Distance and Flexible Learning Opportunities in the UK

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Whether you're a European citizen or an international student looking to study at one of the UK's many acclaimed institutions, the option of distance and flexible learning is a great opportunity to propel your education forward whilst pursuing other life goals.

So how can distance and flexible learning benefit you over enrolling in full-time education? Well, there is a wide variety of class and scheduling options that can fit around your current schedule, but to understand the benefits fully, and see if this type of learning is suited to you, let's take a look at how it can help you achieve the academic results you want, with the lifestyle you have.

What types of scheduling options are available?

Many students seeking flexible education do so because they are simultaneously pursuing a career, a passion, another form of education, or because they're located in a distant geographic area. You will find that there are usually two main routes in flexible studying, and each have their own merits:

1. Online Learning

The distinct advantage of online learning is that it allows you study at your own pace, while maintaining a personal approach through direct monitoring from academic staff. This is a perfect option for career-focused professionals to pursue a credential such as the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), the ACCA qualification (world recognized accountancy accreditation), or a higher degree like an MA or MBA.

2. Part-time Courses, and Evening and Weekend Courses

Part-time courses, as well as evening and weekend courses, provide students with all the personalized advantages of a classroom education, but with a schedule that fits around their daily routine. This means that students have the ability to create a peer-group with their classmates and work in-person with academic staff. Many undergraduate institutions offer this type of scheduling, but it is most common in professional credentials and higher degrees. The other advantage, is that for students wanting to gain experience in their chosen field, the flexible class times will free up your weekly schedule for work experience, internships and graduate role positions in firms where you want to gain a head start.

What is the best location for my studies?

When looking to enrol in a new academic programme it is important to consider both the quality of the institution as well as its location, this applies even if you are looking to enrol in distance learning, because the calibre of the institution will impact the quality of your degree. Universities and institutions of the UK are highly recognized both locally and internationally, and receiving a degree from one will stand you in good stead with potential employers when you start applying for jobs.

It is therefore worth noting, that in order to get the upper-edge in competitive career paths, it is also advantageous to study in thriving business and financial capitals such as London or Manchester. This will not only put you in close contact with employers for networking and interviews, but many institutions have placement and recruitment contacts with local firms. So if you are looking at part-time, evening and weekend in-house courses, investigate the opportunities for international studies to pursue flexible learning abroad.

Very few people are able to put their career, family, and pursuits on hold in order to return to their studies. Luckily, there is a whole host of flexible education opportunities waiting to be seized by those looking to get a step-ahead on their future success.

Image: Centre of Alternative Teaching used under the Creative Commons license.

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