Short courses


Global Prosperity Beyond GDP

  • 2 hours per week
  • 4 weeks


In this free online four-week course you'll explore alternatives to gross domestic product (GDP) for defining and measuring success for society.

You'll learn about and discuss new tools and new ways of thinking to tackle the challenges of today and ensure a successful and prosperous future for everyone.

You'll look at how we can build an economy that works better for people and the planet, by focusing on prosperity, not wealth.

The aim of the course is to inspire students, entrepreneurs, and citizens with a positive picture of what we are capable of with just a little bit of re-direction.

This is a FutureLearn MOOC (massive open online course), created in partnership with UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP).

Course content 

You'll learn about:

  • how GDP came to be the dominant indicator of success
  • problems caused by this dominance of GDP
  • alternative ways of measuring progress
  • the latest research on prosperity from the IGP
  • changes that can be made to build an economy that works better for people and the planet

Teaching and structure

This online course runs over four weeks. You should expect to spend two hours a week studying.

You'll learn though:

  • watching videos
  • reading articles
  • taking part in discussions

Who the course is for

Anyone can take this course. No prior knowledge of the subject is needed.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • justify the need for a re-examination of the way we look at economics, and the role it plays in guiding society
  • gain an understanding of the origins of GDP and the context from which it emerged
  • recognise the potential for building a new economy that works better for people and the planet
  • gain an understanding of new approaches to measuring success
  • describe what a framework of change is, and why they exist


You can buy a FutureLearn Certificate of Achievement once you've completed 90% of the learning activities.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 15:59