Skip to main content

Activism and Advocacy Courses

​​Why study activism

Activists work for political, social, economic, or environmental reform. Advocacy for change requires commitment, knowledge, and experience. Forms of activism include a range of activities such as petitioning or writing letters, organizing, running or contributing to political campaigns, and demonstrations. The activist community can also contribute art, music, writing, and other creative activities to the cause. Even choosing where to spend money can contribute to activist causes and inspire social change.

Social movements cover many causes, but understanding the roots of activism from direct action to economic contributions can provide insight into how change happens. Championing human rights, climate change, or social justice requires a commitment to follow through, and things we take for granted today were once someone's grassroots movement. 

Learn what activism takes with edX

The edX platform offers online courses from leading institutions around the globe. Students gain unprecedented access to a quality education wherever they are and whenever their schedule allows. Many courses are available for free for students who want to explore and learn for fun, but participants can also choose accredited tracks for professional growth.

edX offers single courses in many different subjects, including activism, s well as certificate and professional series choices. Micro-degrees offer students training in niche subjects that they can apply directly to their career, or participants can take advantage of full master's degrees for advanced education needs.

Activism courses and certificates

Unpacking Activism from DavidsonX offers students a foundational understanding of the different forms of activism. Learners will understand how to critically engage with activist causes and reflect on the responsibility to the community.

The Psychology of Political Activism: Women Changing the World from Smith College is another choice. This case study based course looks at nine women activists involved in the civil rights movement, LGBTQ movement, and the reproductive rights movement, among others, and learn what psychological theories contribute to these activists and their choices.

Getting involved in making a change

21st-century challenges require social activism grounded in a sense of history and cultural understanding. edX gives students opportunities to study past movements like the sit-ins during the Civil Rights era and apply those lessons to new movements today. Whether students are interested in environmental activism, women's rights, political lobbying, or championing something close to home, edX provides courses that can open doors.

Participants can build skills to work with activist groups or start movements of their own to address causes they're drawn to. The definition of activism is creating change, and there are always opportunities to make local communities and the world a better place.