Having a university degree opens up more career opportunities with better salaries and benefits. Some reports, like TeachThought, even suggest having a degree can lead to a higher level of job satisfaction. However, with current tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year, getting a degree is expensive and impractical, especially if you have a job or family.
Distance learning programs provide an alternative for U.K. adults looking to get a university degree without stretching their budgets or disrupting their schedules. These flexible learning opportunities are becoming increasingly popular and provide so many benefits.
Distance Learning Offers New Opportunities
Approximately 270,000 people in the U.K. are using distance learning, the Complete University Guide reports, to earn undergraduate degrees, and an increasing number of master’s and bachelor’s degree programs are also becoming available. Today, it’s even possible to obtain a PhD via distance learning.
Thanks to advances in technology, the experience of studying online isn’t much different than attending a traditional university. Courses are delivered online where students are given access to course materials and assignments. Lectures may be provided in audio or video format by the same instructors teaching on-campus classes.
Although all interaction takes place online instead of face-to-face, you don’t have to worry about missing out on relationships with your fellow distance learning students. Messaging programs, voice chat, and video chat create opportunities for real relationships and lasting friendships as you study together.
The increasing popularity of distance learning means your options aren’t limited to a few select schools. Prestigious institutions like Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester, and Imperial College London all offer online programs. If you’ve always wanted to study at one of these schools but thought you’d never get the opportunity, you can realize your dreams through a distance learning program and earn a degree from an accredited and respected institution.
Why Choose a Distance Learning Program?
Flexibility is the main reason adults in the U.K. are choosing distance learning instead of traditional university studies. Imagine trying to attend campus classes with your current schedule. If you have a job, your only option would be to study at night. If you have a family, it’s difficult to clear out large blocks of time to commute to school, attend lectures, and do homework.
With an online program, you choose your own schedule and study from the comfort of your home or your favorite quiet location. You can take advantage of morning or evening hours when the rest of the family is asleep, or you can work on an assignment during your lunch break. You’re free to study at whatever time is best for you.
Distance learning programs also cost less than on-campus classes. Online platforms are cheaper and attending part-time requires a smaller upfront investment. This allows you to earn the undergraduate degree you need to expand your career opportunities. There are even accelerated degree options available. These programs have shorter course terms and may include competency-based learning so you can speed through subjects with which you’re already familiar.
Whatever course of study you choose, you’ll have access to the same quality of education as campus students. The only difference is self-discipline – you have to be dedicated enough to work through the courses independently and turn in assignments on time.
How Do You Find These Distance Learning Programs?
If you want to take advantage of the opportunities distance learning offers for higher education and better career choices, it’s time to do some research. Some options are preferable over others, and you need to find a program with a structure appropriate for your needs.
Start with the universities you most want to attend. Look at their websites for information about distance learning programs or call an academic advisor at the school for more information. Request details about the programs in which you’re most interested so that you can compare offerings as you seek to make a decision.
To find a specific degree program, search for the degree you want at a variety of different universities. See which ones have the best course offerings, and compare the online learning platforms they use. Consider whether you’d like an accelerated program or a more traditional pace of study and narrow your choices down accordingly. Online sites make your search even easier by giving you access to information about a range of different distance learning programs from universities in your area.
If you want to all the benefits of having a university degree but your schedule or budget doesn’t allow for a traditional higher education program, distance learning is the solution. The flexible nature makes it suitable for any stage of life, and the degree you earn can open doors to better job opportunities with increased earning potential. Look for a program offering a user-friendly learning platform and the combination of courses you need to achieve your desired degree and start enjoying all the benefits of learning online.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.