Writing, comedy, performing arts: Free courses by the University of Cambridge

SOURCE: Ethan Miller / Getty Images / AFP
The University of Cambridge's history makes it an inspiring choice for those passionate about the arts. Thankfully, their free online courses were designed for budding creatives.

By Shekinah Kannan 

Read all stories

E-learning courses have swept the world, more so now with a pandemic on hand. The closure of businesses and educational institutions has fast-tracked its pace of growth, thanks to an increasing number of organisations and individuals using e-learning courses to upskill and reskill. 

According to a study by Global Market Insights, the market for e-learning courses is set to reach US$375 billion by 2026. This is due to the fact that it’s not just businesses that reap the benefits of accessible knowledge. Millions of students are studying remotely and a large number of individuals are confined to their homes with ample time to kill. 


Building skills is essential to remain relevant in the workplace. In 2020, 67% of fully remote workers reported that they wanted more training, and globally, the interest in upskilling has only increased.

So, for those seeking a convenient way to reskill and keep their knowledge up-to-date, e-learning is here to help. You can find a variety of courses, from business and technology to skills for those in the entertainment industry.

The best part? You can enrol in free online courses offered by some of the world’s renowned universities, including the University of Cambridge.

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge ranks among the world’s top 10 in leading world university rankings. They are offering some of their courses available for the masses through edX, a popular e-learning platform. 

Here are five free courses by the University of Cambridge for those in the entertainment industry who are looking to solidify their skills:

Writing successfully for the Stage

This four-week, self-paced, free programme teaches learners how to structure their dramatic writing to a professional standard. They will also develop communication skills in the process. 

The course was also designed to broaden students’ understanding of how stories are written to be engaging, interesting, and attractive to producers and directors. Those who complete this programme will also understand how to write effective dialogues, and edit their own work. 

Finding your voice as a playwright

This free programme teaches aspiring playwrights the fundamentals of deepening their creative practice with advanced expertise in writing and communication. 

This four-week programme also equips participants with the skills needed to launch a successful career as a professional dramatist.  


Building your screenplay

Interested in becoming a screenwriter? This free programme will help you do just that by strengthening your skills, diversifying your knowledge, and helping you gain a better understanding of the basic demands that come with global film and TV production. 

In just four-weeks, learners enrolled in this instructor-paced programme will also grasp how to become powerful, visual storytellers; build effective structure within screenplays; and develop key writing and communication skills.

Stand up!; Comedy, Writing and Performance Poetry 

With this free, four-week, instructor-paced course, anyone can prepare to perform their writing and/or poetry to a live audience. To do this, learners will broaden their understanding of how to structure a stand-up comedy set. 

They will also learn to comprehend how to use the narrative form in performance poetry texts. Upon completion, they reflect on ways to enhance the quality of their writing practise through performance. 

Business Success in the Screen Industries 

From networking in creative industries to pitching film ideas to professors, and holding your own in a TV writers’ room – this programme covers it all. The main goal is to enable learners to acquire the basic skills needed to set up their own production company and transform creative ideas into works of commercial value. 

The course also sets out to broaden the understanding of participants that makes it easier for them to successfully maintain a career as a professional screenwriter.