What is a MOOC ?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses that anybody can take, and those who complete the course can earn an official certificate for a fee. Top universities around the world offer MOOCs, and the total number of registered learners on the Coursera and edX platforms has reached more than 130 million. Along with self improvement, learners are using MOOCs to improve their professional skills, and the individually validated certificates are helping learners advance in the workplace and make career changes.

Featured Courses


Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 1

Tokyo emerged out of the ruins of war to become a large city of 10 million people in only a quarter of a century. During this process of change, the capital of a military empire that once invaded East Asia experienced occupation by the U.S. armed forces, hosted the Olympic Games, and transformed into a consumer hub where young people could enjoy economic “wealth.” It is important to know that this process was recorded in countless photographs, documentary films, TV programs, and so on. We will retrieve many of these archived pictures and videos and analyze what happened in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives. In Part 1, you will look at the changes that occurred in postwar Tokyo over a quarter of a century from four different perspectives: 1) occupation and Americanism; 2) imperial gaze and royal wedding; 3) The Olympic city; and 4) economic-cultural clash in Shinjuku. This examination of urban history will provide you with the insights necessary when considering changes in other large cities in Asia, such as Seoul, Beijing, and Bangkok, at the end of the twentieth century.

YOSHIMI Shunya (Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo)


Transnational Studies - Japan and the World

The contemporary world is marked by a curious state of tension. On the one hand, it is deeply globalized, with goods, people, culture and ideas circulating across borders on an unprecedented scale. Neither can two of the major crises we are facing, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, be contained on the level of individual states. Yet, nation states are still the most powerful political entities in the world, and nationalism is resurging, mobilizing the imagination and aspirations of people everywhere. Academic knowledge, too, is still often aligned with national borders and categories. Transnational studies is an interdisciplinary field that lives in the interstices of this tension. It reflects on why the “nation” has come to have such a powerful grip on the human imagination and social organization. It offers approaches that follow the historical and contemporary movement of ideas, things, people and practices beyond (= “trans”) national borders, explores how they are transformed along the way, and analyzes what enables and limits these movements. In this course, you will gain foundational knowledge about how to think transnationally. An initial module which introduces key concepts and approaches in transnational studies will be followed by four modules that use concrete case studies centered on Japan to spotlight how the transnational can be fruitfully employed across different disciplines, from history to sustainability studies. In doing so, the course offers foundational knowledge in how to navigate the complexities of our globalized world.

Michael FACIUS (Associate Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) Hannah DAHLBERG-DODD (Project Assistant Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) HANEDA Masashi (Project Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) Marcin Pawel Jarzebski (Project Assistant Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo)


Let’s Read! Learning Japanese through Science & Technology-2

This is the second part of our Japanese language learning courses. It focuses on improving Japanese reading comprehension through vocabulary and expressions retention, with a theme of Science and Engineering research at the University of Tokyo. In addition to reading, illustration videos and interview videos allow you to practise "listening" and "writing" skills. You can also broaden and deepen your knowledge in the related areas.

FURUICHI Yumiko (Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)


Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Structures

Knowing the geometrical structure of the molecules around us is one of the most important and fundamental issues in the field of chemistry. This course introduces the two primary methods used to determine the geometrical structure of molecules: molecular spectroscopy and gas electron diffraction. In molecular spectroscopy, molecules are irradiated with light or electric waves to reveal rich information, including: Motions of electrons within a molecule (Week 1), Vibrational motions of the nuclei within a molecule (Week 2), and Rotational motions of a molecule (Week 3). In the gas electron diffraction method, molecules are irradiated with an accelerated electron beam. As the beam is scattered by the nuclei within the molecule, the scattered waves interfere with each other to generate a diffraction pattern. In week 4, we study the fundamental mechanism of electron scattering and how the resulting diffraction images reveal the geometrical structure of molecules. By the end of the course, you will be able to understand molecular vibration plays an important role in determining the geometrical structure of molecules and gain a fuller understanding of molecular structure from the information obtained by the two methodologies.

YAMANOUCHI Kaoru (Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo)

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