to the materials for free.

How To Start A CourseraSubscription

Coursera Pro

This plan gives you unlimited access to over 7,000 world-class courses, job-ready degree programs, and hands-on projects, all for one low monthly subscription price of around $50.

You’re able to investigate any area of interest or current trend, complete the necessary coursework, and improve your abilities.

You are free to learn at your own pace, navigate between different courses, or switch to an entirely new one.

If you intend to enroll in many classes during the academic year, this plan will help you to spend less money on your education overall.

The annual fee for the Coursera subscription is around $399 if you pay in one go, and grants access to the bulk of the provider’s library, which includes courses, Specializations, and Professional Certificates.


Coursera Plus accounts for ninety percent of the provider’s catalog, which consists of more than 3,900 individual courses, 400+ specialized programs, and 15 professional certifications. (Check out our detailed article ‘Coursera VS Coursera Plus: Which Is Better?‘)

Coursera gave its partners the option of deciding whether or not their content will be included in the Coursera Plus package. The majority of partners agreed.

Despite this, a few partners choose not to participate. As a result, it’s possible that Coursera Plus will be missing a few of the more popular classes.

Particularly applicable to this scenario is Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning. Despite this, Coursera Plus offers a substantial selection with more than 3,500 available classes.


  • Making flexible learning possible, the Coursera subscription relieves students of the burden of having to overthink their specific course selections or worry about the limitations of their available time.
  • Learners are given access to the greatest portfolio of academic courses that are available online through the purchase of an annual membership, which provides an unrivaled level of value.
  • Learners are able to explore a wide variety of subjects thanks to the subscription, which supports diversified learning. These subjects vary from science to art and from hard skills to soft capabilities.
  • Providing access to unlimited certificates Learners are able to obtain as many certificates as they desire through their membership, without having to pay for each one individually.

Coursera For Business

Coursera for Business is designed for businesses that want to improve the job-relevant skills of a select group of employees within their organization or completely revamp their business model.

On Coursera, you will have access to more than 3,000 high-quality courses and be able to develop learning programs for your staff that are the best in the world.

Currently, there are 2 Coursera subscription plans for this kind of Coursera plan; The Enterprise Plan, which is intended for businesses with more than 100 users, and the Team Plan (5-99 users).

Advanced analytics, aid with sales and customer success, custom integrations, and course curation are some of the features included in the Enterprise Plan.

The Team Plan is geared toward organizations with fewer members that are looking for a self-service option that provides them with the flexibility to easily add seats, view basic reporting, and create individualized educational plans.

Coursera For Campus

More than 3,600 high-quality are available to universities for the purpose of enhancing their core curricula, providing students with opportunities for credit-eligible and supplemental learning, and providing alumni, teachers, and staff with opportunities for lifelong learning.

Authoring content, exams, and hands-on projects for students can be done by instructors with the help of Coursera’s cutting-edge technologies.

Educators can also make a difference in their student’s outcomes by using the powerful learning analytics offered by Coursera to monitor their student’s progress toward skill mastery and growth.

This learning program provides users with unrestricted and free access to all of the Guided Projects that are included in the Coursera subscription plan.

What’s “Auditing The Course” And How Can I Do It?

Auditing a course on Coursera is simply getting access to the parts of the course that are free to see.

In basic terms, a student has the opportunity to sit in on a class without receiving either a grade or credit for the course if they want to audit the class.

On each page of the course on Coursera, you should look for a link that says “Audit this course.”

Since the Audit option is not included on the pages for the Coursera Specialization, MasterTrack, or Professional Certificate, you will first need to travel to the page for the individual course.

Free options are available for certain courses that contain evaluation tasks but these don’t award a certificate. Signing up for the Full Course with No Certificate is enough though.

Certain classes require students to pay in order to participate.

On the page for Class Central, you should look for a green dollar sign.

You have the option of applying for financial help through Coursera if you are unable to pay but still desire a credential.

The Auditing Process

After clicking the “Enroll for Free” option, you will need to look for the phrase “Audit” before continuing with the process of enrolling in free courses on Coursera.

An audit does not include assessment items and does not award a certificate; nevertheless, lecture recordings, course readings, and discussion forums are typically free to access.

Because Coursera is always making changes to its user interface or testing new iterations, the content that appears on your screen when you visit the Coursera website may differ from what you have seen before.

You will need to click on the Audit link if you don’t want to hand over your card payment details to Coursera.

But what happens if the Audit link is hidden from view?

You should begin by locating the page for the course.

Through the Specialization pages, you are unable to sign up for free.

The majority of recently introduced classes are some component of a specialized curriculum or professional certificate program.

Some of the previous courses that were approximately twelve weeks long have been restructured into the Specialization style.

The original course has been divided up into a number of separate courses.

On the pages for Professional Certificates and Specializations, you will not be able to register for individual classes.

You will only be given the option to subscribe to the entire Professional Certificate Programs or Specialization if you click on the “Enroll for Free” button.

Find the website of the various classes if you want to audit classes at no cost.

If you go down a little farther, you will see a list of the classes that are included in the Specialization.

To access the page for a single course, simply click on the course’s name.

Sadly, even if it includes the courses that are included in the Specialization, the website for the Specialization may not necessarily link to the individual courses via the links that are provided for the course names.

In this instance, you can access the page for the course by copying the course name and then pasting it into the search bar on the Coursera website.

If you are already on the page for the course, click the Enroll button, and then look for a link labeled Audit.

It is possible that you will encounter a pop-up similar at this stage.

This is due to the fact that some Coursera courses count toward more than one Specialization or Professional Certificate.

To change the program, either click the Next button or first pick the drop-down arrow.

The Audit link will appear on the screen that follows. If you are on the page for an individual course and there is no Audit link, it is possible that the course is one of the handfuls that is paid only.

You can verify this by going back to the Class Central information page and searching for a green dollar sign next to the heading that reads “COST.”

This pop-up window displays in classes where students have unrestricted access to their graded work.

Simply choose the option that says Full Course with No Certificate.


Coursera is one of the best online learning platforms available, and they offer such a wide range of personal development courses that there should be something for everyone.

While there is a “free” Coursera subscription plan, if you want to take multiple courses or you want complete access, the Coursera Plus membership might be best for you.

The Coursera Plus membership package is comparable to the Coursera for Business and Coursera for Campus subscriptions, which are oriented toward businesses and educational institutions, respectively.

All of them grant access to the majority of the materials in Coursera’s library.

But Coursera Plus is merely a Coursera subscription.

The other two each have an analytics dashboard as well as a service layer that contains curated content.