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How you will learn

Teaching and learning

Distance learning courses are taught 100% online. The majority of teaching is delivered through Blackboard, our virtual learning platform, and tutors communicate with students throughout the study week via Blackboard and email. The content of each module is structured into weekly topics and you're provided with a variety of learning resources such as: eBooks, journals, exercises and quizzes. You'll use the digital library extensively for reading, research, projects and your dissertation.

Lectures and presentation slides are uploaded so you can watch them on-demand. Most of your studying will be independent activities, however your tutors may set some group work to encourage peer-to-peer learning. Student collaboration is key to effective online learning so you're encouraged to engage in discussions online to learn from each other's perspectives and experiences. 

Your assessments will depend on the subject you're studying but the majority of distance learning assignments consist of essays, reports and online tests, which are all submitted to Blackboard. You do not need to come onto campus to sit an exam paper, but you will have deadlines which you need to meet for assessed work.

Hear how our students use learning resources to advance their studies, no matter where they are in the world!

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How will I study?

Our teaching is supported through our virtual learning environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are and during any time of the day. Using Blackboard, you can: 

  • Access important reference material, handouts, reading lists and web links.

  • Talk to tutors and other students through online discussion boards and forums.

  • Attend virtual presentations and tutorials.

  • Complete and submit your assignments with the support of online marking and feedback.

  • Keep up-to-date with progress, course deadlines and announcements.

When will I study?

Your course learning materials are 100% online so you can choose to study in the evenings, weekends, or whenever is convenient for you.

Distance learning courses follow the standard semester calendar, meaning that throughout the year there will be set study weeks where you are expected to complete the weekly content. You will have set deadlines for exams/assessments/resits. You will have holidays which follow the standard British higher education holiday period (such as time off over Christmas and Easter).

For distance learning courses, there is usually a start date in September and sometimes an alternative start date in February. Please visit the course page and select distance learning as the study option to find out the start date of that particular course. You can also enquire on the course page to find out more about start dates and study periods.

How do I find out more about a course?

We understand that choosing to study a distance learning course is an important decision and we're here to provide you with as much information as possible. Please visit the specific distance learning course page you're interested in and on there you'll be able to: enquire about the course, book an open day or apply.

How long will it take to complete the course?

This course duration depends on whether you're studying an undergraduate/postgraduate degree either full-time or part-time. Please refer to the specific course pages for the duration. 

Can I use the on-campus library?

Whether you're local or not, you're welcome to come onto campus to visit the library and use the study spaces. It's open 24/7 at key times in the academic year. As a distance learning student, you can also access: 

  • The library and eResources 
  • IT and Library support, and academic skills support
  • Student wellbeing services, guidance advisors and the careers network
  • Discounted software
Will I be able to attend the graduation ceremony?

Yes! You'll have the same status as on-campus students, gain the same qualification and be able to celebrate and attend the graduation ceremony at Staffordshire University. Key graduation details such as the dates and additional information will be communicated to students during the final year of study.

Learn more about our Graduation ceremonies.

How will I be assessed?

You'll take assessments throughout your study, typically during a module and an end of module assessment. You'll submit your work online and you'll get your grades and feedback online too.  

You'll have assessment deadlines like all our students, but you’ll manage your time leading up to your assessments to work around what suits you best.

What happens if I become ill or work schedules prevent study?
Make your tutor aware as soon as you can. They will be able to advise on the best course of action.
What if I need support during my studies?

We want you to feel supported throughout your studies, regardless of where you are based or how you choose to learn. Our distance learners are not treated differently to our on campus students and we can support you over a video call or phone call.

We offer a range of student support and wellbeing services for personal and academic matters.

Will my qualification be different because I chose to study it as distance learning?
There is no difference between the qualification you are awarded for equivalent degrees which are offered through on-campus or distance learning study modes.
Are distance learning courses best for UK or international students?

We welcome distance learning students from the UK and all over the world! We have a mix of students who live in the UK and also in other countries, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experiences and culture in our online communities. Travelling to the UK is not required for our distance learning courses.

I still have questions

If you have any general questions about distance learning or studying at the University or about a specific course then please contact our friendly team.

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