Many students find they are unable to travel or relocate in order to achieve a UK qualification, but there is another option available where a UK qualification is accessible to those who wish to study from home, this is what is called distance learning. It works by making all the course materials available online for download and printing, making assignment or coursework submissions possible through web platforms (such as Moodle). Or if available you can opt for the materials to be sent to you as hard copies through the post.
Undertaking a distance learning course requires determination and commitment as you will have to ensure you allocate adequate study time per week and meet the deadlines. Essentially you will have to create your own time table around your lifestyle. Additionally you will not be alone, you will be assigned a personal tutor to help you and answer any questions you may have via telephone or email.
However there are other ways one can learn from a distance besides studying from home:
- Many UK universities do have campuses in other countries. By enrolling with these campuses, you are being given a UK education but at your local fees which could potentially work out to cheaper in the comfort of your own county. Your qualification will be awarded by the UK University.
- International partnership programmes are where you go to study in an international educational establishment that is partnership with a British school or university. It means that although you are being taught a UK qualification, it will however be awarded by the campus you are attending which is not in the UK.
The benefits of distance learning:
- Many students want to gain a UK qualification. However they may not be willing to leave their friends, family and lifestyle behind. Or they may be already in employment and have better chances of funding their study if they remained in their own country working while studying. The plus point here is that they still gain a UK qualification without impacting on their existing lifestyle.
- As mentioned earlier, coming to the UK can be a costly endeavour. Even though there are scholarships and funding options available to get them through, it may be more cost effective to study from home. Additionally, depending on your nationality and what your immigration status you will be given, you may not be able to work in the UK in order to supplement your income while studying.
- By opting to study from home, you will still be given the chance to choose from a wide variety of courses that can be catered to your needs; there are very little limitations in regards to what is offered to distance learning students and campus students.
How to find and apply for distance learning courses:
- The best way to find what you are looking for is to narrow down what subject you wish to study. When you are committed, start your search for universities that offer the degree program you want in a distance learning form. One of the leading universities in distance learning in the UK is the Open University.
- It can be very difficult locating exactly what you want as there is no website or database that groups together what distance learning courses are available in the UK. This could end up meaning that you will invest a significant amount of time searching before being able to find a course that is right for you, but with a little perseverance it will pay off in the long run.
- Once you have found the course you want to enrol in, you will need to submit your application directly to the university. Details of the application process and all the relevant forms that need filling out can be found on that universities’ website. Alternatively you can request an application pack to be sent to you through the post.