Microcredentials are created by or in collaboration with leading universities and endorsed by employers. They support upskilling, reskilling, and lifelong learning, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree.
Microcredentials are equivalent in length to one module of a degree programme (10-15 weeks’ study, 100-150 hours’ study commitment). They are aimed at a professional audience and are recognised for credit. They sit behind a paywall and require an upfront payment.
Every microcredential must adhere to the new Common Microcredential Framework criteria and have real market potential. We review each proposal on a case by case basis.
A microcredential must offer learners one of the following academic benefits:
- Give credit to a learner at the conclusion of the microcredential.
- Provide an exemption of credit on a future degree program, providing the learner is successful in applying to that degree later on. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning in the UK and Australia, but also sometimes as ‘Credit for Prior Learning’.
- Be equivalent to a credit-bearing course. This may be used by US universities that are unable to either award small chunks of credit or recognise prior learning in an official way.
Submitting a proposal
Contact your Partnership Manager to discuss your ideas, with consideration of the Common Microcredential Framework criteria. They will supply you with a proposal form which must be completed in detail. We aim to respond to proposals within two weeks of receipt. We will feedback on whether the proposal has been accepted, rejected, and whether any additional changes or insights are needed.
Initial information required includes proposed title, pricing, start dates, endorsement and/or accreditation.
There is potential for offering multiple microcredentials in the same topic, for example by providing a strong brand in the UK, a strong brand in Australia, and a strong brand in the US. In high demand areas, there is scope for differentiating courses.
Before submitting a proposal consider the following practical considerations:
- Do you need to assess microcredential learners using your normal Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)?
- If yes, you may need to enrol microcredential learners as students, and can offer them credit.
- If no, you may not need to enrol microcredential learners, and could offer them Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
- Once enrolled on a microcredential, the learner’s primary relationship will be with the partner providing the course, who will be the Data Controller.
- As Data Controller, the partner must commit to storing learner data for the long term, and needs to find a way to do this outside of FutureLearn. This should be whatever data the learner is required to provide in the future, in order for them to redeem one of the three academic benefits outlined above.
- FutureLearn does not have a way of storing learner data in the long term.
- Do you have a way of storing learner data for the long term that does not require the learner to be enrolled as a student?
Our Microcredentials portfolio focuses on building skills in key business areas and fast-growing fields.
We target strategic subject areas based on ongoing market research, to answer market demand. This research includes:
- including identifying skills gaps
- disposable income within different professional groups
- partner brand recognition
- employer brand recognition.
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary.