How to Audit a Coursera Course

How to Audit a Coursera Course

Coursera is the world’s leading online learning platform, especially for those who seek reputable and career-enhancing certificates.

Because experts from leading universities and organizations handle Coursera courses, its certifications are worth every dime.

Coursera runs many free courses, but most of the very competitive ones are not free, although there are still ways of accessing the contents, like a free trial.

Since most of the people that take courses on Coursera do so because of the certificates, accessing the course without an express need for a certificate should be an option that some people may want to exploit.

That’s what “auditing” a course is a possibility on Coursera.

Auditing in itself is an accounting concept. But on Coursera, it means something else entirely. It means you can audit a course if you’re going to learn from that course but aren’t willing to be examined.

Auditing a course is not peculiar to Coursera. In some universities, you are allowed to “audit” a course if you only want to take that course without the benefit of earning credits from it.

You can audit courses on Coursera, which means having access to most of the course materials, but being unable to participate fully in the activities of that course, like assessments, and having no access to the certificates.

We’ll look at a Coursera course audit in detail, examine the pros and cons, and then consider a step-by-step guide to auditing a Coursera course.

So if you’ve always wanted to learn a particular course just for personal use, an audit may be a good option.

Although auditing a course doesn’t mean you can’t still access credits and certificates, you would have to pay to do so.

What is a Coursera course audit?

How to Audit a Coursera Course

Coursera course audit is a method by which you can access courses on Coursera for free. Coursera is a major online learning platform.

It provides courses in various disciplines and skills, and those who complete the courses can earn certificates and even degrees.

But if you need to access the materials on Coursera without necessarily needing a certificate (Coursera certificates are worth every penny!), you may go for a Coursera course audit.

By Coursera course audit, we mean the process of accessing a course free of charge.

So, you can watch videos of the course for free and access some other materials, thereby accessing valuable education; however, an audit cuts off access to class activities like assignments and quizzes.

That means you can’t earn any credits for taking the course, and you won’t be able to get certifications.

Auditing a course on Coursera sounds like a fantastic idea because the knowledge gained is invaluable and is accessed for free. To access classwork and get certificates for taking the course, you must pay for it.

Some people may have reached a point in their career where they don’t need a certificate anymore but need knowledge that can be accessed on Coursera.

Auditing a course on Coursera may also be a great way of starting your learning on the platform. It is not entirely different from a free trial, which you get for the first seven days after sign-up. That means you can audit a course if you need it just for personal development.

It should, however, be noted that only individual courses can be audited, and not entire disciplines. You cannot find the audit option on the Specialization, MasterTrack, or Professional Certificate Pages.

The audit option can only be accessed on a course-by-course basis. This also means all courses may not have the audit option. For example, some courses are marked as “paid-only.”

This means that only those that pay may have any access to it. Coursera has financial aid for those who wish to access paid-only classes but don’t have the means. Although they are not much, you still have to pay to access some courses on Coursera.

You will know that a course cannot be audited on Coursera when you can’t find the audit link on the course page.

Some courses are also available on the “Full Course No Certificate” plan. You can access courses without getting certificates when you sign up for them. The advantage of this option is that it provides access to certain assessment items.

Of course, there are pros and cons to auditing a course on Coursera. Let’s look at them.


  • Auditing a course on Coursera does not restrict your knowledge in any way
  • You still have full access to the course materials and contents
  • You can access lots of courses on Coursera via the audit option


  • Some courses are not available for audit on Coursera
  • Because of the changing user interface, it is often tricky locating the audit link for courses
  • You can fully participate in the course
  • You can’t access some materials in the course
  • Some critical parts of the course can’t be viewed in audit mode
  • You won’t get any certifications

A step-by-step guide to auditing a Coursera course

How to Audit a Coursera Course

To audit, a course on Coursera, follow these steps.

Choose the course

If you don’t know how to find the course, you can type an essential keyword of the course in the search bar of Coursera. Once you find the course or courses you’re looking for, you then go on to the next step.

It is likely that the most rated suggestions you will see from your search results would be specializations and not individual courses. You can’t audit specializations, but you can audit the courses in them one by one.

Search for the “audit the course” link

The link won’t be available if the course can’t be audited. But most courses on Coursera can be audited. From the enrollment page, click on the “Enroll in this Course” button and search for the “Audit this Course” link at the bottom of the page.

Once you click on it, you can audit that particular course, accessing the video content and materials for free.

While auditing the course, you can view materials, watch videos and even read what classmates are interacting about in the forum.

The best option is always to pay for a (paid) course, as that’s the only way to get all the benefits. Some courses can’t be fully understood without quizzes and assessments.

When you pay for it, you will also get a certification. But auditing the course is the best way to start.


Coursera allows you to audit courses, which is a way of introducing you to the course but without its full benefits. However, the course contents and videos are accessible for free.

Although you won’t get certifications, auditing a course still allows you to glean as much as you can from it.

So, you’ve learned how to do it. And it is straightforward. Why not try it out today?

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