A complete MasterClass Review tutorial to guide you through information about the courses offered, costs, etc. Read this MasterClass Review to see if MasterClass is worth it:
If you are chronically online, there is a good chance you’ve come across an ad for MasterClass. The premise of MasterClass is so fascinating that it is hard to ignore when those ads pop up while you are watching a video on YouTube or simply browsing the internet.
The fact that the online course platform is being headlined by some of the most high-profile celebrities worldwide is also responsible for the platform enjoying such unparalleled popularity today.
The hype is real. However, the most interesting question is in finding an answer to whether this hype’s well-earned. MasterClass does distinguish itself from other online course platforms in many interesting ways, but does that warrant the annual subscription fee it charges?
This tutorial will take a deep dive into the world of MasterClass and the many bite-sized video lessons it has to offer. This review is a result of that month-long endeavor. For those who like learning new stuff, MasterClass will seem like a platform that was tailor-made just for them.
What You Will Learn:
- A Complete MasterClass Review
- MasterClass Overview
- How to Open a MasterClass Account
- Interface and Navigation
- Course Structure
- MasterClass Sessions
- Accessing the Content
- Gifting a MasterClass Membership
- How to Cancel a MasterClass Subscription
- MasterClass Courses: Recommended
- Other Popular Courses You Can Try
- Masterclass Experience
- Masterclass: Who it’s For and Who it’s Not For
- Tips to Find the Best MasterClass Course
- How Much is MasterClass Cost
- How MasterClass Fares When Compared with Competitors
- Pros and Cons
- Top 5 Reasons to Choose Masterclass
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Complete MasterClass Review
So after months spent ricocheting between various video lessons, the question arises: Is its massive course library worthy of the $180 per year price tag? Does the presence of celebrity instructors help or is it just a gimmick? Is MasterClass worth your time and money?
Here, we will answer all of these often-asked questions with the help of this comprehensive MasterClass Review.
MasterClass’s origin can be traced all the way back to 2014 when it was initially conceived by a Stanford student named David Roger. When the website first launched, it only had three instructors on it at that time. This of course changed as the years passed by. Twelve more classes were added in 2017 followed by 50 more in 2018.
The USP of MasterClass is the fact that all the classes you’ll find on this platform are thought by none other than highly revered and famous celebrity instructors. It’s a platform where you can learn cooking directly from Gordon Ramsey, writing directly from Neil Gaiman, and critical thinking directly from the likes of Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
As of this very moment, MasterClass is home to more than 180 different courses classified in 11 different categories.
Those categories include:
- Community and Government
- Design and Style
- Science and Tech
- Sports and Gaming
- Home and Lifestyle
- Arts and Entertainment
The courses here are designed to cater to both beginners as well as professionals with some experience in the subject matter. Each course has a bunch of high-quality video lessons to offer. Each lesson is 10-15 minutes long on average. Combined, you can expect one course to last you a total of 2-4 hours max until it is completed.
New classes are added to the MasterClass catalog almost every day. So you’ll never feel like you are out of options to learn until your subscription ends.
How to Open a MasterClass Account
Opening a MasterClass account is very simple. Simply follow the guide below:
#1) Open the MasterClass website on your browser.
#2) Enter your email address to get started with the sign-up process.
#3) Choose your membership plan.
#4) You’ll be directed to the payment interface. Choose your mode of payment and clear the fees.
#5) Place your order and you’ll now have access to all of MasterClass’s massive course library.
Now if you have a website with names like Samuel L Jackson and Serena Williams on it, you need to look at the part. MasterClass does not disappoint when it comes to its aesthetic. The entire website is cloaked in sleek black. You can easily find anything and everything you are looking for.
The home page gives you access to categories and a responsive search bar, both of which you can use to find the courses you are looking for.
Scroll below and you’ll find the button to sign up and create your own account. You’ll also find the ‘Trending’ section here as well, which displays the hottest courses currently being thought of on the platform. This section gets updated regularly.
So if you are new to the platform and don’t know what courses to indulge in, the trending section could lead to courses that everybody else is enjoying at the moment.
You’ll also find the CTA button to immediately get in touch with the sales team if the need arises. Ultimately, MasterClass has one of the best UIs ever seen. Not only is it good to look but it is also really smooth to move around from one page to another. You’ll always find what you are looking for and you’ll never feel lost.
Let us break down the course structure so you know exactly what to expect before subscribing to MasterClass.
As mentioned before, MasterClass offers bite-sized video lessons that are each 10-15 minutes long. Each course will have 10-20 video lessons with a combined duration of 2-4 hours. Some courses are accompanied by a downloadable PDF guide. Students can partake in these lessons at their own pace. You don’t have to stick to any deadlines.
This is exactly what is so special about MasterClass. You decide when to watch these video lessons. They don’t have to interfere with whatever else occupies your schedule. It is a godsend for introverts like me who wish to learn but would like to keep classroom interactions down to a bare minimum.
This aspect of MasterClass is brilliant, but we also accept that others might not feel the same way. The fact that you cannot interact with your instructors or ask questions in the middle of the classes can be disappointing for some.
MasterClass somewhat makes up for this with a recently added feature called “Sessions”.
Introduced in 2021, Sessions is a new feature that caters to students who wish their classes to be more interactive. In this hands-on format, students learn with the help of a structured curriculum alongside other students for a period of 30 days.
Each session has a trained teaching assistant who is there for the sole purpose of answering questions a student might have. Simply put, each class in these sessions comes with an individual online portal called “The Hub”. Here, the students can interact with each other and ask questions to the dedicated teaching assistants.
Although you can’t interact with the instructors themselves, every now and then you’ll find one of these instructors hosting a live stream on the platform that you can attend. These live streams don’t seem to take place too often, however, so I don’t know exactly when the next one will be or who will host it.
Accessing the Content
#1) On Computer
Once subscribed, students have multiple ways to watch video lessons. You can simply log on to the site and watch the lessons on your desktop. MasterClass works fine on all browsers. You’ll face no performance issues and will be able to watch the video in the highest resolution possible.
As you start watching the videos, the platform will organize content on your behalf. You can easily keep track of what courses you’ve completed, what classes are ongoing, etc. Once subscribed, you can partake in as much time as you like until your subscription expires.
The entire catalog is open for your learning. You can always return back to the courses or reading material you’ve completed.
Suggested Reading => List of Top Video Streaming Services
#2) On Mobile
Besides your computer, MasterClass is also available in the form of an app for both iOS and Android. You can download this app on your computer and enjoy it on your mobile on the go. So no matter where you are. With the help of the mobile app, you can continue taking video classes anytime, anywhere you like.
The app is very easy to use and functions in the same way as the original site. Everything from accessing classes to managing subscriptions can be done in a few easy steps on the app. Perhaps the best part about the app is the feature that allows you to seamlessly toggle between video and audio.
The audio mode in the MasterClass app is very easy to get a hang of, especially if you’ve ever used a music app on your phone. Its interface is similar to those apps so you can rewind or skip a track as per your wish.
#3) On Smart TV
Your mobile and computer aren’t the only things that can run MasterClass. The app can be downloaded on your smart TV as well. You can watch the courses available on MasterClass on your Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, Android TV, etc.
Further Reading => List of the BEST Streaming Devices in the Market
The best way to navigate through MasterClass’s massive catalog of classes is by using the website’s effective filtering feature. You can easily narrow down your choices by filtering on the basis of content type, duration, and format.
The Format Filter has the following sub-filters:
- Original Series
The Content filter has the following sub-filters:
- On My List
The duration filter has the following sub-filters:
- Under 5 minutes
- 15-45 Minutes
- 45 Minutes – 2 Hours
- 2 Hours to 4 Hours
- Over 4 Hours
Gifting a MasterClass Membership
This is perhaps one of the more unique aspects of MasterClass. You can actually gift a MasterClass membership to your friends, family, or colleagues.
Follow the steps below if you wish to gift a MasterClass Membership to someone:
#1) Go to the bottom of your chosen course and hit the ‘Gift’ button.
#2) You’ll be taken to the plans section, where you’ll have to select the subscription plan.
#3) Once selected, you’ll be asked to sign in. You can do so via your Google and Facebook accounts. Alternatively, you can sign in using your email ID.
#4) Sign in and create your account.
#5) After creating your account, you’ll be taken to the order completion zone. Here you’ll need to personalize your gift.
#6) Add the name and email address of the recipient along with a gift message.
#7) You’ll have the option to send the gift right away or at a scheduled time in the future.
#8) Make the payment via a Visa, American Express, or Master card. You’ll receive an email receipt once the payment is completed.
#9) Your recipient will receive the gift code through email.
Remember that the gift card acts as a stand-alone plan and won’t renew automatically like your traditional MasterClass plan. The 30-day money-back guarantee that applies to traditional annual subscriptions also applies to this gift as well. If your recipient hasn’t redeemed the gift code, then you can contact the support team and have your MasterClass gift refunded.
How to Cancel a MasterClass Subscription
Cancelling a MasterClass subscription is just as simple as opening one.
Here’s all you need to do:
#1) Log into your MasterClass account.
#2) Navigate to your profile menu. It is available in the top-right corner of your screen. Hit the settings button.
#3) In settings, click on ‘Cancel Membership’.
Once clicked, your MasterClass subscription will end. Remember, your account will continue to automatically renew until you expressly follow the above procedure to cancel your subscription.
MasterClass Courses: Recommended
Now that you know about the various features that make MasterClass tick, let’s talk about the core meat of this platform. I am, of course, talking about the courses. As I mentioned before, there are more than 180 courses here for you to choose from. This means more than 2500 video lessons on a variety of topics, all thought by famous celebrity instructors.
What courses you’ll end up loving will totally depend on you. I can only mention courses that were of particular interest to me. Allow me to walk you through my experience taking each of the below courses so you have a clear idea of what to expect.
#1) Cornel West Teaches Philosophy
Cornel West is an idol of mine and a respected scholarly figure in America. So when I saw his philosophy class trending on the front page of MasterClass, I knew this will be the first course I’ll take and it was an eye-opener.
The class delves deep into the idea of exploring what it truly means to be human. Through his distinct charm, Cornel West compels you to ponder over the concept of compassion.
He also goes over the idea of democratizing philosophy and touches upon various other interesting ideas. If you were ever curious about learning philosophy, Cornel West is perhaps the best man to get you started.
No. of Lessons: 15
Duration: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Category: Community and Government
#2) Gordon Ramsey Teaches Cooking 1
Gordon Ramsey might not be the most pleasant man on TV. However, there is no denying that he is a maestro when it comes to cooking delicious food. With this class, you get to learn the basics and fundamentals of cooking from Gordon himself while he is at his most well-behaved.
You’ll find classes here that show how to cook vegetables, eggs, and meat in the most ideal fashion. You’ll also learn some basic kitchen etiquette and some impressive knife skills.
No. of Lessons: 20
Duration: 3 Hours 35 Minutes
Category: Food, Home, and Lifestyle
#3) Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
Known as the last person to take John Lennon’s photograph, Annie Leibovitz is an accomplished photographer. The course involves Annie guiding you through her studio and into her shoots to explain how to capture that perfect photo. I found this class to be particularly fascinating, mostly because of Annie’s emphasis on storytelling through photography.
With the help of these bite-sized lessons, Annie teaches how to develop concepts, work with subjects, use natural light, and touches upon various other fundamental aspects of photography.
No. of Lessons: 15
Duration: 3 Hours 4 Minutes
Category: Design and Style, Arts and Entertainment.
#4) Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking
If you are a film nerd like I am, then you know exactly who Martin Scorsese is. Every filmmaker aspires to be as good at his or her craft as Martin. He truly is a master when it comes to making films and this course showcases it phenomenally.
This course not only involves Martin teaching the craft of filmmaking but also has him deconstruct popular cinema. The course is excellent for both those who want to make films and those who simply like to watch them.
No. of Lessons: 30
Duration: 4 Hours 35 Minutes
Category: Arts and Entertainment
#5) Aaron Sorkin Teaches Filmmaking
Aaron Sorkin is one of Hollywood’s most cherished screenwriters and filmmakers. He has written screenplays for films that have gone on to earn a multitude of awards and achieve cult status in the pop culture sphere.
The course entails him explaining the rules of screenwriting, dialogue, character development, and how to market/sell your script. For me, this course alone was worth every buck I spent on this platform.
No. of Lessons: 35
Duration: 8 Hours 1 Minute
Category: Arts and Entertainment
#6) Alexis Ohanian Teaches Building Your Startup
Alexis Ohanian is a visionary behind the popular platform Reddit. He knows what it takes to build a startup and that is the insight he shares with this course. If you have an idea, this course will teach you how to turn that idea into a profitable startup.
You’ll learn everything here about networking to finding funding for your business. Alexis Ohanian’s advice has helped many businesses soar in the past and can possibly do the same for you.
No. of Lessons: 16
Duration: 2 Hours 17 Minutes
#7) Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation
Chris Voss is a renowned FBI hostage negotiator. In his long and illustrious career, he has encouraged bank robbers, terrorists, and kidnappers to look at things from his perspective. The guy knows how to persuade and negotiate. In this course, he shares some interesting advice on how to communicate better to get what you want.
You’ll learn a lot about human nature and how you can manipulate it to serve your own interests. You’ll also get better at communicating, which is a skill that could come in handy the next time you are negotiating your salary.
No. of Lessons: 18
Duration: 3 Hours 4 Minutes
#8) Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling
Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author known for creating fantastical fictional tales. The writing class is his way of helping you navigate his distinct style of storytelling.
The course tells you how to tell unique stories using established myths from around the world. You’ll also learn how to create fascinating characters and how to keep your readers engaged throughout.
No. of Lessons: 19
Duration: 4 Hours 49 Minutes
#9) R. L Stine Teaches Writing for Young Audience
Fans of the popular horror novel series know exactly who R. L. Stine is. He is perhaps a household name in America by this point. With the help of this course, he teaches how to generate and then capitalize on that one idea.
You’ll learn how to outline a plot based on that idea and also get acquainted with a few tricks that can prove useful in hooking young readers to your text from the first page itself.
No. of Lessons: 28
Duration: 3 Hours 53 Minutes
#10) Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov was the youngest chess champion at the age of 22 when he beat Bobby Fisher decades ago. He is a six-time world champion who is now sharing all the tricks and tips that made him achieve this glorious status.
The course is perfect for anyone who wishes to get better at chess. Garry Kasparov takes you through a comprehensive session that involves lessons on advanced strategy, tactics, and theory.
No. of Lessons: 29
Duration: 7 Hours 20 Minutes
Category: Sports and Gaming
Other Popular Courses You Can Try
I am a fan of films and novels, so most of the courses above are what appeal to me personally. There are tons of other courses here that may cover an area that appeals to you more intimately.
Let me list a few courses that are largely considered best from each of the 11 categories available:
- Alice Waters Teaches the Art of Home Cooking
- Thomas Keller Teaches Cooking Techniques
- James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation
#2) Design and Style
- Ru Paul Teaches Self Expression and Authenticity
- Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership
- Corey Damen Jenkins Teaches Interior Design
#3) Arts and Entertainment
- Helen Mirren Teaches Acting
- Ron Howard Teaches Directing
- Judd Apatow Teaches Comedy
- Usher Teaches the Art of Performance
- Tom Morello Teaches Electric Guitar
- Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring
- Paul Krugman Teaches Economy
- Daniel Pink Teaches Sales
- Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism
#6) Sports and Gaming
- Serena Williams Teaches Tennis
- Phil Ivey Teaches Poker
- Tony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding
- Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
- Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing
- Salman Rushdie Teaches Storytelling
#8) Science and Tech
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking
- Matthew Walker Teaches Science
- Dr. Jane Goodall Teaches Conservation
#9) Home and Lifestyle
- Ron Finley Teaches Gardening
- Penn and Teller teaches Magic
- Michael Pollan Teaches Intentional Eating
#10) Community and Government
- Malala Teaches Creating Change
- Melinda Gates Teaches Impactful Giving
- Michael W Twitty Teaches Tracing Your Roots Through Food
- Joe Holder Teaches Fitness
- Robin Arzon Teaches Mental Strength
- Jessie Krebs Teaches Wilderness Survival
There are so many more courses like these that you can explore by going to the MasterClass website. Before you choose the above courses, however, I would like you to follow the tips below so you can always settle on a course that is best suited for you.
Now that you have an idea of what courses you can find on this platform, allow me to share my own hands-on experience with one of Masterclass’s courses. I’ve tried at least a dozen or so classes in my brief stint with this platform. For the sake of this review, I’d like to focus on a particular writing course headlined by Margaret Atwood.
The Writing Course by Margaret Atwood had about 23 video lessons. As you start, the videos will be listed on the lower right-hand side of your screen as the main video plays. You have the option to pick any of the videos and start watching them out of order. Of course, I would recommend against doing so as there is a natural flow to all of these courses.
The video itself had me floored. It felt as if I was watching a highly-produced Netflix documentary. The video resolution was top-notch and the audio quality was pristine. Margaret Atwood was as eloquent in her lectures as I’d expected.
Notes: I didn’t even know that these features existed until I started playing the video lessons. A note section is available with each course, which allows you to note down points you wish to remember. The note is broken down into multiple sections for each lesson. While not the most important, it is a nice little feature to have.
Downloadable PDF Guides
There is a guide attached to Margaret Atwood’s course, which you can download as a PDF. You’ll find such a text guide with almost all courses in the platform. With respect to this course, the guide contained a summary of everything I’d learned in the video lessons.
Below each lesson, you’ll find a prompt that says ‘Join the Discussion’. This basically allows you to connect with the Masterclass community. You can jump on this discussion group to share your feedback, ask questions, or share your experience with other students on the platform.
When using this section, I’d ask you to not expect the instructors themselves to respond to your questions. There is a dedicated Masterclass team member assigned to respond to user queries.
Masterclass: Who it’s For and Who it’s Not For
In hindsight, I would say that you’ll like Masterclass if:
- Your favourite instructor has a class here.
- You are into creative fields like cooking, acting, writing, and filmmaking.
- You don’t mind theoretical lessons.
- You like watching video lessons
On the other hand, you won’t like Masterclass if:
- You are looking for certification or accreditation of any kind
- Want classes that are more interactive
Tips to Find the Best MasterClass Course
- Watch the video preview for each course before starting a lesson.
- Attend live recordings by MasterClass instructors. If you missed them, you can watch the recordings in your own time later in the ‘previous live recordings’ section.
- Go through and read articles posted on the MasterClass website.
- Read reviews left behind by past students.
How Much is MasterClass Cost
MasterClass adheres to a very flexible annual subscription-based pricing structure. A single subscription gives you access to the entire MasterClass library.
It offers 3 three plans, which are as follows:
- Individual Plan: $15/month per device (Pay $180 per year)
- Duo: $20/month for 2 devices (Pay $240 per year)
- Family: $23/month for 6 devices (Pay $276 per year)
The features across all three plans are almost the same with one key difference. The individual plan does not allow you to download videos for offline viewing. You can enjoy this privilege in the Duo and Family plan.
Although there is no free trial on offer, there is still a 30-day satisfaction guarantee policy to cover you. You can ask for a refund within the first 30 days if you don’t like what you get.
How MasterClass Fares When Compared with Competitors
#1) MasterClass vs Udemy
Both Udemy and MasterClass have some interesting courses to offer. However, Udemy has a relatively larger course library. There are thousands of cheap online courses on Udemy being thought by seasoned instructors. One area where MasterClass does have an edge over Udemy is who the instructors of their classes are.
While Udemy has lesser-known instructors, MasterClass is home to classes being thought by famous celebrities like Samuel L Jackson, Gordon Ramsey, Serena Williams, etc. Another major distinction between both platforms is the pricing structure.
You all know by now that MasterClass adheres to an annual subscription structure. That is not the case with Udemy, which offers you the chance to pay a monthly fee, an annual fee, or pay per class.
Also Read =>> Udemy Courses review
Both MasterClass and SkillShare are similar in what they offer. The key difference between both these platforms is how they operate. SkillShare, for instance, is open-sourced and hosts content from various contributors on the platform.
MasterClass, on the other hand, is very deliberate in who its instructors are. SkillShare’s courses feel like they are more geared toward beginners. Comparing the course library of both these platforms, I feel that MasterClass has better course offerings with respect to diversity and quality.
Pros and Cons
|Affordable and Flexible Pricing||No certification or accreditation|
|High-Quality Video Lessons|
|Diverse range of categories|
|VIP and Famous Celebrity Instructors|
|30-day refund policy|
|Sleek Interface and Easy Navigation|
Top 5 Reasons to Choose Masterclass
If I had to summarize why I believe Masterclass is such a good online course platform, it would ultimately boil down to the below 5 reasons.
- A massive library of more than 2500 video courses in 11 different categories
- Classes thought by world-class and famous celebrity instructors
- Video Lessons exude high-production value
- Flexible annual subscription-based pricing structure
- You can get your money back within 30 days of the initial subscription if you aren’t satisfied with the lessons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) What is MasterClass?
Answer: MasterClass is an online course platform. It is home to a plethora of highly-produced video lectures on a wide range of topics thought by VIP instructors and world-famous celebrities like Samuel L Jackson, Stephen King, Serena Williams, Gordon Ramsey, etc.
Q #2) Who is MasterClass for?
Answer: I would argue MasterClass is for anyone who wants to learn something new, acquire a new skill, or get better at a skill they already possess. You can refer to MasterClass courses to learn writing, cooking, business management, philosophy, sports, music, interior décor, and more.
Q #3) How long are MasterClass Courses?
Answer: Well, this depends on the course you’ve taken. Each course has about 10-20 video lessons that each last 10-15 minutes on average. Combined, you can expect the course to last 3-4 hours in total. Some courses can go well over 4 hours.
Q #4) Is MasterClass free?
Answer: Unfortunately no. There is no free trial or free plan. There is however a very generous refund policy, considering you request a refund within the first 30 days of your subscription.
Q #5) Can MasterClass be streamed on television?
Answer: Yes! You can stream MasterClass on your smart TV. You can also cast your MasterClass videos on your TV via Apple TV, Chromecast, etc.
Q #6) Is Masterclass worth it?
Answer: Yes, Masterclass is worth the annual subscription fee you are charged. The high-production value of video lessons and the fact that the lessons are being spearheaded by VIP instructors, add a distinct level of prestige to Masterclass that no other online course platform today has.
It is very unique with regard to what is being offered. You’ll find courses here that cater to both beginners as well as professionals.
Also Read => Best Negotiation Courses
MasterClass is as close as you can get to learn from your idols. That is the biggest appeal of MasterClass and what makes it so special. There are more than 180 courses here, each containing videos with high production value. With just a single annual subscription, you basically get access to more than 2500 video lessons, all thought by VIP instructors.
MasterClass might be the cheapest way for you to learn acting, writing, philosophy, cooking, and so much more from world-class instructors and famous celebrities. When I first heard about MasterClass, I was afraid it was going to be just another cash-grabbing gimmick. Fortunately, I was proven wrong.
The instructors and the people behind MasterClass have poured that heart and soul into each lesson you’ll find on the platform. Each course is thoughtfully curated and broken down into a bunch of high-quality bite-sized video lectures with profound insight.
So after spending over a month scouring through multiple courses on the platform, I can confidently claim that MasterClass is worth both your time and money. Most importantly, you are bound to learn a new skill quickly with this platform.