Category Archives for "Learning"

International Development Centre


In addition to the hundreds of reputable universities providing degree certificates throughout the UK, there is also a colloborative institution names the London International Development Centre which offers various courses.

The LIDC consists of 7 London universities and academic organisations: UCL Institute of Education, Queen Mary University of London, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, SOAS University of London, University of London, Birkbeck Geography Department and Royal Veterinary College

LIDC focuses on international development.

Their objectives are to

  • To create opportunities and skills for amongst academics and postgrad students and in the development community
  • To assist with the development and funding of research programmes of international significance
  • To work with governments, organisations and the private sector to improve international development policy and practice
  • To design learning activities which will help overcome global development challenges

LIDC represents over 4000 people (staff, students and alumni) and provides a huge degree of expertise in global development in the world’s poorest countries.

Visit here for current LIDC Courses

Free Online Courses with Certificates

your degree logo

The internet has opened the gates to learning for more people than ever before. Not only are there hosts of tutorials and seminars to attend, read, and watch online, but there are also real educational materials that can lead to certification at the end. Here are some of the top courses available to UK learners, both by UK educators and through international learning platforms that can help you gain the qualifications you deserve.

Diploma in Digital Photography

This diploma is available from Alison, one of the fastest growing e-learning platforms on the internet, providing accredited training courses from educators across the globe. This course, published by Advance Learning, offers a comprehensive education on the use of digital cameras, the technology that leads to advanced photography, and professional techniques like bracketing, hyperfocal distance, and spot metering. It also includes some elements of photoshop learning to help edit and finish professional quality photos, with a printable diploma available to buy after completing the course.

Level 2 Counselling Skills

Distance Learning Courses is a UK distance learning and e-learning platform based in the UK, with courses published from a wide range of awarding bodies and educational institutions. Their free Level 2 Counselling Skills course acts as beginner’s course to a career in counselling, including counselling skills and theories, diversity and ethics in counselling, personal development, and more.

The course takes 8 weeks to complete with 2 written assessments, with a certification awarded by Cache, a non-profit that invests in high quality qualifications for the care and education industry in the UK.

Health & Social Care Training Courses

This broad series of courses, available from Mandatory Training Group, providers a comprehensive Care Certificate Standard education. Overall, they cover a wide range of skills essential for anyone looking to get further into a health & social care career, including safeguarding adults, basic life support, subjects on mental health, dementia & learning disabilities, and much more. Many of the courses in this series are completely free to learn, helping you acquire some skills, while others do require a fee. So, if you find the first courses worthwhile, you can pay to complete the certification.

Diploma in Plumbing Studies

For those aiming to get into a plumbing career but without the experience or education they need to become an apprentice, this Diploma in Plumbing Studies from Alison can act as the quick introduction that you need. Published US AID, this 10-15-hour course covers many concepts in plumbing, including parts and tools used, materials, the components of drainage systems, and so on.

While it offers no practical plumbing experience, it is well supplemented with DIY tutorials online, and the diploma can serve as the perfect qualification to find and join an apprenticeship.

Supporting Successful Learning In Primary School

Future Learn ins another online learning platform, primarily focused in the UK, offering free digital courses from a range of colleges and universities across the nation. For those looking to become a teaching assistant, their Supporting Successful Learning In Primary School course, from the University of Reading, could be just what you need.

There is also a Supporting Successful Learning In Secondary School course available on the website as well. Covering topics such as how people learn, the environment for learning, and the use of communication and language in educational environments, it can pay the way for start in any teaching career.

Business Management

Endorsed and published by the Oxford Home Study Centre, this Business Management course can be the educational stepping stone needed to rise to management positions in the company you work in. It also provides education on topics invaluable to those starting their own business, as well, including classes on HR Management, Performance Management, and an introduction to marketing techniques and approaches.

This short course lasts 20 hours, overall, and is ongoing, meaning there is no deadline for enrolment. At the end of the course, OHSC sends the certificate out to your address for free.

Essential IT Skills Level 2

A good course for those who have a baseline understanding of IT already but wish to gain the IT skills sought after by most employers, including some more advanced use of Microsoft Office programs. The Essential IT Skills Level 2 course is provided by Vision2Learn, another well-respected UK based online education platform, and goes into topics such as word processing software, presentation software, spreadsheet software, and improving productivity using IT.

It’s a good course for those who wish to keep up-to-date with the IT skills necessary for a modern career, as well as for those who may wish to work in IT but need qualifications to help them advance to more advanced topics.

Bridging the Dementia Divide

This short course, made free by the University of Derby, is a good fit for those who already have some education in health and social care or experience as a caregiver, but are looking to specialise their career. In particular, Bridging the Dementia Divide can help those who are hoping to provide dementia care services.

Their courses are recognised by the Dementia Action Alliance, meaning that they can prove useful to show you have the skills necessary to provide care to those living with memory conditions.

Internet Marketing

For those looking for a career in marketing or simply to start their own business, understanding the digital world is becoming more and more important. This Internet Marketing short course is published and endorsed by the Brentwood Open Learning College, focusing on the skills and tools used to create an internet marketing plan, with a free accreditation provided by email that can be printed off.

This free introductory course serves as a preparatory education to their more extensive Online Internet Marketing Certificate, as well.

Professional Development for Early Career Teachers

We have already looked at a course that can help those who are looking to take their steps into an education career, helping them learn what they need to become a teaching assistant. This Professional Development For Early Career Teachers course, published on Future Learn with certification from the University of East Anglia, is geared for those already in a teaching career.

It addresses reflective practice, workload management, behaviour management of pupils, the use of assessment of learning strategies, and approaches to different challenges throughout a teaching career. An effective course for helping teachers find advancement and more competitive positions.

Customer Service Level 2

A course that can help both those looking to advance in customer facing roles in the retail industry, as well as small business owners, the Customer Service Level 2 course from Vision2Learn lasts for 9 to 11 weeks, with a nationally accredited qualification provided at the end of it.

In the course, different subjects are covered, including methods of communication, how to handle customer data, methods of promoting and evaluating products and services, and more. It also addresses the impact of customer service on the organization as a whole, making it a key course for those running their own business.

Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties

This course can helpful for those who are in roles in education, counselling, or health & social care, especially those who want to advance their career and work in this more specific field. Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties is provided by The College of Bournemouth & Poole and offers a nationally recognised Level 2 qualification on completion.

It covers subjects such as the effects, diagnosis and support needed for those living with specific learning disabilities like ADHA, dyslexia, and dyscalculia which affect around 15% of all people in the UK.

Food and Hygiene in the Catering Industry

Anyone looking to begin working in restaurants, catering businesses, and other food service markets will need to demonstrate a working knowledge of professional standards in hygiene and safety.

The same naturally goes for those wishing to start a business in the catering or hospitality industry. As such, this course from Alison and published by NuYew, can provide an essential skill for those seeking advancement in many different careers.

It involves learning about food-borne illnesses, ways to prevent food-related illnesses, and how to control bacterial growth in a catering setting.

Programming 101

Supported by Google and created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in association with the National Centre for Computing, Future Learn offers one of the best programming courses you’re going to find online, without a doubt. This introduction to Python teaches one of the most ubiquitously used coding languages around, teaching those who take the course how to create their own program and learn basic programming concepts that they can further practice in their own ongoing education.

While not likely to provide the coding skills necessary for advanced careers, it can serve as the stepping stone needed to win a place on more involved courses.

Nutrition and Health Level 2

Those in health and social care careers, as well as caregiving careers, can benefit from understanding the positive impact that good nutrition and diet can have on the health of those they work with. As such, this Nutrition and Health course from Vision2Learn, providing a Level 2 certification, can add valuable skills to their repertoire.

Beyond basic nutrition, it also covers how age affects nutritional needs, eating disorders, and practical techniques for effective weight management, as well as principles of food safety for the home environment.

End Of Life Care Level 2

Another course from Vision2Learn and another course that can be essential for those looking to progress in caregiving and health and social care careers. In particular, the End of Life Care Level 2 course can provide the understanding of end of life needs necessary for work in the field of palliative care.

It looks into subjects such as care planning, pain management, dementia end of life care, as well as how loss and grief can affect those you work with in end of life care, and your role throughout the process.

How To Spot A Fake Degree

how to spot a fake degree

Despite the fact that faking a degree certificate is illegal, it does still happen, and for this reason, you need to be able to spot a fake degree certificate. There are several indicators that will alert you to the fact that the certificate is not genuine, and we are going to be looking at some of these indicators down below in this article. Some of them you will think are common sense, and some are a little more hidden so it will take someone who knows what they are looking for to spot it! If you are interested in finding out how you would go about spotting a fake degree certificate, keep reading. 


One of the first things that you should be looking at is the language used on the certificate. For example, if you are looking at a certificate that has come from a UK university, then you would expect to see the words ‘with honours’ on the certificate rather than something like ‘cum laude’ which is popular with American universities. It is more common that the entire certificate should be in English rather than any other language, so watch out for this when you are trying to spot a fake certificate.

As well as this, if there is a long piece of text on the certificate, then this should be setting off alarm bells. Higher Education Institutions do not usually have blocks of text on their degree certificates as it makes it look bulky and brings down the overall appearance of the certificate. 

Check How It Has Been Signed

Another thing that you should be checking is how the certificate has been signed. In an academic institution, the signature on the degree certificate will never be printed on, so you want to be looking for a real ink signature. If you notice that this is not the case and that the signature has in fact, been printed on, it is likely a fake. Producers of fake degree certificates often have them printed all at one time, which is why the signature will also be printed. If you find that on your certificate, real ink has not been used to sign it, you are probably looking at a fake. 

Order Of Words

The order of words on a degree certificate is an obvious giveaway of a fake. It might not seem like it, but a lot of certificates get caught out for this reason, and this is because while it might be common to say ‘I went to Liverpool University’ when you are speaking to someone, this is not how it will be written on the certificate. The correct name of the institution will be printed onto the certificate so it should instead read ‘The University of Liverpool.’ If the full and proper name of the university is not on the certificate, and it has been shortened or incorrectly capitalized, then you can be fairly certain it is not authentic. 

Check For A Hologram Or Watermark

Something that a lot of forgers forget about is a watermark or a hologram, which is why this is one of the most obvious signs of a forgery. Hold the certificate up to a bright, sharp light, and you should be able to see a watermark, or you will see nothing at all. If you don’t see anything, then you need to consider that the certificate you are looking at is fake and should be disregarded. 

Spelling Mistakes

It is more common than you would probably think that fake degree certificates have some kind of spelling or grammar mistakes. There should be no spelling or grammar errors in an authentic certificate, so if you come across this, you can be fairly confident that it isn’t real. A lot of the time, the people who make the fake certificates will make these errors, but it is impossible to tell whether this is just because they are not great at English, or if they are doing it on purpose to take advantage of the buyer. Many people who buy these certificates don’t notice if there are spelling or grammar issues which is why they will probably use it as evidence to prove they have a degree or have it in a frame above their desk. 

Embossed Or Gold Seal

You will usually find that if a degree certificate is real, it will have an embossed or gold seal on it. This is not the case for all institutions, but it is traditional, and for this reason, most of them do still follow suit and have these kinds of seals. It has been reported that there are now some very sophisticated seals that look like the real deal, but aren’t. As such, if you are unsure about a seal, take it to an expert and ask for their opinion. If you don’t see a seal on the certificate at all, then it is certainly going to be a fake so make sure that you are looking for this.

Use Google

If for any reason you have become suspicious about a degree certificate, then head to Google and check the authenticity of the awarding body. Now, some of the fraudsters are very clever and can create entire profiles for institutions that do not exist, and they are becoming increasingly clever with writing reviews and such. But, it is not going to be that hard to tell if the place is genuine or not, because if it is, then there must be thousands of students who are attending and talking about the place online. If you don’t see this, then it should set off alarm bells, and you should do some deeper digging into this matter. 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and you now know how to spot a fake degree certificate. There are more things that you can keep an eye on, but these are just some of the ones that we could come up with off the top of our head!  Look out for any of these indicators to let you know whether that degree certificate is genuine or not. 

How To Structure An Essay

how to structure an essay

Student life is a rollercoaster of highs and lows; you’ll have great experiences and gain plenty of new knowledge, but sometimes the workload will really pile up.

When it comes to writing essays, the process can be a little love-hate. One of the best things that you can do is to equip yourself with the knowledge that allows you to tackle essay writing in a formulaic way. Let’s take a look at a few ideas to help you create something great. 

How to structure an essay

When you are thinking about structuring an essay, it’s useful to spend some time considering what the purpose of an essay actually is; this will help you to get into the right mindset and allow you to create something of quality and with real meaning.

An essay is generally a formulaic argument based on an idea or concept; within an essay, you set about supporting your claim using evidence to back up your theory.

When you are structuring an essay, you’ll need to follow the correct pattern to present your argument to the reader. Your essay will need to have an introduction first, followed by a main body and a conclusion. 

 When you are planning these sections out it can be useful to start by writing the body of your essay before the introduction.The body of your essay will include all of your main arguments that support your thesis, and these will be backed up by supporting points. You may want to have all of these ideas written first because your introduction serves to set out the topics that you will talk about in the main body of your essay. 

 It’s a good idea to plan out your essay with a written narrative that concisely sets out your ideas step by step. Doing so will mean that you have a solid guide from which to work from, and this will ensure that you don’t miss anything out. You will also be making sure that the reader is arriving at your desired conclusions when you want them to. When your reader is presented with your thesis, they are going to have questions in their mind. You should structure your essay to make sure that you are anticipating and then answering these questions. For example, your reader will likely want to know what evidence you have to prove your argument. 

 Plan out where you will include the source materials to support your argument. Your evidence will need to be carefully weaved into your essay so that it adds the most value to your ideas as they arrive. Think about your background material; it might be a historical context, for instance. You will usually want to structure this kind of information at the beginning of the essay, right after the introduction. 

How to start an essay 

 The first thing is to write a strong introduction that makes an excellent impression on the reader and sets the standard. You should use the introduction to present to the reader your thesis statement, which is the main argument or point of your essay. An excellent thesis statement should concisely combine several ideas; generally using no more than two sentences.

You should use your thesis statement as a summary of your chosen topic. There should be zero uncertainty on what the essay is about; this should be made absolutely clear. You will want to give your readers an idea of what they can expect in the essay by offering them a few of the key points that you are going to consider. You will need to provide a summary of your argument that doesn’t go into too much detail. 

 Once you’ve created your introduction, it’s time to move onto the body of your essay. The body will make up the main bulk of your essay because here you will be making all of your main points that relate to the topic. Every paragraph that you write should be a further example that gives substance and evidence to your argument.

When you begin each paragraph, the first sentence should always make it clear what the key point that you will explore in that paragraph is going to be. The beginning sentence of each paragraph is often referred to as a topic sentence.

 During the planning of your essay, you will have chosen perhaps three or four main arguments that you will use to support your thesis statement. You will then need to write several supporting points which strengthen each of your main arguments. Avoid making generalisations at all costs and make sure each of your sentences is entirely clear and serves a purpose. 

 When you are writing the body of your essay, you will want to ensure that you are approaching the subject with creativity and originality. You won’t want to be so poetic that the point and clarity gets lost, but you will want your writing to be pleasing to read and to stand apart from the rest. The creativity will come from your ideas and how well thought out they are.

If you are focusing on a topic that’s been written on many times before, then you’ll need to ensure that you are presenting a fresh new perspective to impress your reader. While essays function to convince the reader of an argument, this does not mean that they can’t have character or fluidity. Choose every word that you use carefully; if there is even one sentence that does not add value, then it’s better to take it out and think of something else. 

 You should remember that the process of writing your essay will take some time, and you aren’t going to get it right the first time. If you begin writing and aren’t happy with what you’ve written, that’s okay- keep going for now and come back to redraft.

As an essay writer, you will often end up redrafting one paragraph several times, and this is fine so long as you are creating the best work that you can. Other times you’ll sit there with a notebook, reading a source and trying to find inspiration. Great ideas come and go, but there will be plenty of eureka moments to keep you going! 

How to end an essay 

In the beginning, when you have an idea of your main arguments, you should be able to form a working conclusion before you complete the main body of the essay. Doing this allows you to consider each point and ensure that it is relevant to your conclusion.

Of course, your conclusion will not be completely solid yet, and it’s okay if it develops and changes as you go along. However, you will definitely want to have an idea where the essay is going to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. 

 The ending of your essay requires a strong conclusion that draws the body of your essay together nicely. The purpose of the conclusion is to reiterate the main points of your argument and to present a final decision about the topics that you have been discussing.

You should not present any ideas in the conclusion that have not already been addressed in your essay. Your conclusion is merely a place to firmly reestablish what your essay has detailed. If you have a fantastic idea that comes to you when you are writing your conclusion, then you should go back and talk about this concept in the main body. 

 You will need to remind the reader of your argument with a brief mentioning of your key points. It needs to be absolutely clear that you have achieved the outcome that you set out to, and this is what your conclusion serves as. You should use your last sentence to demonstrate closure and give your reader a sense of finality. Some writers like to use their conclusions to connect their essay to further areas of study. While doing so isn’t essential, this can help to answer the ‘why’ question of your essay and present its value to the reader. 

Research focus 

 When it comes to writing essays, your skills will improve over time. One of the key things that will help you to build a fantastic essay is the research that you do before hand. Your research and sources that you draw upon for evidence have the ability to inspire you. Research will also allow you to provide the best thesis and argument that you can. It’s good to spend a long amount of time doing your research. If you find a source that only loosely relates to the point that you are trying to make, keep looking. It would be a waste of time to bring in research material that isn’t the right fit. Sometimes it can be discouraging when you can’t find the evidence you need at first, but if you keep going, you might be surprised at what you can find! If you approach every stage in the process with your best efforts, you’ll likely be pleased with your creative results.