15 Online Courses On Thermodynamics In  | Free & Paid

Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. In particular, it describes how thermal energy is converted to and from other forms of energy and how thermal energy affects matter. 

This article contains a list of the best online courses on thermodynamics. Carefully read through and enroll for the one that best suits your search intent.

Is Thermodynamics Difficult To Learn?

The concepts in thermodynamics tend to be fairly complex, and there’s a good amount of detailed math involved. As a result, it can be kind of challenging to keep up if you lose track of how the math relates to the concepts and vice versa. However, the good news is that students who focus in class are scientifically proven to do better in this subject!

There are also many students out there who find thermodynamics easy compared to fluid dynamics, organic chemistry, or calculus. The difficulty is relative, so if you have a strong background in science and math, there’s no reason to think thermodynamics will be especially challenging.

What Is The Importance Of Learning Thermodynamics?

If your plans are to build an engine, study the behavior of molecules, or find a more efficient way to prevent forest fires, you need a solid understanding of thermodynamics. Having knowledge of thermodynamics is also a prerequisite for jobs in engineering, fossil fuel industries, aviation, and biology.

Even if you don’t plan on working in a field related to thermodynamics, the principles apply everywhere. Thermodynamics is why your appliances work when you plug them into the wall, and why 70 °F (21 °C) water feels cold on your skin, but the air of the same temperature is comfortable!

15 Online Courses On Thermodynamics In 2022

Thermodynamics is usually included or indirectly involved in the analysis of almost all engineering problems. Let’s take a look at the top 15 online courses on thermodynamics. Our list contains free and paid courses.

1. Thermodynamics for Engineering Students – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 19hrs 30mins

Thermo is the branch of physics that deals with temperature and pressure and how they are related to work and energy.   Thermodynamics applies to a wide variety of applications such as combustion engines,  heating, and air conditioning systems, and jet propulsion, along with many, many others.

This course covers the following topics needed to gain an understanding of the basics of thermodynamics:

  • Pressure and temperature
  • Work and energy of closed systems
  • Steam Tables
  • Enthalpy
  • Compressibility charts
  • Ideal gas model
  • Mass flow rates
  • Work and energy of control volumes
  • Thermodynamic efficiencies
  • Entropy

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2. Thermodynamics – Introduction to Mechanical Engineering – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 2hrs 30mins

This course serves as a springboard into Engineering Thermodynamics for fresh students or as a refresher for students already familiar with some of the concepts and looking to learn more about the fundamentals.

This lesson covers a broad spectrum of common topics that are applicable to a wide variety of situations in numerous engineering sectors;

  • Hydrostatic pressure theory
  • Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle
  • Fluid flow (Reynolds number, types of flow & viscous fluid flow)
  • Bernoulli’s Equation
  • Lift and Drag
  • Combustion
  • Thermo power cycles (including the Carnot cycle, Otto cycle & Diesel cycle)

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3. Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 22hrs 30mins

This class is for engineering students who wish to understand the concept of thermodynamics.

Here is a list of topics to be covered:

  • Properties of a simple pure compressible substance,
  • Equations of state,
  • The first law of thermodynamics
  • Internal energy
  • Specific heats
  • Enthalpy

The study of the second law of thermodynamics is also discussed leading to the discovery of entropy as property and its ramifications.

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4. Engineering Thermodynamics – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 18hrs 30mins

Thermodynamics is the study of energy. This online class explains how we get the energy we need to power our homes and get us where we want to go, and how things like engines, power plants, and refrigerators work.

In addition, you will learn how to analyze a thermodynamic system and calculate things like efficiency.

If you are an engineer or engineering student, this thermodynamics class is ideal for you.

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5. Thermodynamics – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 15hrs 30mins

After enrolling in this course students will be able to get a good understanding of the concepts of thermodynamics.

In this course, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Introduction to Thermodynamics
  • Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Pure Substances
  • Air Standard Cycles
  • Gas Turbines
  • Introduction to Refrigeration and Refrigeration Cycles
  • Psychometrics

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6. Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria – edX (Free)

Duration: Estimated 16 weeks 5–10 hours per week

This course, based on MATSCI 204 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria , introduces learners to thermodynamics and how it governs phase equilibria. It is intended for a general audience and is especially useful as a preparatory course for undergraduate and graduate students who are about to take their first class in thermodynamics.

In this course you’ll learn the following:

  • What thermodynamic functions govern heterogeneous equilibria and how to calculate these functions from measurable materials properties.
  • Unary phase equilibria and first-order phase transitions, metastability.
  • Thermodynamics of solutions and its application to binary phase equilibria and binary phase diagrams.
  • Thermodynamics of chemical reactions.

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7. Boltzmann Law: Physics to computing – edX (Free)

Duration: Estimated 5 weeks 5–6 hours per week

This online course starts with fundamental statistical mechanics concepts such as entropy, free energy, and the rule of equilibrium, which were established to describe interacting systems in nature.

Moving on, the concept of Boltzmann machines (BM) is then introduced, which are interacting systems that have been effectively constructed to handle significant machine learning challenges.

Finally, you will learn about designed quantum systems, emphasizing the phenomena of quantum interference, which has the potential to produce incredible computing capacity.

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8. Introduction to Thermodynamics: Transferring Energy from Here to There – Coursera (Free enrollment)

Duration: 16hrs

This course provides an introduction to the most powerful engineering principles you will ever learn – Thermodynamics: the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another place or form.

Topics on mass and energy conservation principles; first law analysis of control mass and control volume systems; properties and behavior of pure substances; and applications to thermodynamic systems operating at steady-state conditions will all be treated.

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9. Computational Fluid Mechanics – Airflow Around a Spoiler – Coursera (Free)

In this hands-on project, you will learn about Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and perform an incompressible fluid flow simulation around a spoiler using the cloud-based simulation tool SimScale.

Students will practice simulation cases with provided geometries to learn the fundamentals of CFD and how a spoiler simulation is approached and set up in the first place. Additionally, you will learn the classical three-step process of every simulation which includes the pre-processing, processing, and post-processing step.

You will get instant access to pre-configured cloud desktops containing all of the software and data you need for the project, for this project you need no special setup or any data. Everything is already set up directly in your internet browser so you can just focus on learning!

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10. Statistical Thermodynamics Specialization – Coursera (Free)

This specialization was developed for the mechanical or aerospace engineering advanced undergraduate graduate or graduate student who already has a strong background in undergraduate engineering thermodynamics and is ready to tackle the underlying fundamentals of the subject.

It is designed for those entering advanced fields such as combustion, high-temperature gas dynamics, environmental sciences, or materials processing, or wishes to build a background for understanding advanced experimental diagnostic techniques in these or similar fields.

This thermodynamics class covers the relationship between macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics and derives properties for gases, liquids, and solids. It also covers non-equilibrium behavior as found in kinetic theory and chemical kinetics.

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11. Introduction to Thermodynamics – Futurelearn (Paid)

Duration: 3 weeks

This short course from the University of Hull offers a short introduction to the fundamentals of thermodynamics – the branch of physics that deals with heat and its relation to energy.

Both science and engineering revolve around the nature of energy and energy exchange.

Whether you’re working on a small or industrial scale, it’s important to know the effects of pressure, temperature, and heat, as well as be able to accurately predict what will happen when these states change.

This course will cover the following topics:

  • The ideal gas law – calculation of temperature, pressure, and volume
  • Non-ideal conditions (real gases) and compression
  • The nature of energy and work
  • Heat capacity
  • Entropy and free energy

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12. Advanced Diploma in Engineering Thermodynamics – Alison (Free)

Duration: 15-20hours

This free online course features a range of topics designed to explain how thermodynamics can be implemented to effectively solve engineering problems.

It explains basic concepts such as systems and state postulates, specific heat and gravity, and temperature and pressure scale. Through questions and illustrations, you will learn about the theories and practices of this technology and its applications in industrial machinery.

At the end of this lesson, learners are awarded a certificate of completion.

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13. Understanding Thermodynamics for Science and Engineering – Alison (Free)

Duration: 3hrs

Thermodynamics is an essential branch of science and engineering that studies heat and its relation to energy and work. In this online course, the instructor will look at examples and solve problems that will help you better understand the concepts of thermodynamics.

This free online thermodynamics for science and engineering course covers the core concepts of thermodynamics, such as the relationship between pressure, volume, and temperature.

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14. Thermodynamics – Using the Steam Tables – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 11hrs

This online thermodynamics lesson is for students interested in learning about the concepts of thermodynamics.

Here students will learn how to solve thermodynamics problems using the steam table. The class covers phase change, pressure-specific volume diagrams as well as liquid-vapor mixture quality.  The instructor will also provide you with an easy-to-use flowchart to help you along. 

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15. Thermodynamics – Mechanical Engineering – Udemy (Paid)

Duration: 11hrs

This thermodynamics course studies systems and how they change according to their environment such systems are turbines, engines, nozzles, and reactions in closed and open reaction systems.

At the end of this class, you will learn the following:

  • Thermodynamic system & processes
  • Work and Heat transfer of various processes in both open and closed systems
  • Laws of thermodynamics with numericals
  • Steady flow energy equation – Derivation, application & numerical
  • Thermodynamic applications of devices like Nozzles, Diffusers, Turbine, Compressor, Heat exchanger
  • Throttling process, Enthalpy & Entropy
  • Carnot cycle & Reverse Carnot cycle

FAQs On Thermodynamics

How can I learn thermodynamics easily?

You will need to know basic algebra at the very least along with basic physics (basic properties and states of matter as well as kinetic and electromagnetic energy) and chemistry (temperature is directly proportional to molecular motion).

Is thermodynamics difficult to learn?

The concepts in thermodynamics tend to be fairly complex, and there’s a good amount of detailed math involved.

Is thermodynamics of physics and chemistry the same?

Ideally, thermodynamics in physics and chemistry is the same. The only difference is the notation of work in both, with work done by the system taken as positive in physics, and work done on the system taken as positive in chemistry.

What is the difference between thermodynamics and fluid mechanics?

Fluid mechanics studies the movement of fluids and the forces they exert, which involves work, thermodynamics studies the flow of heat, which is the energy that is transferred due to the difference in temperature.


Thermodynamics is all about measuring and understanding how heat and other forms of energy interact with one another. So concepts like energy conversion, molecule behavior, and kinetic/potential energy are key. Through these online courses, you’ll also learn the differences between open and closed systems, which change how heat and energy functions


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