FREE online learning resources

We in RBKC libraries can’t understand why people aren’t falling over themselves to sign up for our free online courses! We know there are other online courses out there but all you need for ours is a library card and the inclination. Our offer extends from employment and personal development to leisure and personal interest courses. There’s also a specific course for passing the driving theory test and one for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK or British citizenship test.

If you’re in work and wanting to upskill or looking for work and wanting to ensure your skills are up to date then Learning Nexus is the suite for you. Below you can see their main menu so if you’re wanting to avoid the “not waving but drowning” feeling or looking to improve your skills on the quiet just ask a member of staff to log you in and you’ll see the full range of courses in each of the categories listed below.



Universal Class offers a broader range of classes aimed more, but not exclusively, at leisure and personal interest topics. Below are the categories available and within each of those there may be dozens of courses to choose from, for example, in the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies category there are 75 to choose from – from Cake decorating to Yoga! For each module of a course you submit your work to a real person who will give you personal feedback.


Accounting  Alternative Medicine  Arts, Crafts & Hobbies  Business  Career Training Computer Training  Entrepreneurship  Finance  General Education  Health & Medicine History  Homeschooling  How to / Do It Yourself  Language Arts  Law/Legal/Criminal Mathematics  Office Skills  Parenting and Family  Personal Care  Pet and Animal  Psychology  Real Estate  Science  Self-Help  Social Work  Special Education  Spiritual Studies  Teacher Resources  Test Preparation  Web Development  Writing Skills

For Universal Class courses you can just register at home (or wherever you’d prefer) with your library card.


Go Citizen is the online version of the latest official study materials for the Life in the UK test, licensed from the Home Office, the people who write the handbook. It includes hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test and has additional interactive learning resources and teaching aids to ensure you pass the Life in the UK test first time!

Just register for this with your library card.


Theory Test Pro  should allow you to pass the Driving Theory Test on your first attempt!

It contains all the official test questions licensed from the DVSA ( the people who set the tests), gives you unlimited access to all the official questions from the DVSA in the same format as the official test and realistic hazard perception video simulations. So why pay for the official books and dvds when it’s all available for free with your library card?

 All these online courses are free and can be accessed at



Introducing Universal Class

Universal Class Logo
Over 500 educational courses – free!

Librarian Owen Grey writes…

Alongside Learning Nexus, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has recently invested in a fantastic new online resource for library users interested in the pursuit of lifelong learning!

Universal Class is a real treasure trove of online learning, with over 500 free courses to choose from, in almost any subject area you can think of. All you need to do is join the library (if you are not already a member) and sign-up online.

Subjects range from ‘Office Skills’ and ‘Psychology’ to ‘Performing Arts’ and ‘Finance.’ Each course comes with dedicated instructors, module based lessons, assignments and tests. You can sign-up and look for the course you are interested in anywhere, anytime: among the many benefits of Universal Class is the ability to learn at your own pace, and in your own time. This flexible approach is especially useful for those of us juggling multiple priorities in our day to day lives!

Of particular interest to existing customers of Kensington Central’s Business Information Point will be the online business courses, which are available to anyone wanting to study business, start a small business or need help with their existing business.

So – whether your interest lies in Mindfulness, Web Development or Creative Writing – visit our Universal Class information page and take the plunge! The service is completely free for library users. A whole world of knowledge awaits you…

If you want to find out more before getting started we will be holding introductory ‘Online Learning’ sessions during Adult Learners’ Week in June.

North Kensington Library: Tuesday 16th June 9.30 – 1.30
Kensal Library: Thursday 18th June from 2.00 – 5.00
Brompton Library: Friday 19th June from 9.30 – 4.30


Want to learn Gaelic, or improve your IT skills? Learning Nexus: June’s online resource of the month

Sandeep Dhaliwal, our Tri-borough Reference Librarian, writes:

As a library member you can now improve your computer, business and language skills with online e-learning courses!

Learning Nexus is a UK based independent e-learning publisher and solutions provider. They provide online courses for anyone and everyone, on a variety of topics, so that you can gain skills and expertise, for free (apart from the languages module, which is £5 for three months use).

The course range addresses many of the skills and much of the generic knowledge required in order to be effective in today’s work and business environment:

  • Health and safety including working safely, stress at work, slips, trips and falls, repetitive strain injuries and safe manual handling
  • Workplace skills including time management, organising and running successful meetings, communication skills and recruitment and selection
  • IT skills including office ergonomics, use of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 including Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Project (2007)
  • Languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Mandarin, Welsh, Polish and Scottish Gaelic

The courses are easy to navigate: simply choose the course you would like to take (for example, Excel 2007); choose a lesson within that course (for example, Formulas and Referencing), and then go! It’s a step-by-step process, and your lesson is saved as you progress, meaning that you can return to it and complete it at another time.

Lessons on Learning Nexus
Lessons on Learning Nexus


Learning Nexus lesson- office ergonomicsLearning Nexus lesson- office ergonomics
Learning Nexus lesson- office ergonomics


Completing a course gives you a certificate of attainment, and allows you to see an overall report of your results.

Learning Nexus skills assessment
Learning Nexus skills assessment

Learning Nexus is perfect for small businesses, who want to boost their employee’s knowledge; or for personal users, who want to gain confidence in a variety of skills- perhaps for job-hunting.

Please find links to the Learning Nexus user guide, or for a demonstration of this resource- and others- at Kensington Reference Library please e-mail A member of staff will be delighted to help and set you off on your own journey of discovery.

A full list of online resources which the library service currently offers is available here:’s blog entry will feature Oxford Reference Online.