Thousands explore ‘Humanist Lives’ in latest Humanists UK online course

31 July, 2019

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In June, Humanists UK launched its second massive open online course (MOOC) on humanism, entitled ‘Humanist Lives’. 3,500 people from over 120 different countries signed up for the course on the FutureLearn social learning platform. Nine out of ten learners rated the experience positively, describing the course as ‘enjoyable’, ‘stimulating’, and even ‘life-changing’.

The course is presented by Humanists UK’s President, Professor Alice Roberts, and provides learners with the opportunity to hear stories from individual humanists around the world. As well as weekly wrap-around segments from Alice, the course features video contributions from well-known scientists, artists, politicians, humanist campaigners, celebrants, and pastoral carers. These include journalist Polly Toynbee, scientist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili, rock musician Frank Turner, novelist Natalie Haynes, and writer and academic Steven Pinker.

Over 20,000 people have signed up for Humanists UK’s first online course, ‘Introducing humanism’, since it launched last year. With two Humanists UK courses now available, thousands of people have the opportunity to develop their understanding of both the humanist response to life’s big questions and what it means to adopt a humanist approach to life in the 21st century.

Humanists UK’s Director of Understanding Humanism Luke Donnellan commented: 

‘It has been a pleasure to see so many people engaging so positively with our new course. Many learners have expressed their wonder at the diverse work being done by humanists around the globe. If we want to build a more tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail, we need to get to know better each other’s passions, challenges, and goals, and one of the best ways to do that is through listening to other people’s stories.’

Having completed ‘Humanist Lives’ participants commented:

‘Thank you I have really enjoyed doing this course, it has certainly inspired me think about my life. It has allowed me to have a greater understanding of humanists and what they stand for. Before this course the only knowledge I had of humanists was that they did not believe in a god or an after life. I’m so pleased to have had my horizons widened.’

‘Excellent course. All participants demonstrated a glorious love of life. The humanist approach to life resonated well with me, confirming what I have held true for all of my life.’

‘A beautifully structured course. It moved from the up close and personal, to the place of humanism across the world, across disciplines and across time, and finally – it pointed into the future, in a very satisfying way.’

‘This course was a fascinating unveiling of the evidential scope of humanism and its values influencing so many aspects of people’s lives throughout the world. It was creatively and informatively designed to generate curiosity and dialogue amongst its participants. I am confident to justify my values and views and to explain, if required, my reasons to identify as a humanist.’

‘This course has been wonderful. The range and quality of the presenters has been very impressive. The massive work which has gone into this course is very apparent. Well done everyone involved. I am glad I joined Humanists UK.’


For further information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Understanding Humanism Luke Donnellan on or on 020 7324 3070.

For more information about both Humanists UK’s free online courses, visit Understanding Humanism.

About Humanists UK
At Humanists UK, we want a tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work helps people be happier and more fulfilled, and by bringing non-religious people together we help them develop their own views and an understanding of the world around them.

Humanists UK support people to learn more about humanism through a wide range of educational resources available on their education website Understanding Humanism.