Internet Self Improvement

14 Amazing Audible Courses (& How to Get One for Free)

Rob Nightingale 01-02-2016

There are many websites offering fantastic courses 27 Fantastic Learning Websites You Might Have Missed Many fantastic educational websites that fly under the radar. Thanks to the breadth of knowledge from these twenty seven sites, lifelong learning is a smoother journey. Read More , but none as underrated as Audible. And what’s more: you could get your ears on one of their courses completely free of charge!


In 2013, Audible — the audiobook arm of Amazon — forged a partnership with The Great Courses. This enabled Audible to sell many audio courses taught by the world’s greatest professors at hugely discounted prices.

For any lifelong learners who love to consume audiobooks Getting Started with Audiobooks: How to Finally Finish Your "Reading List" Audiobooks are a good way to tackle your reading list, but it can be difficult to get started with them. Let's make it simple. Read More , and who enjoy learning via audio, this was (and still is) exciting news.

The Selections

Each of the hundreds of courses that are now available on Audible’s The Great Courses page fit into one of nine categories:

From all of these courses, we’ve selected those we believe will help you become a more rounded person Read the World's Best Books for Free With the Harvard Classics The Harvard Classics is a multi-volume collection of the world's best books. Collated by Dr. Charles W. Eliot in the early 20th century, these can now be downloaded absolutely free of charge. Read More . If you tend to learn predominantly technical skills, for instance, there will be courses here that will help to expand your horizons into History Get Introduced to World History with 7 Engrossing Sites Learning about our history is a major step to understanding our present. Stop being a history simpleton with these top resources that could be the stepping stone into our past. Read More , or Philosophy.

Courses from The Great Courses


If you err on the side of academic courses, we’ve included a few that are more practical, such as learning the art of public speaking.

It’s this more general, multidisciplinary approach to learning that these courses have been selected for, and we hope you find them engaging, fun, and affordable.

Downloading Your Free Course

Although you may be an Amazon customer, if you still haven’t signed up to Audible, you’re missing out on their 30-Day Free Trial.

All you have to do is subscribe to any of Audible’s monthly packages ($14.95 for one book or course per month, or $22.95 for two), and your first 30 days is free. This enables you to receive your first book/course completely free of charge. You can cancel your subscription at any time.


After your first free course, you’re basically eligible for an entire course for just $14.95 per month. If you were paying full price, you’d usually be looking at $60+ per course, making this an incredible deal to take advantage of.

If you’re already a member of, and missed out on your free course, sign up for an account, and you could be entitled to download another.

So without further ado, here are our course selections:

How Great Science Fiction Works

The impact of great science fiction has moved beyond simply offering us entertainment and escapism. It has served to inspire technological change and groundbreaking research. With that in mind, isn’t it important that you learned How Great Science Fiction Works?


This course comprises 24 lectures looking at the great works of science fiction (including those by Arthur C. Clarke and H.G. Wells), their evolution, themes, and influence. By the end of the course, you’ll have a whole new appreciation of the genre, and a honed ability to spot the traits of great science fiction for yourself.

Regular Price: $40.19
Member Price: $28.13 or 1 Credit

The Big Questions of Philosophy

For thousands of years, Philosophy has served to ask the great questions of the universe. Why are we here? What is justice? Is there a God? This course on The Big Questions of Philosophy looks at many of these daunting questions, and shows us how some of the greatest philosophical minds approached those same quandaries, including Plato, Rawls, Marx, Kant, Hume, and many others.

By the end, you’ll have an understanding of these big questions. And you’ll also have the tools to think critically about other arguments you come across, along with the ability to attempt to form your own answers.


Regular Price: $48.24
Member Price: $33.77 or 1 Credit

Redefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science

Redefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science is a 36-lecture course looking at how our modern, scientific understanding of reality is affecting us. Scientific progress has led to huge medical advances, augmented intelligence, and a ceaseless awe at the workings of the universe. But also prepare to be mesmerized at how our scientific knowledge has impacted art, philosophy, literature, and the media.

Regular Price: $68.94
Member Price: $48.26 or 1 Credit

History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach

Rather than focusing on military accomplishments, History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach looks seriously at the failures that are often ignored.

By understanding the impact of these failures, and the legendary characters behind them, you’ll have a fresh understanding of why civilization took the course it did. You’ll be able, through myriad stories, grasp why a lost battle or a lost war may not be the terrible fate it seems to be.

Regular Price: $40.19
Member Price: $28.13 or 1 Credit

Influence: Mastering Life’s Most Powerful Skill

By studying the 12-lectures of Influence: Mastering Life’s Most Powerful Skill, you’ll learn the psychological and sociological science behind influence. You’ll even be given proven techniques to building your own influence 16 Tips to Become Famous Through Your Work Interests A promotion isn't always the career benchmark. Another is to become a thought-leader or a minor celebrity in your chosen field. Yes, you can become famous in your niche with some inspired work. Read More , with the help of many historical examples, which you can use in all areas of life.

Regular Price: $17.19
Member Price: $12.03 or 1 Credit

Great Mythologies of the World

Great Mythologies of the World takes you through the important myths that helped build Europe, Asia, Africa, The Americas, and The Middle East. Parallels will be drawn between themes and values in myths from around the world, while exploring what impact these myths had on modern civilization.

If you’re interested in this subject, the Classical Mythology course is another recommendation you should check out.

Regular Price: $68.94
Member Price: $48.26 or 1 Credit

Your Best Brain: The Science of Brain Improvement

Your Best Brain: The Science of Brain Improvement takes self-improvement Where Do You Start with Self-Improvement? If you know that you want to engage in a self-improving lifestyle, but don't know where to start, these simple, time-proven strategies can help you get your footing. Read More far beyond the platitudes of self-help blogging. By delving deep into neuroscience, you’ll be shown ground-breaking discoveries to change the way you think about brain optimization; from memory, empathy, and emotion, to intelligence, creativity, and attention.

Regular Price: $40.19
Member Price: $28.13 or 1 Credit

The Meaning of Life Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions

Leading on from the above Philosophy course, this lecture series on the The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions tackles this gargantuan question.

By taking us through how great Eastern and Western traditions addressed this question, we understand different ways — both religious and secular — that purpose, intention, and morality can be introduced to life.

Regular Price: $48.24
Member Price: $33.77 or 1 Credit

Nutrition Made Clear

With so much conflicting nutritional information available to us, Nutrition Made Clear (delivered by dietician and lecturer Professor Anding) very much helps to sort through the chaff. You’ll learn where to find reliable nutritional information, to understand your personal daily requirements, the science behind nutrients, and discover how to design your own exercise program.

By focusing exclusively on “medically backed, statistically proven information about healthy eating and living”, this ends up being an incredibly practical guide.

Regular Price: $48.24
Member Price: $33.77 or 1 Credit

The Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History

The Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History does exactly what it says on the tin. Throughout 12 lectures, you’ll study the speeches of great orators from Gandhi to Patrick Henry, and learn exactly what it was that made their speeches so great.

The course also covers several practical elements needed to master this hugely practical skill. These include overcoming stage fright Slay These 8 Public Speaking Demons to Conquer Your Fear It's often said that people fear public speaking more than death. But it's something that many have to do regularly. Here are eight public speaking demons and how to kill them. Read More , writing your own speeches, how to share your inspirational vision, and how to handle an unruly audience.

Regular Price: $17.19
Member Price: $12.03 or 1 Credit

36 Big Ideas

If you don’t have much time to spend on lengthy courses, 36 Big Ideas is for you. These 36 lectures have been handpicked from the many thousands available in The Great Courses collection, offering a truly multi-disciplinary course.

You’ll hear scientists, linguists, historians, psychologists, philosophers, and more, take you through an exciting array of topics that’ll cast your intellect from the furthest corners of the universe to the deepest crevices of your mind.

Regular Price: $48.24
Member Price: $33.77 or 1 Credit

Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making

The Great Courses

Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making includes 12 rapidly moving lectures explaining, through strategies and case studies, the economic forces that are at work 24/7 across the globe.

By understanding the way economists understand the world (i.e. incentives, rewards and risks), you’ll be in a better position to make more advantageous, rational decisions, just like economists do, both at work and in your private life.

Regular Price: $17.19
Member Price: $12.03 or 1 Credit

Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

The Great Courses

For an Introduction to Meditation, you can’t do much better than these 24 comprehensive lectures. By the end of the course, you’ll be taken through the value of mindfulness, shown how to effectively perform sitting and walking meditation Learn Meditation On Any Device & Don't Spend A Dime Contrary to popular opinion, you can meditate without a yoga mat, religious guidance, a peaceful personal space, incense candles, and any other apparatus. Here's a simple tool to help you begin. Read More , and taught how to introduce these teachings into each aspect of your life.

This will leave you with a deep confidence that you can use these skills to control your emotional states, while more fully understanding your body and mind.

Regular Price: $40.19
Member Price: $28.13 or 1 Credit

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music

The Great Courses

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to more fully appreciate music, How to Listen to and Understand Great Music is your answer.

You’ll be taken through the great works of Bach and Chopin, to Wagner and Verdi, and shown (via digital recordings) how to comprehend musical terms, forms, and techniques. As a result, a whole new world of musical understanding will open up to you.

Regular Price: $68.94
Member Price: $48.26 or 1 Credit

Have You Tried Learning with Audio?

These selections are just a few of the hundreds of The Great Courses that are available on Audible.

For anyone who craves to continue learning throughout adulthood, browsing Audible’s selection of The Great Courses will leave you spoilt for choice, and with a newfound appreciation for the most diverse of subjects.

Which of the above courses would you most like to study? And which have you already tried? What do you think of learning via audio in general?

Image Credits:Studying At Desk by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Related topics: Amazon, Audiobooks, Education Technology, Podcasts.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Cat
    February 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I am both a member of Audible and an avid consumer of their Great Courses.
    I have the 'one book / one credit' a month membership.
    I tend to listen to one Great Course and then pick something 'lighter'.
    However, the Great Courses are so incredible and I've yet to discover one that's 'hard work' that I'm considering rethinking that strategy this year and just doing the Great Courses, back to back.
    They really are incredibly good value and I think to date, I've enjoyed Courses across all genres, from Neuro Biology to Philosophy, with gems in Critical Thinking, Religion and Writing skills en route to name but a few.
    I couldn't recommend them more highly.

    • Cat
      February 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      PS. I hadn't spotted the 'Redefining Reality' course however - thank you! I'm off to investigate! ????

      • Rob Nightingale
        February 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

        Good luck!

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      I have the same membership, Cat. Working my way through the Buddhism course at the minute, and have been amazed at the quality of the content. Definitely one of the best forms of online learning I've found to date.

      • Cat
        February 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        Hey Rob,
        After the Buddhism one, I'd *heartily* recommend
        "The Science of Mindfulness" by Ronald Siegel.
        Stunning - and entertaining.

        "Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the well educated person should know"
        (what a great title, the mischiefs - ego's a go-go) is fabulous!
        Professor Mark Berkson.

        Opened up a *whole* new World of thought and insights - was a bit taken aback at my own lack of contemplation and ignorance to be honest, haha! (oops!)

        Best to you!,

        May it be a year of revelation and growth.

        Cat xxXxx

        PS. I've downloaded 'Redefining Reality' but haven't started it yet.
        Taking it easy with the very entertaining 'A Million Years in a Day" but I'll soon be finished.

        PPS. Also on Audible - although i've just chewed through it on Kindle - is Born to Run.
        I'm not a runner and it's not my usual style, but I've just finished it and have the feeling it might hit my Top Ten Books for 2016. Just thought I'd share ;-)

        • Rob Nightingale
          February 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

          Thanks for the recommendations, Cat. I'll definitely put these on my list :)