What is Udemy?

What is Udemy? All the details

So, what is Udemy exactly? Udemy is an online course provider.

This article will take a closer look at the online training provider, to see what they have to offer and how it works.

The comments in this article apply to Business English courses and general English courses.


udemy courses what is udemy

Udemy was formed in 2010 and is one of the online course providers who has stood the test of time. At the time of writing, a total of 20 thousand trainers created 45 thousand courses for 15 million students. Those are impressive figures.

Further information on the history of Udemy can be found on their Wikipedia page.


The main format for Udemy courses is video-on-demand. For new courses, a minimum of 720p is required, with 1080p being preferred. The quality requirements are high – it’s not possible to upload any old rubbish and wait for the cash to arrive.

The stated Udemy aim is to put the student first. This is apparent if you take any of their courses.

Browsing and/or searching for a suitable course is very intuitive. You can view the course syllabus, watch the promotional video and even try out a free module of two before deciding to purchase. You can also view the comments and ratings from students who have already started the course.

Once you have found a course, the navigation is a breeze.

The trainer can include quizzes after the lesson and also provide downloadable resources. You can also ask the trainer questions, which will usually be answered within 24 hours. These questions and answers are available to anyone taking the course.

A word of warning

Because the system has been around for a relatively long time, there is a danger that a particular course has been ‘abandoned’ by the author. It is annoying to get part way through a course and get stuck, only to then realise that there are lots of questions similar to yours and that the last one was answered over three years ago (true story, not made up).

So before deciding to commit to a course, I would recommend checking out the Q&A part and just make sure that the trainer is (still) active.

What is Udemy support like?

Thankfully, the staff at Udemy are very helpful and it is always possible to upload test videos for evaluation. The resulting critique is very constructive and extremely helpful. Potential trainers can even access free courses from Udemy themselves. I have taken these courses and they are very good.

In fact, you need to pass an evaluation phase before you can publish a course, which then requires further approval before being made available.

There is also a very supportive Facebook group for Udemy, where test videos can be viewed and discussed by other members.


All of the courses offer lifetime access, so you come back and review the course material again any time you need to.

what is udemy - course navigation

This image shows the control options for the videos. There is direct access to the Q&A for the video, you can adjust the sound and video quality, change to full-screen mode and move to any point in the video.

Another feature that I really like is the ability to change the playback speed. You can set the playback speed from half to double in small steps. The image above shows that it is set to run at 1.25 times the normal speed.


There are free courses and paid courses, with many of the paid courses around the $15-$25 range.

There is no limit to the number of free courses you can take, so take advantage of this and try some out. If you find a trainer that you like, then by all means, look at his or her paid courses. There is a 30-day refund policy, so if you really don’t like a course, there is this fallback.

Important update: from time to time, Udemy will run promotions and special offers. I’ve listed them all on this page, to keep everything tidy and convenient.

What is Udemy? – Summary

The following figures are correct at the time of writing.

  • Formed: 2010
  • Students: 15 million
  • Trainers: 20 thousand
  • Courses: 45 thousand
  • Free Courses: yes
  • Paid Courses: yes

Udemy is a great platform for anyone wanting to learn something on a low budget. If you like the look of this, feel free to give Udemy a try.

If you already use the site, please comment below.

what is udemy - start learning today


20 thoughts on “What is Udemy?”

  1. Hey Derek, I’ve heard of Udemy before but wasn’t sure about it.

    I knew it was popular but I didn’t think it was worth my time to check it out. I’m grateful for your post, those figures are solid and the entire idea seems interesting, not to mention free courses !

    I’ve changed my mind and will check it out soon. Maybe even take 1 or 2 free courses just to have a look at the quality of the material 😀

  2. Hi Derek,
    Great review! I have known about Udemy for a while and have browsed through it but haven’t actually taken any courses.
    I was thinking of becoming an affiliate and promoting some of the courses but I wasn’t sure how many people use the platforms. Now thanks to your review I know it has a lot of users.
    Thanks again!

  3. I am not familiar with Udemy, but then again it was founded far too recently compared to when I first came to UK to learn English (1993 was the day!!). I’d say that the price is very reasonable, but what I am not clear about is whether each course is made of multiple lessons. In other words, Derek, is the $15 per lesson or per set of lessons to form a course?
    Thank you.

  4. Hi Derek,
    Thanks for your helpful review. I’ve heard of Udemy but never thought of joining it. After reading your review it enticed me to join it and have a look around. I’m sure I’ll find some courses which will be useful for me.

  5. Thanks for this informative post. I used to think to join but I didn’t make it. It’s good to know about the abandoned courses part. Great.

  6. I know of a lot of people who use this platform. They love it. Thanks for your review and I agree about abandoned courses, it’s a shame they don’t check for deadwood more often like Google does.
    Thanks for this.

  7. Hi Derek
    Yes Udemy is great but in fact there are many courses abandoned. I bough a PPC course in Udemy last year and like you said i ask a question and never had an answer. But it’s a great place to learn anything you want, there is millions of courses.
    Great review, well done


    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. I think we will start seeing more abandoned courses, which is a pity. If it starts to be too much, I’m sure Udemy will start weeding them out.

  8. I always see ads for Udemy on my Facebook wall and always wondered what it was. I’ve done a little exploring and the prices of some of their courses are really good, especially where I live and the exchange rate. I’ve never taken a course though. One question. Do the courses go in depth into the topics or courses or are they surface level material?

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Thanks for your comment. When you’re searching for courses, you can also filter by difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced). I would tend to think that the beginner courses are the ones to choose if you want an overview. Choose advanced for a more in-depth look. Also, you can check the course syllabus and see exactly what is covered.

  9. Great review, Derek, I’ve heard about Udemy before but it is the first time I actually read a review about it. I think it’s awesome that the number of free courses is unlimited and the lifetime access is another huge advantage.
    I also took a tour of their site and was surprised to find out that their platform is multilingual.
    Thank you for sharing this,

  10. I’m doing a nice course on Udemy. A web development course… I’m not sure how I managed to have 95% discount on that, perhaps it’s a standard discount they make for the first course?

    Anyways, it’s very complete and I’m liking it. A tip I can give is to make sure seeing the reviews of the course and make a bit of research before buying it. As anyone can make a course, could be just a click bait.

    1. Hi Andre,
      Thanks for the tip about research. Good idea.
      I think there is very little click-bait there, as each course needs to be approved, but I guess some will fall through the cracks?

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