Skip to main content
E-Learning Platforms Last update: May 15, 2024

edX Review: Is it Worth it?

Best for Verified Certificates

Starting from

$50 USD

Best for

  • Free Courses & Programs
  • Verified Certificates
Photo of Catherine Cooke

Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

edX is an online learning platform best known for offering a wide variety of courses, from free courses to full degrees. It was founded in 2012 by professors from Harvard and MIT as an experiment to make the world’s best education. Its courses and programs are designed in partnership with top Universities and Organizations to help learners launch and excel their careers.

To make sure this edX review is informative and helpful, I’ve taken time thoroughly researching edX courses and programs, instructors, pricing, refund policies, and examined feedback from edX users. Furthermore, my Master’s in Teaching and Education and years of experience of using online learning platforms, has equipped me to creating this well-rounded review.

If you have the time, please stick around whilst we delve a little deeper into this detailed edX review.

edX Summary

edx is an online platform that collaborates with top Universities and Organizations providing a diverse range of courses and learning programs. It covers a wide range of topics such as Computer Science, Language, Data Science, Business & Management, Engineering, Humanities and more.

The platform’s courses and programs are often instructor-led and come with designated start and end dates. Many of its courses you can access for free following the Audit Track, but this will come with certain limitations, and you won’t get access to all the features. Alternatively, you can pay for the course opting for the verified track, which means you’ll receive a certificate upon completion and access to graded assignments and exams. edX also offers a plan for businesses, which are custom-curated and tailored to the specific needs of your team or organization.

With edX, each course or program is individually paid for, there are no subscription plans available, and if you do change your mind, a 14-day refund policy is available. A great way to get started with the platform is by checking out one of its free courses.

Visit edX

Pros & Cons

Pros

Free Courses

edX gives you the option to audit the course, which means to learn for free. This grants you temporary access to the course materials, but it will mean you won’t earn a certificate or graded assignments. If you change your mind, you’ll have the option to upgrade to a paid version.

Verified Certificates

When you successfully complete a course or program, you’ll receive a verified certificate.

Partnerships

Courses are partnered with prestigious organizations, universities and companies like Harvard, Berkeley and Microsoft.

Learning Programs

edX offers a wide variety of different courses, learning programs and degrees, to help upskill all learners.

Refund Policy

If you decide within 14 days of purchasing a verified course or program that you don’t want to continue, edX will give you a full refund.

Variety of Learning

edX offers a wide variety of different courses, learning programs and degrees, to help upskill all learners.

Cons

Limited Interaction

Many courses and programs don’t offer personalized feedback from instructors. This is something to consider if you are looking for this.

Limited Topics

edX specializes in higher education and the sciences, so you won’t find all the topics like (e.g. baking or filmmaking). Alternatively, if you looking for a broader range of creative topics, check out Skillshare or Udemy.

Inconsistency

As edX courses and programs are built in collaboration with its partners, you may find some lack structure or don’t follow a consistent framework.

edX User Reviews

5 reviews

3.8
  • Ashley

    19 May 2024, 04:40

    4.0

    I've had a great experience with edX! I took the Data Analysis course from Harvard and really enjoyed it. The platform is user-friendly, but I wish the mobile app were a bit more polished.

  • Anna

    15 May 2024, 09:23

    5.0

    I've been with edX for a few months and it's fantastic! The courses are well-structured and the flexibility lets me manage my own learning pace perfectly. Highly recommend it if you're looking to learn something new on your own terms.

  • Jessie

    15 May 2024, 09:21

    2.0

    I've completed a couple of courses on edX. The material is comprehensive, but if you run into problems, the support team can be slow to respond. It's fine if you can figure things out on your own.

  • Louise

    15 May 2024, 09:20

    5.0

    edX has a wide range of courses that are easy to follow and genuinely useful. I just finished a course in Project Management, and it's already making a difference at work.

  • John

    15 May 2024, 09:19

    3.0

    The content on edX is good, but navigating the site can be frustrating sometimes. Some updates and a more user-friendly interface would make a big difference.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rating*

Who is edX For?

You may be asking yourself, Is edX right for me?

That’s a hard one to answer, especially depending on your goals, budget and time commitment. Saying that, edX does offer a wide range of courses and learning programs, so there is a big chance there is something for you.

edX Explore all Courses
edX Explore all Courses

Courses

edX offers individual courses, which cover just one topic in detail, and when you successfully complete it you’ll earn a verified certificate.

XSeries

This is normally a group of 3 or more courses that explore a certain skill or topic. The majority of these programs are offered by University partners.

Professional Certificate Program

These programs focus on career development and are corporate-sponsored, that are grouped into 3 or more courses and advance as you progress.

MicroBachelors Program

These are a series of 3 to 5 courses that are designed to help you be job ready. On top of that, after completing these courses, you can opt to earn undergraduate credit.

MicroMasters Program

A series of 3 or more graduate level courses, that are offered by top Universities and sponsored by industry partners. Some of these programs may give you the opportunity to transfer course credit to continue into an on-campus Master’s Degree program.

Online Master’s Degree

Its online master’s degrees are delivered by top Universities, hen you successfully complete one you’ll receive a diploma which is the same as on campus student would receive.

Boot Camps and Executive Education

All Boot Camps and Executive courses are delivered on its partner sites, when you successfully complete one you’ll earn a certificate from the partner, not edX.

Getting Started on edX

When you land, on edX’s homepage, you navigate to its top courses. Its main course subjects are Data Science, Computer Science, Business, Engineering, Design and much more.

edX Explore top courses
edX Explore top courses

edX is a platform that offers a wide variety of courses and programs, there is a high chance you’ll find something that interests you. Its important to be aware that learning with edX, is for serious learning and to be taken seriously.

In short, edX is good for:

  • Professionals looking to gain skills
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Verified certificates to add to their academic or professional portfolios
  • Gain knowledge to advance on your careers
  • Individuals looking for affordable courses

Remember that edX certificates are verified and are likely to be recognized by future employers.

edX for Business

edX doesn’t only offer plans for individuals, it has plans for Businesses. edX for Business customizes plans to upskill and train your employees. As all its learning pathways are curated for each business and team, sadly it has no indication of pricing. It has worked with well recognized companies like Mercedes-Benz, Goldman Sachs and Hilton.

edX For Business
edX For Business

edX for Business offers thousands of courses from world-class content that are informed by science to motivate and engage learners to maximize learning. The administration and learner dashboards provide insight into learner progress while services are available to solve employee skill gaps.

Try edX For Business

How Much is edX?

edX offers an array of courses with different pricing that reflects the type, of course. If you are looking to ‘Pursue the Verified track’ (paid option) the price range is usually between $50 to $300 USD, cheaper if you compare it to a Full Master’s degree which can be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 USD. I speak a little more in-depth about the other professional education courses that edX offers below.

Pursue the Verified track’ is the paid option in which (see image below) you will have access to all course material, graded assignments and awarded a verified certificate on successful completion of the course.

edX Verified Track
edX Verified Track

Choose How To Enrol on an edX course

  1. If you choose to Audit this course, you will learn for free but won’t have access to all the course material, and won’t earn a verified certificate when you complete the course.
  2. Whereas, if you opt to ‘Pursue the Verified track’ you will have access to all the course material and earn your verified certificate.

Cost of edX Learning Programs

  • Master’s Degree: A verified program from some of the world’s top universities – $10,000 to $25,000 USD
  • MicroMasters: Equivalent to 25-50% of a Master’s degree that is powerful to fast track your career – $600 to $1,500 USD
  • MicroBachelors Programs: Designed for adult learners with some or no college experience looking to progress in their education – $500 to $1,500 USD
  • Professional Certificate Programs: Critical skills for a particular career path (e.g. Microsoft) created by industry leaders – $150 to $1,000 USD
  • Global Freshman Academy: Learners to earn full college credit for freshman year, also can opt to take individual courses for credit and transfer to another institution – Approximately $200 USD a credit

How To Open an edX Account?

The registration process for edX is super easy. The design and layout of its platform are clean and intuitive. I will outline here the steps taken to register:

  1. Open a browser and visit edx.org
  2. Click Register for free in the top-right corner
  3. Or Register with Apple, Facebook, Google or Microsoft
  4. Add your Full name, Email, Public username, Password and Country/Region
  5. Click Create an account for free
edX Registration
edX Registration

Once you have created your account and all signed in you can click on Explore Courses and begin checking out what edX offers.

You can then begin to by checking out either the Courses or Programs & Degrees. There is a big pool of courses/programs to choose from it will be difficult to get bored.

edX Courses & Programs
edX Courses & Programs

If you are looking to refine your search further, you can use the filters like Subject, Partner, Program, Level, Language, Availability and Learning Type.

edX Filters
edX Filters

edX Customer Reviews

To provide a comprehensive perspective in this edX review, I’ve delved into customer feedback from two review sites: Trustpilot and Sitejabber. This approach enables us to gather insights from a diverse range of users and gain a deeper understanding of their experiences with the platform.

When analyzing Trustpilot data, from 1,291 users that covers that 1-5 star ratings. We found the majority of users, 69% to be accurate awarded the platform with a 5-star rating, while only 8% opted for a 1-star rating. At Sitejabber, feedback was only taken from 6 users, so although it’s a small amount, I wanted to include it in this study, that left edX with an overall rating of 4.17 out of 5 stars.

Rating Trustpilot Sitejabber
5-star 69% 4
4-star 16% 1
3-star 4% 0
2-star 3% 0
1-star 8% 1
Overall 2.6 out of 5 stars 4.17 out of 5 stars

Data gathered on 11/09/2023

As I delved into the 5-star reviews, I found many customers were happy with the quality of learning, course partnerships and customer services. “I always wanted to study with Harvard and Cambridge…so it was a great opportunity to experience their teaching too…Kind and helpful customer service too” a happy five-star reviewer said.

On the downside, many of the 1-star reviews were disappointed in the teaching quality, customer service, bad user experience. “Teacher was impatient with students and unprepared to start the course” an unhappy one-star reviewer said.

7 Tips To Find The Perfect edX Course

If you are feeling a little hesitant about which course is the right one for you – Do not fear. I thought it would be helpful to put together some helpful tips to help you choose the right course.

Search and filter

A very helpful feature is the use of the filters in the search bar. If you have a topic or area you want to search for, you then have the option to narrow down your search by selecting the following filters like Subject, Partner, Program, Level, Language, Availability and Learning Type. This can save some time if you already have an idea of what you are looking for

edX Search Catalog
edX Search Catalog

Course syllabus

A clear breakdown of what topics to expect each week during the course. This gives you a broad overview of the course as a whole and highlights what will be covered and when.

edX Syllabus
edX Syllabus

Audit Course

When you enrol in a course on edX, you are given two learning options. One is to Pursue the Verified Track (paid option) and the other one Audit the Course. If you choose the latter you are opting to learn for free, which means you won’t have access to all the learning material and at the end of the course you will not be able to earn a verified certificate.

edX Audit this Course
edX Audit this Course

However, checking out the course for free may be an excellent way to decide if it’s right for you (and pay for the full access later on).

Learner testimonials

At the end of every ‘About the course’ section, you will find ‘Learner testimonials’. These testimonials give you first-hand feedback on what the experience was like for others. However, there are minimal testimonials and I have only found a maximum of 2 testimonials per course. A more extensive range of testimonials would be more insightful.

edX Learner testimonials
edX Learner testimonials

Verified Certificate

The majority of edX courses offer verified certificates for a fee (assuming you successfully complete the course), this cost varies depending on the course. Every official and verified certificate will be signed by the instructor and have the partnered institution’s logo to prove your achievement. The certificates will require you to confirm your identity before you can receive it.

edX Verified Certificate
edX Verified Certificate

Your verified certificate can be connected to your Linkedin profile and your achievement added to your CV which can help to improve your job prospects.

Meet your instructors

Included in each course description is a ‘Meet your instructors’ section which will take you to a small blurb about his or her prior experience and social links. It also highlights their areas of expertise which I think is a really nice touch and helps you get a better idea of the instructor’s specialised areas.

edX Meet the Instructors
edX Meet the Instructors

This is super helpful for you to know more about who will be teaching the course and gives you insight into the way the course will be taught. Check out if you like how it sounds.

Schools and Partners

edX courses are created by one of their 250+ prestigious partnered institutions. If it is important for you to study with a particular school or partner, you have the option to view all the institutions that are partnered with edX here. You can then choose your preferred institution and start to browse all the online courses that they specifically offer.

edX Schools and Partners
edX Schools and Partners

edX regularly partners with different types of organizations from all around the world from academic institutions to non-profit institutions or national governments and more. If there is a strong mission alignment with edX, they welcome you to get in touch to offer courses and programs.

edX In Detail

Criteria

Comment

Ease of Use ?

4

To register for an edX account you’ll only need to add your full name, email and create a public username and password, then select your country of residence and your account will be created. Keep in mind that your full name is what will appear on the certificates that you earn.

The design and layout of its platform is intuitive and well organised. I particularly like how easy it is to navigate around the courses and how the partner list is easy to find.

Convenience ?

4

edX courses offer a mix of self-paced or instructor-paced classes. Instructor-paced courses will follow a set schedule and the course material comes available at specific times. In contrast, self-paced courses do not follow a set timeframe and all course material is available as soon as you start the course.

Many of its courses offer downloadable videos and transcripts which you can view offline. This makes it really convenient if you are taking a flight or somewhere without an internet connection.

Available Platforms

5

edX can be accessed with a laptop, desktop, tablet and a smartphone.

The edX app has a 4.7 rating with both Android and Apple.

Certifications ?

edX offers verified certificates on its courses, which can be added to your CV and posted on your LinkedIn profile for future employees to see. All course material is created by its partnered institution.

edX offers other professional education courses like the Master’s Degree, MicroMasters, MicroBachelors Programs, Professional Certificate Programs and Global Freshman Academy.

Categories ?

4

edX offers 4,200+ courses that are created by their professional partners and taught by experienced instructors.

It offers courses and programs across a wide range of topics from Architecture, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Business Communications, Computer Programming, Data Analysis, Design, Economics, Education, Electronics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Nutrition, Healthcare, History, Humanities, Language, Law, Literature, Math, Medicine, Physics, Science, Social Science. Within these topics are a big pool of subtopics, so learners can discover new interests or advance career opportunities.

edX’s most popular courses are computer science, biology, engineering, architecture and data science.

edX is a platform for high-quality learning – if you are willing to commit and work hard then edX is definitely worth it.

Free Courses

5

By opting for the Audit this course then you will be learning for free. You will be able to access the free content for the course duration. Once you have completed the course you will no longer have access.

The fact that edX offers the majority of its courses with this option means you can’t really complain.

Content Quality ?

3

Every edX course is created and taught by its partnering institutions. The partners have the freedom to create and design their courses to their views.

edX courses consist of pre-recorded videos, readings, student discussion forums, homework assignments, online quizzes and exams.

Each course will vary in duration depending on course content and professional outcome.

Languages ?

3

edX courses are mostly taught in English. Some courses are offered in other languages such as Spanish, French or Chinese with English subtitles available. When you enrol in a course, you can check the course description page to see what languages the course is offered in. edX has mentioned that they do plan to offer courses in more languages in the near future.

Instructors ?

4

Every course at edX is taught by an instructor from one of its top partnered institutions. Some of its trusted partnered institutions include Harvard, Berkeley and MIT. You can be assured that the instructors are the top experts in their field.

Course Requirements ?

4

There doesn’t seem to be formal course requirements to follow but due to the fact they are partnered with leading organizations like Harvard and MIT, you should expect top-quality content.

Course Structure ?

4

Every edX course is from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Its courses consist of weekly learning sequences that include short videos, interactive learning exercises. Courses often include tutorial videos that are similar to group discussions.

The courses which are instructor-paced have specific dates for assignments and exams and course material only becomes available at specific times as the course progresses. The course has a defined time period, such as 8 to 12 weeks.

In contrast, self-paced courses are designed so the learner can work at their own speed. All the course materials are available as soon as the course begins. The assignments and exams do not have a due date. Self-paced courses are available to complete for usually 3 to 12 months after the date the course is opened to learners.

Quizzes and Tests ?

4

edX courses have quizzes and tests. If you are taking an instructor-paced course then your exams will be on specific dates whereas a self-paced course means exams can be taken whenever during the available time the course is open.

Payments and Refunds

4

You can pay for the verified track course with a credit, debit card or PayPal. The following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. As edX is US-based, all fees are in US dollars.

edX offers a 14-day refund policy on verified track courses. It applies 14 days after purchase or 14 days after your course starts whichever comes later. Refunds are processed immediately and should be back in your original bank account within 5-10 days.

Support ?

4

edX offers help and support on its Contact Us or Help Center page. On its Contact Us page, you can submit a support request with the Course name, Subject and specific details. On the Help Center, you can search for a specific topic or search through the FAQ.

Overall Rating ?

4.2

edX is an elearning platform that offers a wide range of courses and programs, from free courses to full degree programs. It partners with 250+ top Universities and Organizations like Harvard and Google to create and teach its courses. If you aren’t ready to financially commit, then taking one of its courses in the Audit version, with the option to upgrade to the paid track to receive the verified certificate, is really appealing to many. Many of its courses and programs are instructor-led and have a start and end date, if you are someone who prefers self-paced learning, this may not be right for you.

Will edX Help My Career?

edX courses are perfect for someone who is wanting to study a higher educational program, learn new skills and knowledge with the goal of advancing in their life. If you are looking to refresh and recharge your resumé and add a verified certificate to your LinkedIn profile, then it really is a no-brainer.

edX Verified Certificate
edX Verified Certificate


The verified certificate from edX will provide proof to a future employee, job promotion or a college application that you have successfully completed the course. The course will include your name, institution’s name and logo, edX logo, course title and professors’ signatures and names who taught the course.

Keep in mind that before receiving your edX certificate you will be required to verify your identity.

Is edX Legit?

A common theme for many when they are considering an elearning platform is: Is this elearning platform legit?

edX was founded in 2012 by professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. It is a non-profit organization that has had so far over 34+ million global learners. edX partners with 140+ prestigious institutions from around the world.

edX also has the Open edX project that is its web based platform. It has been developed by edX and in collaboration with top universities, technology partners and research centers. It can be used on your own server to support as many number of learners as you want. It can support degree programs, online campus and instructor and self-paced courses. Open edX is for elearning on any scale, any content or any device.

To reiterate, edX is completely safe and legit, you won’t be conned.

Partnering with edX

edX partners are a variety of organizations from academic institutions, non-profit institutions, national governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations.

If you’re seeking to partner with edX, there are a few critical points to be aware of;

  1. In-demand course content: Your content must be fitting with edX’s platform and of interest to its learners.
  2. One-time financial contribution: You will recieve the services and benefits that edX provides for your support fee.

Before deciding to partner with edX, I thought it would be helpful to point out some of the pros and cons.

Some of the pros are;

Working alongside world-famous institutions, the cream of the crop.

edX offers partners technical, marketing and educational support.

Partner with receive a percentage of the revenue generated by the course.

On the other hand, the cons are;

The one-time financial contribution may need to be rethought in the future to maintain the volume and quality of its courses.

Partners will be solely responsible for creating strategic and in-demand content.

Become an edX Partner

edX Conclusion

In summary, here is why edX could be the right fit for you.

If your goal is to deepen your knowledge or enhance your skills with a course or learning program that may be recognized by future employers, then edX is a platform to consider. edX partners with globally recognized Universities and Companies to offer courses and programs.

However, if you’re looking for a more learning experience, where you don’t need a verified certificate or any formal accreditation, then it may be worth checking out MasterClass or Skillshare.

What makes edX stand out:

  • Verified Certificates
  • Partnerships with Prestigious Universities and Organizations
  • Top-notch instructors
  • Engaging and Interactive online courses
  • Self-paced and instructor-paced courses

edX Alternatives

Coursera

Accredited Certificates

4.8

Udacity

Best For Career Services

4.6

DataCamp

Best For Data Skills

4.5

Coursera: offers over 5,800+ courses, specializations and degree programs. It collaborates with top Universities and Organizations and when you successfully complete a course or program, you’ll receive a verified certificate.

Udacity: offers just under 100 Nanodegree programs and a bunch of free individual courses. Its programs are focused on gaining skills for careers in the tech and business industry and taught by experienced Industry specialists.

Datacamp: specializes in topics on data science and analytics, that are interactive and engaging. It offers subscription plans for individuals and teams that give you full access to the platform.

FAQs

Yes, edX is worth it. Its courses and certificates are designed in partnership with top Universities like Harvard and Berkeley, so you be reassured they are of the highest quality. In addition, you can access many of its courses for free, so it’s definitely worth giving the platform a try.