A master’s degree can take your career, earning potential, and knowledge to new heights. Combine these benefits with the UK’s longstanding tradition of excellent higher education, and it’s not surprising that so many people choose to continue studying at one of the reputable universities in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Today, if you’re considering pursuing a master’s degree, you can actually study online.
Some of the UK’s best-known universities are taking their education online. Distance learning programs are allowing students to study anywhere. You can earn an advanced degree while learning from your home or working at your current job.
If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree online, here’s how you can start the search to find the perfect program.
Assess Programs’ Flexibility
Online master’s degree programs are meant to give you the flexibility necessary to fit your studies into your busy life. You’re able to take classes at home or on the go and you can adapt your coursework to suit your free time. So, when you’re searching for the best program, you’ll want to consider how flexible each option is.
Different universities offer different types of online master’s degree programs. Some will require you to attend a few class components in person. Others may require you to log on at a certain time each day or week. And other programs may allow you to work entirely at your own pace.
Look into the flexibility of each program you’re considering. Do these programs include few or many timetabled events? Are you able to work on your own schedule throughout the course, or must you stick to a strict schedule? Can you still work, travel, and volunteer as you’d like?
You should also ask about the number of hours required for each program. Some online study courses may require you to put in more hours than others.
Look into these details before you begin narrowing down your universities and options.
Participate in a Taster Session
Online master’s programs can come with unique challenges. You have to rely on software and online platforms to complete your assignments and participate in lectures. That means it’s important to understand whether or not a university’s program will suit your learning style and needs before enrolling.
Luckily, several universities offer taster sessions, so students can try out courses before signing up. These taster sessions let you join an online class for a session or two, give the software a trial run, and see how the entire operation runs. You can participate in a module and see if it’s easy to understand and how it might fit into your current schedule.
During a taster session, you’ll be able to get a sense of how you’ll learn online. These introductory sessions let you see how professors communicate with students, how interactive courses can be, and what assignments or readings might look like. This taste can help you assess what the online community is like for a given master’s program.
Check the University’s Accreditation
While it might be easy to recognise some of the UK’s most renowned universities when searching for online master’s degree programs, it can be harder to assess lesser-known options. There are unfortunately many fake institutions trying to pass as legitimate degree programs on the internet. As such, it’s important to check every university’s accreditation.
All you have to do is check the gov.uk website. There, you can see universities’ qualifications and accreditation, With this info, you can weed out any options that are not appropriately registered. It will also help you assess a university’s reputation. If they are not accredited by the right organisations, you’ll know they may not offer valid degrees.1
Consider the Cost
Finally, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online master’s program is the cost. A degree of any kind can be expensive – and an advanced degree can be quite costly.
You’ll want to search for master’s programs that are within your budget and offer the learning or support you need to be successful. The program should provide you with value for its cost. Because you’ll be studying entirely online, you’ll want to look for cost savings.
It’s common for online learning to come with a reduced cost compared to on-campus courses. However, tuition can still cost thousands. The average cost of an online master’s degree program totals £8,500.2
Make sure to inquire about the cost at each university you’re considering, so you can determine which offers the best value and the most affordable tuition rate.
Search for Traditional Universities Offering Online Degrees
As you search for online master’s programs, you’ll find many options. However, don’t forget to consider some of the UK’s traditional universities in your research. Thanks to the growing popularity of distance learning, increasingly more renowned universities are now offering online degrees in many subjects.
You can find online programs at the following universities, for example:
- University College London, which offers a wide range of online master’s programs like M.Sc., M.A., and MBA degrees;
- The University of Edinburgh, which offers three-year programs online that are equal to the university’s in-person programs;
- King’s College London, which offers six different application cycles for online degrees each year for increased flexibility, and;
- The University of Manchester, which offers many of its longstanding programs in an online format.3
The more you search for and compare different online master’s programs, the better equipped you’ll be to start your learning. You’ll have confidence that you found a quality program with a price that suits your budget. And that takes you one step closer to earning your advanced degree.