What is Distance Learning? – FAQs
We’ve put together some common questions about online distance learning to help you find out how it works, and which distance learning courses are available to you.
What is distance learning?
Distance learning is any type of learning that happens without students being present in a lesson. This can also be referred to as online learning or remote learning, where all teaching materials and tutor support are delivered online. Typically, distance learning students will study at home rather than in a classroom or lecture hall on campus.
Many colleges and universities offer distance learning for a range of subjects and qualifications. Completing a course in this way offers many benefits by being more flexible for students who may prefer to study part-time or aren’t able to attend a college course in person.
What distance learning subjects can I study?
You can find a wide range of remote learning courses in academic subjects, as well as business, health, legal and many more across a range of qualification types from GCSEs to Level 7 Diplomas.
Popular distance learning A-Levels
For students looking to pursue distance learning A-Levels, these courses are available for a number of subjects. Some of the remote A-Level courses you could consider include:
- Accounting A-Level
- Biology A-Level
- Chemistry A-Level
- Physics A-Level
- Business A-Level
- History A-Level
- Law A-Level
- Mathematics A-Level
- English A-Level
- Psychology A-Level
- Sociology A-Level
If you’re interested in completing an A-Level via distance learning, check out the full range of courses to learn more.
Popular distance learning diplomas
For students looking to complete a diploma course, you can complete these from Level 2 to Level 7 in a wide range of topics. Distance learning diplomas give you the flexibility to complete your qualification in your own time, alongside work or other commitments you may have.
Some of the online diploma courses on offer include:
- Bereavement counselling diploma
- Aromatherapy diploma
- Business studies diploma
- Career coaching diploma
- Child psychology diploma
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) diploma
- Environmental science diploma
- Support teaching diploma
- Zoology diploma
- Government and politics diploma
- Nutritional therapy diploma
To find out more about online diplomas, check out the full list or get in touch for more details.
Popular distance learning BTEC courses
If A-Levels and Diplomas aren’t what you’re looking for, you might be interested in distance learning BTECs.
Some of the BTEC HNC/HNC qualifications available are:
What are the advantages of distance learning?
There are many advantages to distance learning when compared with traditional classroom or on-campus learning. Here are some of the key benefits online learning offers to students:
- Flexibility – With distance learning, you can complete your studies at a time and place that suits you. Most students work at home, either full-time or part-time alongside a job. So if you find it easier to work in the evenings or on the weekend, you don’t have to stick to a traditional class schedule.
- Work at your own pace – For students who find the pace of classroom learning too fast, you can slow down your studies with distance learning to ensure you have enough time to take in all the information and understand it.
- Have contact with your tutor – Learning with 30 other students in a classroom can make it difficult to get the direct help you might need from your teacher. While online learning doesn’t give you in-person contact with your tutor, you can email them with a question whenever you need to.
- Accessibility – Online learning provides a self-paced and adapted learning process for students with learning differences. It also helps reduce issues related to commuting and moving around campus for those with physical disabilities. Distance learning also offers solutions like tools for students with hearing impairments, or the ability to repeat material.
- Improve your time management skills – Completing a qualification through remote learning requires a lot of self-discipline and hard work, and gives students more responsibility for their learning compared with a typical classroom setting. These are all qualities that can benefit you when moving into higher education or your future career.
Do you get tutor help with distance learning?
Yes, you do get help from a tutor when completing a distance learning qualification. Our qualified tutors are trained to support you throughout your course and make sure you get the most out of it.
You will be assigned a tutor at the start of your course who will be there to answer your questions and provide guidance about the learning material. They will mark and review your work and give feedback, but they will not be responsible for your study plan. Meeting your deadlines and motivating yourself to complete your work is your responsibility.
Distance learning tutors at Oxford College include:
- AQA examiners and moderators
- Edexcel and OCR examiners and moderators
- Qualified doctors and professors
- Qualified teachers of A-Level syllabuses
How are online learning modules taught?
Most of our online learning courses are broken down into different modules which will each cover a specific topic as part of your chosen qualification. The format of the modules will vary depending on your chosen course but will generally include written material and tutor support.
When you enrol, you will be given access to the study material and can work through the information in your own time, making notes and completing exercises which you will send to your tutor for feedback. Some courses involve taking exams, whereas others are marked through continuous assessment by your tutor.
How long will a distance learning course take?
Depending on the qualification and subject you choose, distance learning course lengths can vary.
For example, our standard A-Level courses run for two years with approximately 350 hours of study required to complete. However, we offer fast-track A-Levels which can be completed in one year if you have more time available to study.
Diplomas typically require around 200 hours of study time over a one-year period. We have short diplomas which can be completed over 10 weeks with 20 hours of study per week.
How are remote learning courses assessed?
Remote learning courses are assessed in a similar way to in-person school or college learning. Some are assessed through an exam that you’ll take at the end of a module, whereas others involve continuous assessment across the duration of the course.
They can also include a mixture of both exams and coursework, depending on the type of qualification you choose and the format you’re studying in.
Will I need internet access for distance learning?
Yes, you will need a reliable internet connection to be able to complete a distance learning qualification.
You’ll need to be able to communicate with your tutor via email and use the internet to access your learning materials and other online information.
Are distance learning qualifications recognised?
Yes, distance learning qualifications are recognised by universities and employers, just like standard classroom learning qualifications.
There are many universities that accept Level 3 Diplomas completed through remote learning. The same goes for A-Levels and BTECs completed online, as long as you have met the entrance requirements for your chosen university or a job you’re applying for, there’s no need to worry.
If you’d like to find out more about distance learning and the options we have available at Oxford College, feel free to contact us or check out our full course lists to see what’s on offer.