The best YouTube channels for getting help with your course

April 12, 2016
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The breaking-in “welcome to semester one, y'all” period of uni has ended, and now the workload and assessments are starting to ramp up. If you're struggling to understand an obscure concept, then now is the time to change that. But before you go dropping $80 per hour on a tutor, try watching a few videos from these YouTube channels instead.

The numbers… what do they mean?!

Whether you're trying to get through that compulsory math unit in your science degree or studying theoretical physics, sometimes you just need a little extra help or to see a subject approached from a different angle. PatrickJMT is a YouTuber and former mathematics instructor who provides basic math tutorials and plenty of worked examples to bolster elementary maths knowledge. His videos are simple and go directly to the math. NPTELHRD is an advanced maths and technical course channel provided by eight Indian (English language) institutions. The production value may not be as high as your average YouTuber, but the team definitely know their stuff and are able to tackle the more difficult concepts.

Engineers and physicists reporting in

For the mechanically minded, MIT's OpenCourseWare channel will provide you with more advanced engineering examples and theory, as well as new innovations from one of the highest-ranked universities in the world. MIT offers several playlists with over 40 videos on the subject. To gain a more basic understanding of physics, MinutePhysics is a great resource and provides excellent animations in a simple presentation format.

Body, mind… and soul

It's time for a CrashCourse. CrashCourse is one of the biggest educational YouTube channels and has excellent production quality. The videos are presented by Hank Green, an exuberant host who has an impressive history in science video creation, including making clips for NASA. Green presents concepts from psychology and biology in an easy-to-understand format for a basic knowledge in these two subjects, and also provides tips on how to study them.

Sex… well, actually, just drugs and rocks (no roll)

There's an abundance of chemistry tutorials available for budding chemists out there, but Brightstorm has the largest volume of quality instructionals on YouTube. With over 160 videos availale, Brightstorm's chemistry playlist covers topics ranging from hybridisation to orbital diagrams. The Khan Academy takes a close second but has a more in-depth selection of content that goes into further detail than Brightstorm does.

For geology students, the most popular geology channel is MinuteEarth, which is made by the same team behind MinutePhysics. This channel provides short videos on basic geological concepts. Seth Horowitz also has a few videos dedicated to sedimentary and metamorphic processes that are highly detailed and helpful, especially if you’re in need of summary videos around exam time.

Money, money, money

CrashCourse is at it again with the handy tutorials. The channel’s economics playlist, headed up by Adriene Hill and Jacob Clifford, gives an introductory overview to the subject of economics. It's a good refresher if you need to fill a gap in your knowledge. Economicsfun is another economics-focused channel, but it features more complicated content. David Longstreet presents simply formatted lectures with easily identifiable animations that cover a wide range of economic theories.

Ye olde units, AKA Arts and History

The Smithsonian Museum's channel provides an insight into more traditional art subjects with its Art & Design playlist, which highlights music, sculpture and design lectures. CrashCourse again provides the biggest repository of history playlists, with World History parts one and two, as well as Big History. World History is a set of videos based on specific events in history and provides detailed lectures on different periods and regions, whereas Big History is a broader collection of videos targeting the largest known world, planetary and universal events. 

Harrison Johnstone

A country kid at heart with city slicking aspirations in his head, Harrison is an aspiring journalist, video editor and human being.