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How do I choose the right distance learning course?

3rd May 2019

Once you’ve decided that the flexibility of distance learning fits your lifestyle, choosing the right course is probably your next consideration.

And picking the perfect qualification depends on different criteria. For instance, your main motivation might be moving up the career ladder in your current company, switching to a different sector, setting up your own business or simply satisfying a thirst for knowledge without knowing exactly which direction it will take you.

While learning online is flexible and convenient, courses at all levels are a considerable commitment in terms of time and money – so it’s worthwhile working out exactly which one you want to pursue, as far ahead of application deadlines as possible.

Course levels

Accredited higher education courses with a provider like Anglia Ruskin University Distance Learning are available at all levels – from foundation and bachelor’s degrees to postgraduate top-up certificates and full-blown Master’s.

They can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis, and entry requirements vary for each. But because being inclusive and accessible is a central aim of distance learning, lacking the academic qualifications required for entry to a bricks and mortar course might not prevent your application being accepted for its online equivalent. For instance, if you have enough relevant work experience, you might not need any traditional qualifications to be accepted for some courses.


If you’ve not studied for a while, or are planning to undertake an online higher education course for the first time, you might be surprised at the number of diverse subjects available.

A quick scan of Anglia Ruskin University’s Distance Learning course offering reveals a wide range of academic and vocational options – covering everything from Project Management to professional football coaching.

If you want to be your own boss, earning an enterprise-focused MBA might boost your chances of success, while an undergraduate degree in digital marketing directs you towards a dynamic career in an exciting sector.

And if you’re in the Armed Forces and intent on rising up the ranks, specialist qualifications are a superb springboard, while healthcare professionals can progress their career aims with courses that allow them to focus on a certain medical strand, or equip them with the skills needed to move into management.

Course structure

Some courses are designed so that they can be completed entirely online, while others feature modules or workshops which you have to attend in person at physical university venues.

So research the way your chosen course unfolds all the way through to graduation and be sure that you can attend any mandatory in-person components.

Once you graduate, arrangements can be made for your certificates to be sent to you, but if circumstances permit, you might want to attend your graduation ceremony personally and grasp the opportunity to celebrate with course mates from around the world and tutors who have guided your learning journey.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right distance learning course shouldn’t be taken lightly, but by working through the considerations we’ve mentioned, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices until you hit the nail in the head.

Distance learning is designed for busy lives, but taking a course which is closely aligned with your career or personal goals gives you the best chance of achieving your ambitions.

For more information on distance learning, read the following blogs: