You already know that studying by online distance learning is incredibly convenient, but you may still have some questions.

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions which you may find helpful.

If you still require further help or have additional questions, then call us on +44 (0) 1332 594000 or complete our online enquiry form on the Contact us page.

Our online learning courses are part of the same rigorous quality processes as our on-campus courses. The design of the course content and learning processes reflects the current pedagogical principles for online learning, which are focused on specific needs for the online learner.

Many courses are accredited by professional bodies, such as the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Institute of Hospitality.

The length of study for our online learning programmes are flexible so that students can choose the study rate that suits them. We have three trimesters within each year (starting in September, January and May) and within each trimester, students can choose to take either 1 or 2 modules.

We estimate that one 20 credit module will require around 20 hours study per week, during term; two modules will be around 40 hours study time.

Each course has a set study pattern, with some modules only available within specific trimesters (this will be provided to student when they enrol onto their chosen course). Although our courses are flexible, students chosen modules and study rates will have to fit within this study pattern.

You will have a dedicated online tutor allocated to you for each of the modules you study. They will be support and navigate you through your learning.  Our dedicated Customer Support Team is also available to assist you with any queries, help you with enrolment, payments or any general questions about your course.

Many students form lasting friendships with other students, who help and support each other.

You also have access to the University’s Student Wellbeing, Careers Advisors, e-library and IT support services.

You will need to have a PC or Mac with an internet connection. At the very least you will need one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari

You can undertake a compatibility test with our virtual learning environment provider at:

https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student/Getting_Started/Browser_Support/Browser_Checker

Our virtual learning environment is tested on a number of devices and operating systems. If you would like to find out more, please visit.

https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student/Getting_Started/Browser_Support#Tested_devices_and_operating_systems

Other software required:

  • PDF reader files (eg Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • Microsoft Word (at least Word 2003)
  • Microsoft Excel (at least Excel 2003)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (at least PowerPoint 2003)

Some courses require additional software which you can download from the internet. And our BSc (Hons) Psychology requires a specialist statistical package (SPSS for Windows) which you can buy from the University when you enrol on the statistics modules.

Your online tutor will post information in Blackboard for you to access at your convenience.

Once you have successfully enrolled on one of our courses, you will be given a unique student ID number which allows you to access all of your learning resources online, through our university student portal called Course Resources.

You’ll have an allocated online tutor who will support and navigate you throughout your learning. Online student communities, such as discussion forums, provide engagement with peers in the learning process.

Studies are undertaken through a virtual learning environment (VLE) called Blackboard Collaborate, where course content and resources will be available. You will have full access to the university’s range of online services, eg. e-library, student support.

At a programme level, you can engage through online social and community spaces with peers from around the world.

As a guide, you will need to allocate approximately 200 hours per standard module (15/20 credits) for learning, which equates to around 17-20 hours per week.  This will be a combination of tutor discussions, reading, research, online activities and critical thinking and reflection.

We have three intakes per year, September, January and May (depending on which course you are studying).  Details about the start dates are shown on individual course pages. 

Although these dates give you more options than traditional ‘on-campus’ courses, it means you can’t start a course whenever you want. It needs to be like this so that tutors are available throughout your course and to help us guarantee there will be other students on your modules at the same time to enhance your student experience.

All courses run in a structured environment, based on trimesters, with assessment deadlines at the end of each trimester.  These typically run as follows:

  • Trimester 1: September – December

  • Trimester 2: January – March

  • Trimester 3: May – July

You will need to submit your course work (or sit exams where relevant) at the end of each trimester. You will be given details about your assignment and deadlines by your online tutor.

Once you have enrolled and paid for your course, we will send you a username and password to access your online learning resources.

Learning materials will be uploaded by your Senior Online Tutor at the start of term.

In some respects, it can be more difficult as you will need to be self-motivated, organised and committed to completing your studies.  Studying online gives you the flexibility to complete the course using your spare time, without the need to travel to campus or attend lectures at fixed times. 

When you take an online degree with us, you also get direct access to university-standard teaching, facilities and support. We don’t sell other people’s courses – we design and deliver our own online degrees, so you deal directly with us at all times. And because we’ve been an established educational institution since 1851, you can be confident in receiving the same high quality degree you would expect from any UK university.

From talking to online students, graduates and our online tutors, here’s what we think you need to succeed as an online student:

  • Self discipline and motivation

  • Good organisational skills – so you can plan study timetables and get into a routine

  • A place where you can focus on your studies – whether it’s a spare room at home, your office at work a coffee shop or the train – a place where you can concentrate is essential.

  • A computer with internet connection

  • Confidence in using computers, the internet. Experience of online forums and chat rooms is also beneficial.

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