UCL’s Digital Business Academy MOOCs making waves

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TechCrunch recently picked up and published stats on the new “Digital Business Academy” which was created by Tech City and is powered by course materials from University College London. According to the article over 12,000 students have registered for the free courses which are aimed to provide business skills to those who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and business. From the piece,

Arrayed under the banner of the Digital Business Academy, the tech-industry backed initiative has deliberated focused on teaching non-technical business skills, such as marketing, rather than addressing core programming — aiming to avoid overlapping with organizations and businesses that are focused on the latter area.

The Academy started out offering eight free online courses covering a range of skills areas — from setting up a startup, to sizing an idea, developing and managing digital products, making a marketing plan and understanding business finance.

What it doesn’t mention is that the slick platform is built on the Moodle LMS.

In addition to content the platform also offers student completers a host of prizes and rewards which can be earned by completing the courses, including space at a coworking space, fast track to internship opportunities, mentorship and coaching, additional training and much more. Check out the full list of perks and rewards students can earn just by completing free courses:

Note that registration requires a UK zip code at this time. Register at

Check out the screenshots below for a tour of a course.

Hat tip to Marcus Green for the lead.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Joseph,

    I was closely involved in this one. We built it at LEO Learning with UCL, it is based on the Moodle codebase implemented for UCL’s eXtend MOOC platform (obviously also Moodle based, with a Course Merchant ecommerce gateway, which I’ve demo’d widely in the past at conferences/webinars) which has been a big success for UCL. So we were delighted to build a version of this for Tech City which became the Digital Business Academy MOOC site.

    By way of clarification, the registration and profile/dashboard system is all Drupal (built very nicely by Navig8), but once you go into a Course via the SSO mechanism, then you’re in Moodle (built by UCL/LEO).

    It’s a pretty basic Moodle site, with a custom Navigation menu that has a lot of the clutter removed, other than that it’s a standard Topics course format set to display one section per page, with a progress bar on the course overview page which displays progress against all of your activities that count towards overall course completion (i.e. the mandatory activities).

    Content is built not just by by UCL but by a number of other content partners incl University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School and FounderCentric.

    So it’s a proper ‘consortium’ project, with Tech City at the head of it all. I think all partners are enjoying seeing the success it is having, it’s a pleasure to see it grow and grow! Great example of Moodle for MOOCs too 🙂

  2. Hi Joseph,

    Thanks for the piece and also thanks Mark for your comment too.

    I’m leading this project for TechCity UK – we’re looking forward to moving forward at pace with the project, expanding the use and value we are getting from Moodle.



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