Skip to content

The NHS explained course

How the health system in England really works


Anytime, self-guided

Online through FutureLearn
Free course
Three weeks

Learn about the NHS

The NHS is a unique health care system placed above the Royal Family and the BBC as a source of national pride. But how much do you know about the history of the NHS and how it all works and fits together? What will it look like in the future?

Our course will help you understand the building blocks that make up the health care system in England through videos with experts from The King's Fund, articles and quizzes. You will learn about the intricate parts that contribute towards the running of the fifth largest employer in the world. You will explore the challenges facing the NHS and how we can tackle these to ensure a health and care system that's fit for the future.

Who is this course for?

  • NHS and social care staff in England (including those who work in non-clinical roles) 

  • Anyone considering a career in the NHS in England. This includes A-Level students who are making career decisions or overseas staff who are interested in working in the NHS in England 

  • Patients and the general public. This includes lay members on the boards of NHS organisations or patients who actively participate in the NHS, such as GP/patient groups

Frequently asked questions


'This was a fantastic course...  access to the course was easy, can be done in your own time, interesting, clear and you actually learn something! I will be recommending to my manager for all staff within the team to complete the training. Many thanks for producing this.'
Previous course participant

'This course gave me insight into what the NHS is really like. It was incredible to know all the positives and negatives and also give my own opinion on what I think the NHS is about.'
Previous course participant

'As a patient it has given me a great insight into the way the NHS works and its challenges in today's society.'
Previous course participant

'A worthwhile course I thoroughly recommend to anybody in or interested in health services.'
Previous course participant

Help us spread the word

If you've signed up to the course, why not encourage your colleagues or students to take part too? We've produced a free downloadable poster to help you do just that. 

Download the poster


Join this course

Learn the ins and out of the NHS with this free online course.

Enrol today