Online degrees at ARU Distance Learning

Shape your career with our range of distance learning courses. Study flexibly when and where it suits, because real life doesn't fit into a timetable.

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Welcome to ARU Distance Learning

Perhaps, earlier in life, you didn’t think university was for you? Or maybe you just didn’t get the opportunity?

Now’s your time and you’re welcome here. Distance learning allows you to study when it’s most convenient and fit your education around other commitments.

Whether you want a career change, promotion, simply want to keep your brain active, or are returning to the workplace after a break, distance learning makes it happen. Our courses are designed with you in mind.

Wherever you are in your journey, we want you to achieve your full potential and to realise your goals and ambitions.

Explore distance learning

Student enjoying the benefits of distance learning


Choosing to further your education as a distance learning student comes with a wide range of benefits, including flexible learning to fit around your  family life, and the ability to continue working while you develop your skills.

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About ARU - students standing in front of Anglia Ruskin University

About us

When you choose an ARU distance learning degree, you’re benefitting from an online story that began in 2003 (as part of ARU – THE’s University of the Year 2023) with educational excellence developed since 1858.

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Dedicated support

We have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation.

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Finding out more about fees and funding for distance learning

Fees and funding

Depending on your individual circumstances there are a variety of options available to help you fund your distance learning degree, from self-funding to student loans.

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A student finding out more about how to apply for ARU Distance Learning Courses

How to apply

Once you’ve decided on the right distance learning degree for you, the application process is simple. Check out our step by step guide and complete your application form today.
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Get in touch with the ARU team

Get in touch

You might have questions that need answering. If so, then our dedicated distance learning advisers would love to hear from you.

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Don't just take our word for it

Gold-standard education

We've received a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in a UK-wide review of teaching, learning and student support. Our course content and delivery, learning resources and approaches to supporting student success are all rated as ‘outstanding'.

TEF Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

University of the Year award 2023

We're proud to have been awarded the University of the Year accolade at the Times Higher Education (THE) 2023 awards. The award comes in recognition of our exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and demonstrates our commitment to improving the lives of students past and present.

THE Awards 2023

96% of our Alumni would recommend studying with ARU Distance Learning*

What our students say

Daniel - ARU Alumnus
The support I received studying for an online degree at ARU has given me an excellent foundation to go on to study for an MSc and has also greatly enhanced my career prospects.
Read Daniel's story
Dean Steventon - Alumnus

My experience has been such a positive one, with many highs and lows. The experience has shaped me for future study and given me skills for life, both personally and professionally.

Read Dean's story
Dio - ARU Alumnus

I felt supported, empowered and accomplished. I’ve achieved what I was hoping for when I signed up for the course and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Read Dio's story
Catherine Bolsem - Alumnus in military uniform
My course has broadened my knowledge and changed my approach to problem solving. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone to learn new things and look at issues through a different lens.
Read Cat's story

Latest from the distance learning blog

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a distance learning course help me achieve my career goals?

Absolutely. All of our distance learning degrees are as academically robust and relevant as their physical campus equivalents – essentially the only difference is the learning delivery method. And you’ve got further confidence because, wherever possible, ARU distance learning degrees are accredited by the relevant industry bodies and in many cases designed and developed by respected industry insiders.

Your ARU distance learning degree fits the bill academically and vocationally, helping you take your career in the right direction. But you don’t need to take our word for it – ARU student stories are packed with happy endings and new beginnings.

How does distance learning work?

In essence, distance learning applies the same principles as traditional higher education – you’ll systematically study the various modules of your course and progress your learning under the instruction and guidance of expert tutors, working alongside your class peers and graduating with a recognised qualification when you’re finished.

The difference with distance learning universities and universities that offer distance learning degrees is that you’ll study exclusively or mostly online, completing your course from your home or anywhere else that suits, using the internet and a device such as your phone, tablet or laptop to access course materials and communicate with tutors and fellow students. You’ll still have deadlines and it’s still hard work. But you can fit your learning flexibly around your work and family commitments, studying when it’s most convenient.

You’ll meet some interesting classmates too – because of its flexibility, online learning is accessible to students from an even wider range of backgrounds and geographical locations than traditional learning. Many of your classmates will also be working in related roles, so you’ll instantly benefit from shared insights and different perspectives. By the time you graduate, you might have a network of global contacts and possibly even holiday accommodation in lots of exciting places!

Is distance learning right for me?

This depends, but there’s every chance it is. Distance learning courses can benefit all sorts of students, but there are a few groups of learners that find it particularly beneficial. For instance, if you’re a parent and want to fit a degree around a hectic home life, you can dip into your ARU distance learning degree modules during those rare moments of downtime – perhaps when you’re curled up on the settee with a cuppa once the kids are in bed.

Alternatively, if you’re already working but want to change to another career sector, distance learning allows you to migrate smoothly without having to give up your job and income. Besides, staying in a job you’re bored with is more bearable when you’re working towards an exit plan. You might also be happy in your current career area but stuck below a level where you would feel more fulfilled – if you want to grab that promotion you deserve, having a formal qualification that demonstrates your suitability stands you in good stead. Studying a distance learning degree with ARU can give you the tools you need to take the next step in your career, not only providing you with new challenges, but allowing you to advance up the pay scale, improving your financial situation and enhancing your quality of life.

Some ARU distance learners may have also been out of the job market for one reason or another for an extended period – if this sounds like you, having a recent and relevant qualification can make re-entering a competitive job market much less scary, and prove to prospective employers that you’ve got the skills and attitude they’re looking for.

Last but not least, online learning often suits mature learners – whether you’re retired and yearning for pure and simple intellectual stimulation and a sense of achievement, or are starting a second career in your middle age, you’re never too old to embrace the opportunities an ARU distance learning degree offers.

How do I choose the right distance learning degree?

ARU offers a wide range of online courses including undergraduate, postgraduate, and top-up degrees. Plus, we offer specialised courses for serving Armed Forces members as well as regular civilian students. Our course choices cover areas like psychology, digital marketing, healthcare, business management and much more.

If you’re already working in a career area you’re happy with but you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like, you might choose a course that lets you apply for jobs at management level, or in a different team or section in your organisation.

Alternatively, you might have been thinking of changing careers for years but making a major alteration to your life feels intimidating – if this is the case, online learning can ease you into a new area gradually as you build your confidence.

Furthermore, all of our courses are vocational but if you want to study for a degree purely for the pleasure of learning, there are several fascinating subjects to stimulate those little grey cells. Also, if you’ve no firm idea yet of why you want to study online or what direction you want to take you in, that’s no problem – all you need is the desire to make a change and our skilled advisers can help you define what you want and recommend the right course to take you there.

*2023 alumni survey with 158 respondents