What is Distance Learning? – Complete University Guide

Distance learning is a way of learning from a distance without being in the ordinary face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom. In the UK, this learning has its roots in students studying through correspondence courses.

  • More than 270,000 undergraduate students are taking their first degrees via make distant learning, together behind some 108,000 postgraduate students.
  • In recent years, the emergence of the Internet and the widespread use of the computer has led to an omnipotent accentuation in the dual provision of schooling and psychoanalysis.

At undergraduate level , distance learning usually means student involvement in learning materials at home or at work.

  • These materials are produced by the university, college or learning provider and are either sent directly to students or most often accessed today via the Internet.
  • The tutorial support is provided through a virtual learning environment, by telephone, e-mail or other electronic means.
  • Occasionally face-to-face meetings with tutors and attending weekly summer schools may occasionally occur.

Most students in the UK are studying with Open University (although many universities offer distance learning programs); postgraduate students study elsewhere.

Advantages and Disadvantages – Why Choose Distance Learning?

The main advantage of distance learning is that it allows you to fit your learning around your work and family life.

  • You can usually set your own rhythm.
  • It’s your decision when and where you study.
  • No matter where you live – you can get a diploma from anywhere in the world.
  • As with a full-time degree, students can find that they acquire useful, transferable skills such as planning and research.
  • A distance learning course often costs less than a full-time degree.

The downside is that you will not enjoy the conviviality of being on a campus and rubbing with your everyday colleagues.

  • Loneliness and feelings of isolation should, however, be avoided through frequent online contact with tutors and by participating in virtual forums, virtual help groups, and chat rooms.
  • Distance education providers usually offer special support to their students online or remotely.


  • You can study university, postgraduate and professional courses through distance learning.
  • Universities and colleges ensure that their distance education programs and qualifications are of the same high quality as campus-based programs.

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