MOOCs at Swiss Universities

Several Swiss universities are now offering exciting Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that you can learn for free* and from home. Here’s a brief overview of the courses offered by the best universities in Switzerland

 ETH Zurich

Autonomous Mobile Robots

The objective of this course is to provide the basic concepts and algorithms required to develop mobile robots that act autonomously in complex environments. The main emphasis is put on mobile robot locomotion and kinematics, environment perception, probabilistic map based localization and mapping, and motion planning. The lectures and exercises of this course introduce several types of robots such as wheeled robots, legged robots and drones. Learn more about it here.

Starting date: Self-paced, current

Responsive Cities

‘Responsive cities’ is the fourth edition of the ‘Future Cities’ series on urban MOOCs. The ‘Future Cities’ series is the first and complete series of urban courses dealing with the design, management and transformation of cities for their sustainable and resilient future. It increasingly empowers citizens around the world to become part of the development of their own cities, especially in those places where this knowledge is needed most. Therefore, the course is inclusive for every individual interested in the planning, construction, redevelopment and management of future cities. Learn more about it here.

Starting date: September 11, 2017

University of Zürich

Teaching Science at University

This course is for Professional graduate university science teachers – teaching staff in science faculties, PhD students in science fields, assistant professors in science fields. It will prepare you for teaching science in higher education. In this MOOC you will learn to make your knowledge as an excellent researcher accessible to your students. We will show you how to communicate science to novices as well as advanced students in science. You will experience the value of teaching with analogies and you will be guided to train your students’ competences. Learn more about it here.

Start date: September 11, 2017 

Biodiversity and Global Change: Science & Action

Participants will learn about the concept of “biodiversity science”. For instance, the importance of biodiversity will be assessed and the processes that create and maintain diversity will also be studied. Finally, the last part of the course will focus on the major threats and challenges concerning biodiversity. Learn more about it here.

Start date: August 21, 2017


Technology innovation for sustainable development

This course presents a methodology and an approach to develop impactful innovations that have the power to foster sustainable development. Learn more about it here.

Start date: Self-paced, Current 

Micro and nano-fabrications (MEMS)

Learn the fundamentals of microfabrication and nanofabrication by using the most effective techniques in a cleanroom environment. In this engineering course, instructors will go a step beyond classroom teaching to not only explain the basics of each fabrication step but also show you how it’s done through video sequences and zooming into the equipment. Learn more about it here.

Start date: September 18, 2017, self-paced 

University of Lausanne

Doping: Sports, Organizations & Sciences

The objective of this course is to encourage a critical understanding of doping. To achieve this goal, this course will rely on a multidisciplinary approach that allow you to see how different disciplines get into a single object, in different perspectives and in often complementary ways. Learn more about it here.

Start date: August 14, 2017 

Unethical Decision Making in Organizations

This course aims to answer several questions, including: Why do good people sometimes make unethical decisions in Organizations? How can we protect ourselves or our organizations against that? Learn more about it here.

Starting date: August 21, 2017

University of Geneva

Particle Physics: An introduction

This course introduces you to subatomic physics, i.e. the physics of nuclei and particles and aimed at people who have a basic education in physics, especially classical mechanics and electrodynamics. Learn more about it here.

Start date: August 21, 2017

Ecosystem Services: a Method for Sustainable Development

This MOOC will cover scientific (technical), economic, and socio-political dimensions of the concept through a mix of theory, case-studies, interviews with specialists and a serious-game. Learn more about it here.

Start date: August 21, 2017

Simulation and modeling of natural processes

This course gives an introduction to modeling methods and simulation tools for a wide range of natural phenomena. The different methodologies that will be presented here can be applied to a very wide range of topics such as fluid motion, stellar dynamics, population evolution. Learn more about it here.

Start date: August 22, 2017

University of Lugano

Enroll in the first MOOC produced by the Institute of Italian Studies at USI and dedicated to the Divina Commedia, entitled ‘From time to eternity. An introduction to Dante’s Commedia’. The course will be available online (in Italian) free of charge from March 21st, 2016, for a full year. Learn more about it here.

Starting date: Self-paced, current

University of Basel

One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

This course presents the concept of One Earth, a programme that suggests solutions to the current health challenges, in particular with respect to disease prevention and control. It also explores the interconnection between public health policies and animal welfare measures. Learn more about it here.

Starting date: September 25, 2017

Exploring Possible Futures: Modeling in Environmental and Energy Economics

This course will be aimed at determining how the future cities will look like and in what extent humans contribute to climate change. Answers will be found through the use of economic modeling and also the development by participants of a new economic model. Learn more about it here.

Starting date: To be announced


* The access to the courses mentioned above are free. However, the payment of a small fee is required if the participant is willing to receive a diploma certifying his/her participation to the course.