Study Modes: Distance Learning and e-Learning

The most obvious example of a distance learning provider in the UK is the Open University but many other Universities also provide distance learning and e-Learning courses.
Increasingly, all or part of the course (usually masters level courses) is delivered online, often through a dedicated course portal. Courses are generally studied over a longer period of time, and have a degree of flexibility about when study can be undertaken. Teaching is delivered through assignments sent by email or post, or online, completed and returned to the course tutor, who then provides feedback and support via the same routes. Increasingly, distance-learning courses include a combination of teaching methods, and this is sometimes described as 'blended learning' or 'mixed mode'.
Courses delivered either fully or partly online now often have a community and academic online space as well, so you can have contact with other students on the course as well as the tutors and administrators.
If you choose to study by distance learning and/or e-Learning/online learning you will have greater time flexibility, and will be able to undertake courses offered by Universities elsewhere in the UK, or even elsewhere in the world. These courses can be particularly useful if you move around a lot or if you do not have a regular weekly routine. However, if you want to benefit from a postgraduate community, or to participate in a course where debates and discussions with other students are a key factor, distance learning may not be appropriate for you. However, you should also be aware that many distance learning programmes include some form of study meeting, although possibly only once a year.
It can be particularly helpful to be in touch with other students currently studying the course online to find out about the level of support from the university, as well as contact with other students during the course. Read our Student Voices article from a student who did a distance learning Masters, and our TalkPostgrad article "Is Distance Learning right for me?".

Take a look at our special collection of Online and Distance Masters courses .
You can also start looking for Masters opportunities with funding on PostgraduateStudentships, or for courses in your subject area on MastersCompare.