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Coursera Review 2024

Catherine Miller

In a Nutshell

Coursera is a learning platform that allows you to study a vast range of subjects at your own pace. Courses are provided by experts from universities and leading companies, as well as professional teachers. It offers language courses at a variety of levels, from learning the alphabet to advanced grammar.


  • 100% online learning you can access on the go
  • Lots of material available for free
  • 7-day free trial


  • Hard to get live support
  • Limited range of languages available

Coursera at a Glance

Editorial Score

Language Variety

5 languages

Ease of Use

The platform is well-designed and user-friendly, making it easy to navigate through various courses and resources


Dynamic, interactive online courses through the use of multimedia tools, student collaboration


Can be accessed for free, Guided Projects start at $9.99 and Specializations and Professional Certificates from $39.99 a month

Learning Flexibility

While courses are designed with flexibility in mind, each course has a suggested timeline for completion

Coursera Plans

Coursera’s courses are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, with the costs outlined below:

Type of content




4-12 hours of multimedia learning content

Some available for free

Guided projects

1-2 hour project to develop a specific skill

From $9.99/month


1-3 months of multimedia learning content centered around a specific skill

From $39/month

Professional certificates

1-6 months of multimedia learning content focused on career progression

From $39/month

MasterTrack certificates

4-7 months of multimedia learning content conferring university credit

From $2,000 for the course


2-4 years of study at university degree level

From $9,000 for the course

Additionally, you can subscribe to Coursera Plus for access to over 7,000 courses, projects, and certificate programs. Not all material is included in the subscription.


Coursera Plus Monthly


Coursera Plus Annual


How Much Does Coursera Cost?

It’s possible to use Coursera for free, as it doesn’t cost anything to register on the site, and you can then sign up for a range of free courses. If you want to access some of the paid material, such as a specialization (a longer, more in-depth course), you’ll get a 7-day free trial when you enroll, so you can make sure the program is right for you (and cancel without penalty, if not). You can also choose to audit sections of a specialization or certification for free. (This will give you access to the course materials, but your work won’t be graded and you won’t receive a certificate.) With this in mind, Coursera is an excellent way to study without paying anything. 

However, if you want to earn a certificate, university credit, or a degree as a result of studying with Coursera, you’ll need to pay. You can pay-as-you-go for each program, with prices starting from $39 per month for a specialization, $39 per month for a professional certification, $2,000 for a MasterTrack certificate that can count towards a degree, or $9,000 for a degree itself. Considering the cost of most university programs, this is great value, although bear in mind that this is self-study. 

You can also take out a Coursera Plus subscription. This gives you unlimited access to over 7,000 of Coursera’s courses, projects, and certificate programs (although degrees are not included). It costs $59 per month or $399 per year. If you’re planning to complete a lot of programs on Coursera, it could be worth it, although not all learning material is included so you should check carefully before you subscribe. 

Financial aid is available for students in need. 

How Does Coursera Work?

You can browse the full range of courses and programs available on Coursera without registering. To enroll, you simply need to enter your email address into the site. Once enrolled, you can work through the course at your own pace, either through your browser or on the mobile app (available on iOS and Android).

Each course is made up of sections that comprise videos, text for reading, and graded quizzes. If you’re taking a specialization or certificate program, you’ll need to take multiple courses to officially complete the program. A useful feature is that you can set up a learning goal when you enroll in a course, so you can track your progress. You can also post in the discussion forum for each course, so you can ask questions and get feedback from other students.

Coursera doesn’t specifically focus on the key skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. However, it will touch on elements of reading and writing such as grammar and vocabulary. It will also help you develop listening skills through watching videos, and aspects of speaking like pronunciation. To build full fluency, you may need to combine Coursera with other language learning resources to make sure you’re building confidence across the different skills.

Is Coursera Reliable and Safe?

Coursera only has 21 reviews on Trustpilot, but of these, 38% rate the service as ‘Excellent’ and 19% as ‘Great’. 29% rate the service as ‘Bad’. Positive reviews remark on the quality of courses, but negative reviews point out some hidden fees and overcharging. On the Better Business Bureau, 29 reviews rate the service at 1.5/5.

What’s Special About Coursera?

Coursera is a learning platform with a very wide range of subjects available. It’s got a huge amount of content to explore for free, and you can pay for certificates and more in-depth programs on a pay-as-you-go basis. This makes it ideal for topping up your language skills for travel or work, without needing to make a huge commitment to a long subscription. 

Coursera’s format also makes it great for busy people who need to learn on the go. It’s useful to be able to access the platform through a browser or mobile app, and the multimedia format with videos and text is accessible to people with different learning styles. 

Help and Support

Coursera offers a learner help center with detailed FAQs. You can also contact customer support through a form on the website. The lack of phone support is a drawback, and although an FAQ (hidden away on the help center) mentions live chat, it’s not obviously apparent on the site even when logged in. This means it’s hard to access direct, live support from Coursera.

Bottom Line

Coursera isn’t specifically designed as a language-learning platform, but there’s still plenty to explore in languages like Korean, Chinese, and Russian. The multimedia courses are great for learning on the go, and you can study on your browser or via the mobile app. With pay-as-you-go or subscription options, you should be able to find a study mode that suits your budget. However, there’s also a lot available on Coursera for free, as long as you don’t require certification. Although there’s limited live support, Coursera is worth checking out (if it offers your target language), as the low commitment for starting means you can easily evaluate if this is the learning style for you. 


Is it worth paying for Coursera?

Coursera has lots of material available for free, so you don’t necessarily need to pay. However, if you want a certificate, or to complete a more in-depth program of study which can help you make career progress, you will need to pay.

Can you become fluent with Coursera?

Depending on the language you study, Coursera’s courses cover a range of skills, but you may need to add other learning resources (such as speaking practice) to become fully fluent.

How do you get Coursera for free?

You just need to enroll in the course you want to study, which is free. If you want to take a specialization or certificate program, you can get a 7-day free trial.

Catherine Miller is a lead member of personal finance and pension innovator Maji, where’s she’s responsible for content creation and running Maji’s personal finance masterclass. Miller also holds degrees in English and education, and worked as a teacher before moving into writing about finance for Top10.com. Today, she combines aspects of education and personal finance to help readers make better decisions in finance and beyond.

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