When I was considering enrolling in the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme, I couldn’t find many online reviews. So, I hope this overview proves helpful to those who are considering taking this online course. Just to provide some context, I personally paid for the course and was enrolled from March to May 2022.
The Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford offers this fully online, 6-week program. The interactive online teaching platform is provided by Esme Learning, which utilizes AI technology.
Knowledgeable Course Directors
The course directors, Meltem Demirors and Martin Schmalz, were both outstanding in their roles.
Suitable for Diverse Backgrounds
Regardless of whether you have a background in crypto, finance, technology, or computer science, this course does an excellent job of bringing everyone up to speed. As someone with a medical science background, I personally needed to spend more time on the initial modules that covered banking and financial technology. However, they were presented in a way that made them easy to understand.
The course coordinators recommend allocating between 7-10 hours per week to review the course materials and complete assignments. However, I would suggest allowing a bit more time, especially during the first few weeks if you are new to fintech and cryptocurrency.
The course content primarily revolves around the history of cryptocurrencies, the development of blockchain, and the practical applications of these technologies. It’s important to note that this course does not aim to make you a blockchain developer.
The course material is presented online in a visually pleasing format. Each module includes videos from guest presenters who share intriguing insights into how blockchain technology can be utilized across various sectors. Personally, I found the presentations from Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, particularly impactful. He shed light on how blockchain technology is being used to empower refugees.
One of the standout aspects of this course is its fair and balanced approach. The content and assignments encourage you to critically analyze whether a blockchain solution is suitable and, if so, to consider the legal, ESG, and regulatory challenges involved. Many students likely realized that their personal or company projects were not economically viable after going through this appraisal. Having this skill of objective evaluation is crucial when considering blockchain applications.
Collaborative Group Work
Collaborative group work is a key component of the course. While students come from different parts of the world, each group consists of individuals in the same or similar timezones. Personally, I virtually met with my group of 5 colleagues at least once, and sometimes 2 or 3 times per week to ensure we completed assignments. An added benefit is that we have all remained in touch and some of us have even met in person.
Reliable Online Platform
The online platform associated with the program functions smoothly. It allows participants to view comments, questions, and feedback from all enrolled individuals (approximately 300) and provides a private group collaboration site for teamwork.
The course is graded on a pass/fail basis. If you pass, you receive an official certificate that is recorded on the blockchain via Creedly. Throughout the course, you will need to complete multiple-choice quizzes and individual and group assignments, which contribute to your final grade.
Value for Money
Considering the quality of the content and presenters, I believe this course provides good value overall. However, it is worth noting that it is not cheap, with a cost of £2,350 for the upcoming September enrollment. I took advantage of the early discount when I enrolled in February 2022 and managed to save several hundred pounds.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain, cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and NFTs. Personally, completing this course boosted my confidence in investing in blockchain projects, encouraged me to share more online content, and expanded my network of blockchain and web3 enthusiasts.
Do you need to take a paid course to comprehend blockchain? Absolutely not. There are plenty of incredible free resources available. However, if you are seeking a structured, community-driven learning experience accredited by a top university, then I believe this course is an excellent choice. It’s even better if your employer is willing to cover the costs!
Feel free to leave any questions about the course in the comments section below.
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