"This post includes affiliate links for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase."

Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebook


Shakespeare, often regarded as the greatest playwright in history, is known for his brilliant and timeless works. His plays have been performed for centuries, and his influence on literature and theater cannot be overstated. Whether you’re a literature enthusiast, a student, or a theater lover, studying Shakespeare can be an enriching and rewarding experience. If you’re looking for a convenient way to learn more about Shakespeare’s works, online courses and certifications can provide a comprehensive and accessible learning experience. In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best Shakespeare courses and certifications available online, offering you the opportunity to delve into his world and gain a deeper understanding of his timeless works.

1. Shakespeare’s Plays: Explore and Create

This online course offered by the University of Birmingham provides a unique opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s plays through a creative lens. By examining the themes, language, and characters, you’ll gain insights into the process of creating and staging plays. The course also encourages you to create your own scenes, allowing you to truly engage with Shakespeare’s works.

2. Shakespeare and His World

If you’re interested in understanding the historical context surrounding Shakespeare’s plays, this course by the University of Warwick is an excellent choice. It delves into the society and culture of Elizabethan England to provide a deeper appreciation of Shakespeare’s works. By examining the social, political, and religious influences of the time, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the playwright’s world.

3. Shakespeare’s Life and Work

Offered by the University of Oxford, this course explores not only Shakespeare’s plays but also his life, making it ideal for those interested in learning about the man behind the words. From his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon to his journey through the theater world, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the context in which he wrote his masterpieces.

4. Approaching Shakespeare

For those new to Shakespeare, this course by the University of Oxford provides a solid foundational understanding of his works. By introducing key themes and concepts, the course aims to demystify some of the complexities often associated with Shakespearean literature. It’s a great starting point for anyone looking to explore Shakespeare’s plays for the first time.

5. Shakespeare and the World

This course offered by Harvard University takes a global perspective on Shakespeare’s works. By examining how his plays have been adapted and interpreted in various cultures and time periods, you’ll gain a broader understanding of Shakespeare’s universal appeal. This course is ideal for those interested in exploring the global impact of his plays.

6. Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays

If you’re already familiar with Shakespeare’s most famous works and are looking to dive deeper into his lesser-known plays, this course by Yale University is an excellent choice. Focusing on his later works, such as “The Tempest” and “Cymbeline,” this course will expand your knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare’s entire body of work.

7. Shakespeare in Community

This course offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison takes a unique approach by exploring Shakespeare’s plays in the context of community engagement and performance. By examining how his works can be used to promote dialogue and understanding within communities, this course offers a fresh perspective on the enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s plays.

8. Hamlet’s Ghost: Modernity and the Uncanny

This course by Princeton University focuses specifically on Shakespeare’s masterpiece “Hamlet” and its uncanny themes. By examining how the play explores concepts of modernity, time, and self, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and enduring appeal of this iconic tragedy.

9. Shakespeare’s Othello: The Moor

For those interested in Shakespeare’s exploration of race and identity, this course offered by the University of California, Santa Cruz is a compelling choice. By studying “Othello,” you’ll gain insights into how Shakespeare represents the Moor and the themes of jealousy, power, and discrimination within the play.

10. In the Steps of Shakespeare: Investigating the Presence of the Bard

This course offered by the University of Southampton takes a different approach to understanding Shakespeare by exploring his physical presence and impact in various locations across England. By examining his birthplace, theaters, and burial place, you’ll gain a unique perspective on the legacy and influence of this literary giant.


Studying Shakespeare offers a profound and rewarding experience for anyone interested in literature, theater, or history. Whether you’re a beginner or already have a deep appreciation for his works, online courses and certifications can provide a comprehensive and convenient way to engage with Shakespeare’s plays. From exploring his life and historical context to analyzing the key themes and characters, these courses offer a wealth of knowledge and insight. So why not embark on a journey through the world of Shakespeare? Enroll in one of these top 10 online courses and certifications, and unlock the timeless wisdom and brilliance of the greatest playwright in history.