Over the years we’ve discovered that there are some things every student wants to know. If you can’t find the answer you need here or elsewhere on our website, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Your questions will help us to improve the information we provide on your website to help potential students like you.

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.

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 concentrate and focus on your studies is essential, whether it’s a spare room at home, your office at work, a coffee shop or the train

  • Confidence in using a computer and the internet

  • Experience of online forums and chat rooms is also beneficial

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

And your Online Tutor will upload learning materials at the start of each term.

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:


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


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.

All courses have a structured timetable, 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.

You’ll find detailed information on individual course pages but, as a guide, you will need to allocate approximately 200 hours per standard module (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.

Depending on which course you are studying, you can start at any of our three intakes in September, January and May.  So you’ll have more options than traditional ‘on-campus’ courses, but you can’t start your course at any other times.  Our trimester based learning ensures that tutors are available throughout your course and that there will be other students on your modules at the same time to share and enhance your student experience.

In some respects, it can be more difficult: you will need to be self-motivated, organised and dedicated to completing your studies.  However, you will have the flexibility to study at times which suit you and you won’t need to travel to campus or attend lectures at fixed times which might make it easier to fit studying for a degree with your busy work and family life.

No. Like any other certificate issued by University of Derby, your award certificate will simply state the name of the course that you studied – e.g. BSc (Hons) Psychology. There is no reference to the mode of study on your certificate, it is only referred to on the transcript.

Yes, our online courses are of the same rigorous quality as our on-campus courses. Many of our courses are also accredited by professional bodies, including the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Institute of Hospitality.