I will probably not be accepted to the Master of Cognitive Sciences program this year at a university in my country, but I don't want to lose my passion for learning and waste my time. So, I made an announcement on a website as a volunteer advertisement, as shown below:

I will probably not be accepted in the Master of Cognitive Sciences this year, so I made this announcement so that I can be aware of the courses and the educational path of this field and not miss the pleasure of learning and new job opportunities in this field.

If you are accepted in this field and want to accompany an interested person, please send me a message on the way to learning the first and second semester courses of this field.

Also, I have a Telegram group in which there are some people who are interested in learning and connecting with students from foreign universities in various fields, like the below chat (link) :

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How do I better advertise my intent to find a community for accessing the courses (without paying tuition) in my desired field of study?

What is the probability of actually finding and accessing these courses without being a student of the university? Are there any rules to be kept in mind?

Update 1:

Based of this question answer, I am trying to add more details and will answer to the below question:

  1. What is your plan for after the program finishes? Will you apply to the program again? Will you try to get jobs by claiming that you've done all this self-study?
  2. Why do you need to follow along with a particular course at all? Why not just buy some textbooks?
  3. If you succeed in connecting with a student who got admitted to a university in your field, what do you want them to do for you?

So :

1- I am working as a freelancer and studied the M.Sc. at Biomedical engineer which like continuing my academic education with is related to my job field, so I will apply for University entrance exam in the Cognitive science with my new trained wights (or will apply for another academic field exam. The reason for this action is online academic opportunity and my eagerness to be updated and connected with university and its connection (teachers, students, facilities like labs and ...).

2- As I described, the connections and facilities of university and being in an academic environment is important for me (One of our masters had said every 4 year engineering science fundamentally would change, and I have seen this in my 10 years Absenting and not being in academic programs).

3- In this connection I Hope to have access to :

  • accessing to public and predefined program contents, like course syllabus, references, power points.
  • Also, if they don't have copyright problem or ... accessing to class video recorded, but we could cover the course information on the internet source from online course equivalents like said at the Stephan Branczyk answer (Coursera, EDx, or ...).
  • And be in connection with them for team working on their exams and course experiment by our more desired field of study and courses, this features give us more access to the teachers and academic facilities and help us to newer connection and networks.
  • Also, if possible, I like to have some connection with them for reviewing the course or asking about the misunderstanding parts of courses by creating some online group like skype for some meeting at the end of weekends.


  • Per the discussion in this meta post, I have changed the close reason to "unclear what you are asking."
    – cag51
    Sep 17, 2021 at 18:09
  • Thanks, I have updated the main question and the meta question, so after around one week I will try to write one post in medium or our suggested site for documenting the procedure and I guess after that I need to find out some community or advertisement site like said at here or reddit site to publish this request. Sep 19, 2021 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


If you are accepted in this field and want to accompany an interested person, please send me a message on the way to learning the first and second semester courses of this field.

Take inspiration from Scott H. Young who did something similar with MIT. A student from MIT did give him access to the extra materials he needed, but that was never a major concern for Scott.


I think you should emulate some of what he did. Target a good school with lots of publicly available materials already. Keep a blog (or a vlog or a wiki), to document your progress and keep yourself accountable. Cultivate your own ecosystem of like-minded individuals, as you're already doing with your group on Telegram.

If you're missing some materials that first week, ask for what you need, but don't ask a perfect stranger for a commitment of two semesters. That's asking for a lot. Give anyone who helps you the option to leave you if they get too busy. In other words, use a broadcast medium like Twitter, a blog, or a Discord server to broadcast your progress and talk about the materials you're missing.

Also, don't depend entirely on someone else's access to achieve your goals. That's leaving too much to chance. I mean you'll probably find a registered student who is going to help you, but you should plan to keep your momentum going -- even if that doesn't happen.

Here is someone else's take Scott's MIT challenge. He even has some step by step instructions for doing something similar.

How do do the Learning Challenge (the MIT Challenge adapted for MOOCs and 21st century)

1. Degree and syllabus discovery

Find a particular area that is closely related to an MIT undergraduate or graduate course.

2. Define your learning goals

Understand and define clearly why you are trying to learn this area; define clear goals and projects to be executed related to it, in order to successfully complete the challenge.

3. Build your own syllabus

Based on these projects, look into the Departmental Program requirements for acquiring a major in this area from MIT. You do not need to do the entire course, just look into the recommended readings, videos, and assignments you are interested in, and complement those with content from other universities/courses. Unless you feel uncomfortable doing so, skip the General Institute Requirements entirely, as well as any communication-intensive requirements (CI-M).

4. Get your courses

Find online course equivalents from each subject you are interested in for acquiring this “virtual major”; these can be found in the MIT OCW itself, Coursera, EDx, or another equivalent. The course can come from any university, not just from MIT.

5. Enjoy your journey

Execute all the courses, interact as much as possible with peers, and complete all your defined projects. Compare your performance with official solutions (if available) and ask for peers to review them (if they are available).



Also, I'd suggest you take a look at this blog post and scroll down. She found several other examples of people who created their own degree.


  • Thanks, I asked the next question here. Sep 14, 2021 at 14:47
  • I don't know what happens, but I have got this massage : not using fake statistics on reddit. But seriously now, over 100,000 organizations worldwide rely on monday.com, a visual project management software for teams. Track progress, timelines, and budgets and make key decisions based on real-time dat..., also you can see it via this photo. Sep 15, 2021 at 5:15
  • So i asked another question on Reddit (here with this content !) and the SE site (here). Sep 15, 2021 at 5:30
  • 1
    @sosa, You just triggered the spam filter on reddit with the keyword "tuition-free". And the "fake statistics" message, that's simply an ad. You can tell it's an ad because there is the word "promoted" in front of it. If you don't like ads, I recommend you install an ad-blocker for your browser. Sep 15, 2021 at 5:44
  • @Stephan_Branczyk, so if I remove the tuition-free term or ask another question without this term it will not be deleted?! Sep 15, 2021 at 5:50

Sadly, I think your chances are not good for finding individuals to work with you. At least in the way you seem to be suggesting. You would need to be able to offer something in return. And you might just be a distraction for someone actually taking courses. It might also be breaking rules for a student to collaborate with an outsider on some things.

But, self study is always possible at low cost. You can purchase used text books, for example, and work through them. Many universities have online lists of the curriculum and online syllabus for each course, perhaps including suggested/required books. Note that the exercises in the books are, perhaps, more important than the text, so focus on those, especially, though I don't know if that is possible in your field.

A carefully tailored YouTube search for topic keywords might turn up some videos/lectures for some things.

You don't say why you can't be admitted "this year". If it is a larger problem, then you need to spend effort on rethinking your career overall. But for a short term problem you might consider trying to work in one of the (many) fields covered by your main topic, gaining some experience.

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