Distance Learning

Distance Learning

Everyone 'does' Distance Learning (DL) in a different way.

At DIS we put the student at the centre of the process as far as possible.

We know that mature distance learners often have to juggle their work and family commitments with their studies, so we try to be as flexible as possible with robust and validated programmes of study.

For example, you can take time out from the course should temporary circumstances prevent you from studying. In addition, we do not impose assignment deadlines; you work at your own pace (not ours) setting your own assignment schedule within the overall time frame of the course.


DL Courses Available




DL Courses and Modules

Our distance learning courses offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for both undergraduate and postgraduate learners. They range from Short Courses and Certificate courses, to professionally accredited Diploma, Degree, and Master’s programmes.

Each programme is completed by studying a series of ‘modules’, with each module worth a number of credits e.g. 10, 20, 30, or more credits. The modules are designed to enable you to get an overview or in-depth understanding of the subject depending on the level and number of credits. A module is then broken down into units and includes exercises and examples to enable you to think, apply and test your knowledge as you learn. Some modules will be core modules, which means that they have to be completed as part of the course. Others are optional modules that you can select from accordingly.

DL Delivery

At the start of your distance learning studies, you will have support and guidance in how to study the programme, who to contact for advice, and training in how to access and use our online support systems and resources, as well as how to get going with your study skills through our tailored Skills Induction Programme (SkIP).

Our distance learning is delivered through a blend of methods that may include: online modules activities and resources, residential schools and workshops, telephone and Skype tutorials, and study tours/visits. In addition, some modules are delivered via specially designed print workbooks a format that our students tell us they value as the package is portable and easy to use. These are studied in combination with the module’s online support area via Blackboard (the University's virtual learning environment) which includes activities and resources such as case studies, video & podcast interviews, quizzes, plus shared activities such as discussion groups and wikis, and advice and support from the subject expert about the module and its assignments.

‌Examples of distance learning study modules:

Pace of Progress

We understand that you have to try and balance your studies with already busy lives and we, therefore, aim to provide you with as much flexibility as possible whilst advising you and monitoring your progress. To complete your programme, you have:

  • 3 to 5 years on the undergraduate course and
  • 2 to 5 years on our postgraduate courses

How you manage that time is largely up to you. As long as you complete the minimum credits per year, you plan your own study time, including when you submit assignments. Your personal tutor can help you to plan your studies, and your Programme Team’s Progress Committee will help you to track your study pace.

It sometimes happens that students do not make the progress they would wish to and if your studies are affected by particular circumstances we can normally offer you temporary withdrawal time or an extension to your course.

Assignment deadlines

There are no deadlines. You decide your own deadlines in line with your own timetable for course completion. As you work through one module, you may be planning the next one, obtaining the core texts, etc.


Nominally, a 20 credit module will require you to put in 200 hours of study in terms of reading and producing the assignment. In practice, how long you spend on a module depends on many things, such as how you relate to the subject and how long you have been studying. Most students find that they can estimate and plan the time to work through a module but that they need to spend more time when they are completing the coursework.

Study Schools

Most courses begin with attendance at a study school. Our schools normally take 4 - 5 days. For more information on Study Schools, see the Study Schools Section. After the first year of study, there may be a second study school (some courses have a third study school), and some programmes offer a dedicated research school in preparation for the programme’s dissertation module.

Exit Options

All our postgraduate courses have a Diploma and Certificate exit points and undergraduate courses have a Diploma exit.

Payment Options

Students who are self-funding can pay for their course a module at a time. For students who are being sponsored by employers, the fees are broken up into annual invoices over three years.


Once you are registered as a student, all access to University resources, your programme and module resources, and email communications, will be via your Aberystwyth University computer account.