What is MasterClass? How Does Their Classes Work? (+ FAQs)

Last Updated on June, 2024

Interested in mastering cooking techniques with the help of a Michelin-starred chef like Gordon Ramsay?


Looking to learn acting from an Oscar-winning actor like Natalie Portman?


Want to learn writing from Judy Blume herself?

If you are wondering if that is even possible, YES, Yes, it is, cause we’ve got Masterclass for all that.

Masterclass has all the industry’s big names on its online learning platform to offer you the experience of being taught by an expert celebrity.

So in this article, I will cover what is Masterclass, how it works, the pricing, accessing details and more. 

Quick Summary

Masterclass is an online learning platform offering over 180+ classes in 11 categories.

It has over 150 VIP and celebrity instructors delivering interactive and engaging video-based lessons.

Masterclass offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee refund policy.

What is Masterclass?

Masterclass logo

Masterclass is an online learning platform established in 2015. The platform provides an edutainment aspect of knowledge across 11 categories of general interests. 

Masterclass offers over 180+ classes on a variety of topics like arts, sports, entertainment, acting, directing, photography, politics, international affairs, culinary arts, films, television, music, dance, performing arts, business, publishing, writing, design and style, fashion, science, technology, gaming, home, architecture, lifestyle, health, environment, survival, travel, current events and trending topics, social issues and more.

Owned by Yanka Industries Inc, Masterclass is headquartered in San Francisco. It was founded by David Rogier, who was then a student at Stanford University. The website was launched in 2015 under the name Masterclass with only three instructors.

With just 12 classes in 2017, Masterclass leapt to about 50 classes by late 2018, offering up to 1000 lessons. According to CNBC, by May 2021, Masterclass was valued at $2.75 billion.

Exploding in popularity, Masterclass gained much recognition during the self-quarantine year 2020. The fame and hype surrounding Masterclass also come from the VIP and celebrity instructors delivering the classes.

Unlike other platforms, at Masterclass, you gain the experience of being taught by well-known experts in a field. 

Celebrity instructors and experts share their knowledge, passion and experience through interactive and engaging video-based lessons. These videos are beautifully shot and produced, delivering high-quality output to keep you hooked. 

On average, each Masterclass course consists of 20 video lessons lasting no longer than 12 minutes. Meaning each course totals around 2-5 hours of run time. So you can watch it at your own pace.

In simple terms, Masterclass is like watching a TV series with the exception of the educating part. So it’s like the Netflix of edutainment.

Accessing Masterclass

Masterclass home page

You can access Masterclass through any modern web browser via the domain.

It is also available for smartphones and desktops as the Masterclass App for iOS and Android users.

The app includes an additional function where the users can listen to the lessons in just the audio format without watching the visuals, like a podcast. It is a useful feature when commuting.

Moreover, the Masterclass app lets you cast video lessons onto a streaming media player like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast-enabled TV or an Amazon Fire TV. 

Setting Up a Masterclass Account

Opening an account with Masterclass takes only a few steps;

  1. Access masterclass.com Enter your email address and “get started.”
  2. Choose a membership plan
  3. Input your card information
  4. Finally, “place secure order.”

Just like that! In just 4 easy steps, you can access Masterclass. From there, you can browse to explore the masterclass course library. And start enjoying the platform. 

How Does Masterclass Work?

The unique selling proposition (USP) of Masterclass comes from Masterclass’s instructors. Consisting of over 150+ VIP and celebrity instructors, Masterclass gives you access to various online courses exclusively delivered by world-famous athletes, artists, writers, musicians, chefs and many more. All in the comfort of your smart devices.

Besides, it can be pretty excessive if you look at the cost of hiring some of these experts to deliver even guest seminars or lectures at top universities.

a human using laptop

But Masterclass gives you all this at $180 per year. That DEFINITELY is a sound investment.

To help you understand how Masterclass works, I will cover a few topics below that will explore what it’s like to use it.

These topics will answer questions like, What is it like learning from the Masterclass online learning platform? Does Masterclass actually work? Will I learn any skills or gain knowledge by watching videos of Masterclass instructors talking for a few hours?

These questions do not have a given answer. The answers to these questions differ from person to person based on your personal experience and the expected end goal. So they are best answered by you.

Navigating Through the Masterclass Platform

Masterclass has many online courses offering over 2500+ lessons in addition to the new classes and instructors added every month. When there are too many options, we tend to get confused about making the right pick.

Although you are spoiled with options from the vast Masterclass library, Masterclass makes picking a course pretty straightforward through the optional questionnaire.

Based on your interests logged into the questionnaire, you will be provided with narrowed search results, making it easier to choose. And, of course, you can completely omit this step and explore the library to find what you want.

Masterclass will recommend suggestions based on your watch history as you continue to take these online classes. And this will make it easier for you to choose the next course you want to follow.

Inside Masterclass Courses: What Do They Offer?

Taking online learning classes through Masterclass can be really exciting and intuitive. Each Masterclass course is typically structured and set up with the following components;

  • Video lessons from world-renowned experts
  • A class workbook outlining all key points of the class 
  • Additional reading resources
  • A space to jot down your own notes
  • “Sessions’ to keep students hands-on to stay on track 

Video Lessons

Masterclass Video Lessons

On average, each class consists of a series of 20 video lessons lasting 2-5 hours. The run time per video lesson is anywhere between 10-12 minutes, so they are relatively short.

So you can watch them at your preferred speed without letting any information or anecdotes from the videos overwhelm you. 

The production quality of Masterclass videos is EXCEPTIONAL. Shot and directed by real filmmaking experts, the setting, lighting, background, sound system and video editing are outstandingly coordinated to deliver a top-line production.

It adds so much value to the Masterclass videos making it almost on par with Netflix. This only makes it much more enjoyable to watch. 

Unlike other typical e-learning platforms that require you to commit and watch the video lessons, at Masterclass, you can binge, browse and revisit these video lessons whenever you want, AT YOUR OWN PACE.

Downloadable Workbook

Masterclass Downloadable Workbook

Every Masterclass course comes with a downloadable workbook. For example, if it is a cookery class, it will be a cookbook with recipes, summaries of lessons and relevant additional information. 

These workbooks are uniquely and beautifully created in sync with the Instructor’s style. It makes the experience even more interactive than going through pages and pages of PowerPoint slides.

Additionally, based on the Instructor’s requirements, the workbooks also include interesting and informative graphics. It simplifies concepts and makes them visually appealing for an immersive learning experience.


Masterclass Sessions

Initially, Masterclass had a feature called a community forum (AKA the hub) which allowed students to interact with each other by posting questions and receiving feedback.

The latest version of Masterclass includes a program called ‘sessions’ instead of the community forum. 

Sessions is a hands-on project that allows students to learn from a structured curriculum format. Each session program lasts 30 days from the day you start.

The ultimate goal of sessions is to guide you to apply what you learned to the real world. And this is achieved by including interactive assignments like hands-on projects.

Each session is linked to trained teaching assistants to answer your questions and provide feedback on your assignments. And sessions also allow students to interact with one another in the community feed.

What are the best MasterClass Courses?

How Much Does Masterclass Cost?

The Masterclass cost starts at $15 a month, which is billed annually at $180. This gives you access to all classes and sessions offered by Masterclass.

Masterclass Membership Options

Masterclass offers three tiers of annual membership packages for its users. All three Masterclass memberships allow unlimited access to all classes, including the upcoming and newly launched classes.

They vary based on the number of devices you can watch simultaneously and the offline viewing feature. 

The options include;

  • Standard- At $15 per month, $180 annually
  • Plus- At $20 per month, $240 annually
  • Premium- At $23 per month, $276 annually

The above annual membership options all include access to mobile and TV apps, videos, and class workbooks.

The Standard membership is ideal for single individuals. This package gives access to the platform only to one device at a given time.

At the same time, the Plus and Premium options are suitable for couples and families as they allow the use of the platform on multiple devices simultaneously.

Moreover, the Plus and Premium packages also allow users to download video content for offline viewing. This feature is very helpful to those who want to watch Masterclass content while in commute to work, as it eliminates the worry of wasting cellular data. 

However, you can always upgrade or downgrade your subscription as you see fit. Start with a sensible plan and adjust it based on your requirements.

Trial Run & Refund Policy

Masterclass offers a free 7-day trial period to test out the platform. You can only avail of this trial period when you sign up and enter your account details and payment method. 

After Masterclass verifies and approves the authenticity of the payment method, the trial period will be available for access. But this trial is offered only to certain people who fulfill said requirements and are residents of specific countries.

However, Masterclass compensates for this by offering you a solid 30-day money-back guarantee refund policy. You can pay for a subscription and explore the website as much as you want.

And for whatever reason, if you find that Masterclass may not be for you, you can claim the refund within 30 days.

Moreover, there is an interesting way you can try out Masterclass online courses for FREE. If you know someone who has a subscription, they can give you a 14-day guest pass.

Anyone who signs up for a subscription can share a limited number of these guest passes among family and friends.

So it is pretty much like a free trial!

Discounts & Promotions

Masterclass usually does not offer discounts of any sort. Masterclass is priced starting at $180 for everyone.

Nevertheless, Masterclass runs a 2-for-1 special promotion deal several times throughout the year. In this deal, you pay the price of one annual membership, but you get two. So you can gift the other membership plan to someone else.

See how Masterclass Gift works.

Comparing Masterclass to its Competitors

masterclass vs Skillshare, udemy, coursera

Masterclass vs Skillshare

Just like Masterclass, Skillshare also covers various topics like crafts, nutrition, personal fitness and many more. 

Masterclass consists of a high-end instructor panel including Oscar-winning actors and directors, Olympic athletes, world-renowned experts, Michelin-starred chefs and billion-dollar business owners.

But Skillshare courses are taught by platform users, so there is no guarantee of quality.

Both platforms display their content in the form of segmented videos and workbooks. The platforms are accessible to students with an internet connection wherever they are.

Although Masterclass is often referred to as an edutainment site, the platform also offers courses on business, science and tech.

A basic Masterclass pass is priced at $180 per annum. Skillshare, for starters, offers free sign-up and free courses. Interested users can go for paid plans like $32 per month or $159 per year.

Even at this price, it’s worth paying for a Masterclass plan for the intuitive and high-quality experience it provides. Masterclass is definitely a gain for value for all that it offers.

You can learn more about the comparison of Skillshare and MasterClass in this guide. Also, you can read my single Skillshare review if you want to learn more about it only.

Masterclass vs Udemy

On Udemy, anyone can create and sell courses, meaning you will have various options under the same topic.

And you can pick the best-priced course that works for you, like in a bargain store. But Masterclass features only high-caliber instructors who speak for its uncompromised quality.

On Udemy, you can find courses that can build practical and professional skills. While in Masterclass, you can take courses to cultivate new skills like cooking and interior designing or hard skills through sports training courses.

Masterclass requires a membership at an annual fixed price, while Udemy charges per course. 

See our full Udemy review for more details.

Masterclass vs Coursera

The target market for Coursera and Masterclass are two completely different groups. Coursera classes are offered by top universities and not by famous personnel like in Masterclass.

Coursera courses are more on the level of delivering a traditional learning experience compared to Masterclass, which is geared around fun and entertaining learning.

Coursera is academic learning on science, math and logic, physical and life sciences, engineering and languages. So Coursera is more suitable for professionals looking to nurture new skills with actual certifications.

On the other hand, Masterclass is created for people who want to learn for the love of craft.

But wait, Is MasterClass worth it?

Is Masterclass Worth the Hype?

While reading this article, you would have been thinking, ‘Is Masterclass worth it?’.

There is no simple answer to that question. But if I am to give you a short answer, ‘Yes, Masterclass might be worth it’. I use the word “might” because it depends on what you expect to get out of it.

If you want to polish your skills or learn a new craft without any official degree or certification, then it is WORTH IT.

Masterclass offers 2500+ classes across a versatile category. And each class is bound to teach you something. 

Most people sign-up for Masterclass to explore endless possibilities of learning. Masterclass serves as a platform to help people discover various interests.

So much so it may even end up surprising people with their undiscovered talents and interests that they get to discover through Masterclass. That possibility alone is worth investing in Masterclass.

Some of the reasons that got me into Masterclass include the following;

  • Classes led by experts and famous people in the respective field.
  • Allows you to discover different fields that you never even thought you would be interested in.
  • It is a steal for the price.
  • Interactive content keeps you hooked to avoid boredom, so it doesn’t really feel like learning. It’s more like experiencing.
  • Enjoyable course structure that keeps you engaged.
  • There are always more classes that are launched.

Simply put, Masterclass is for curious minds looking to nurse their creative muse.

Final Verdict

Masterclass is the ultimate online learning platform that brings you the expertise of industry giants in various fields. With over 180+ classes taught by VIP and celebrity instructors, you can delve into your passion and learn from the best.

The platform offers beautifully produced video lessons, downloadable workbooks, and interactive sessions to enhance your learning experience.

With flexible membership options and a risk-free trial, Masterclass is your gateway to unlocking your full potential. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn from the masters.

If you also want to figure out how curious you are, use Masterclass’s 30-day money-back guarantee refund policy. Sign up for Masterclass and test out a few classes. And you’ll know what to do next!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can try Masterclass for free with a 7-day trial. When you sign up and provide your payment information, Masterclass will verify the authenticity of the payment method and make the trial available to you.

Yes, a Masterclass App is available for both iOS and Android devices.

No, individual Masterclass courses cannot be purchased; an annual subscription is required to access Masterclass videos.

To cancel your subscription with Masterclass, email [email protected]. If your purchase is less than 30 days old, you can request a full refund.

No, Masterclass only offers annual subscriptions and does not have a one-month option.

No, Masterclass does not offer payment in monthly installments; payment is billed annually.

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Carlos Eduardo
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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