Want to learn directing from Martin Scorsese? Get online class passes 2 for 1

MasterClass (Image credit: MasterClass)

Using online classes or courses to learn can be one of the best things to do when you're trapped indoors, and MasterClass is perhaps one of the most-well known and best places to learn online.

MasterClass is a repository of video classes taught by a range of well-known experts, from people who are top in the field and having been working for a long time. You may as well learn to write bestsellers from someone who literally has, after all!

So to help you get your head around MasterClass before you sink money into it (yes, unlike some other online classes it isn't free), we've come up with this guide to help you understand the website.

How much does MasterClass cost?

MasterClass can cost quite a bit if you keep the membership, as it's $15 / £15 (roughly AU$30) per month or $180 / £180 (roughly AU$320) for an annual membership.

However if you only want access to a single class, that'll cost you $90 / £85 (roughly AU$170). That's around half the price of the annual pass, so if you see yourself using multiple courses per year the annual pass is best.

At time of writing there's an offer on, so if you buy an annual membership someone else gets one for free (although hopefully they'll give you half the price you paid to even it out!). You can find this offer on the MasterClass website here. This offer is perfect for people trapped indoors and looking for something to do, and it basically works out to half off if you split the bill.

How to MasterClass courses work?

(Image credit: MasterClass)

Each course offered is broken down into bite-sized classes – which means all of them are short, but there are plenty of them.

Annie Leibovitz's 'Photography' class, for example, consists of 15 12-minute lessons, while Neil Degrasse Tyson's 'Scientific Thinking and Communication' class has 13 12-minute classes. These lessons include workbooks as well.

You can watch MasterClass lessons on your computer as well as your Android or iOS phone or tablet – and even Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and Apple TV.

Some MasterClass courses might actually be better on TV, so if you don't have an Amazon or Apple-enabled device check out some you could use here:

What MasterClass courses are offered, and who teaches them?

There are plenty of different courses in MasterClass in a range of topics, and we'll group them as such below. It's worth pointing out that there are sometimes classes on the same topic, but different people teach them, likely offering different insights.

Prospective cooks or bakers will find general classes like 'Cooking' to more specific skills like 'Texas-Style BBQ' and 'French Pastry Fundamentals', from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. 

(Image credit: MasterClass)

Aspiring films stars are spoiled for choice: Werner Hertzog, Jodie Foster and Martin Scorsese teach 'Filmmaking', Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson teach 'Acting', David Lynch teaches 'Creativity and Film' and there are even more to choose from.

Plenty of writers have classes here in different skills, with Margaret Atwood, Aaron Sorkin, Neil Gaiman, David Mamet, David Sedaris and Joyce Carol Oats all teaching courses in their speciality.

Musicians are also here too, with Herbie Hancock teaching 'Jazz,' Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman teaching film scoring courses, Tom Morello teaching guitar, deadmau5 teaching 'Electronic Music Production' and Usher teaching 'The Art of Performance'. Also, Judd Apatow and Steve Martin teach 'Comedy'.

There are several other categories with big-name stars teaching classes: Serena Williams hosts the 'Tennis' course, Bob Iger teaches 'Business Strategy and Leadership' Bob Woodward helms 'Investigate Journalism', Annie Leibovitz teaches 'Photography' and Chris Hadfield is in charge of 'Space Exploration'. 

You can see a full list of all the classes here.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.