What are Distance Learning Courses?

tudent learning on one of your distance learning courses

Distance learning is fast becoming a popular learning route for those looking to have flexibility and more control over their study schedule so it can fit it in with their work and home life.

In this article, we take a further look into what a distance course is, how they work and the benefits of distance learning.

What is a Distance Learning Course?

A distance learning course is a type of course where students learn the course material remotely without having any face-to-face contact with a teacher in a classroom setting.

Since the advent of the internet and the widespread use of computing technology, an increasing number of students are enrolling onto distance learning courses - especially at university level. According to The Complete University Guide, over 270,000 undergraduate students are studying their first degree through distance learning, along with nearly 108,000 postgraduate students.

But it is not just all about universities, a number of Further Education colleges are now offering distance learning due to the freedom and convenience they provide.

How Do Distance Learning Courses Work?

Similar to any other course, distance learning involves completing a series of modules accompanied by further reading, coursework and exams. The difference is, most of your learning activity will take place online.

Students who enrol onto a distance learning course will be provided access to an online learning portal where they can view all course materials and complete their assessments. If the course involves taking an exam, then students can usually complete it through the portal as well.

Support is available for students; just because you will be studying remotely does not mean that you have to be isolated. Students can contact their course or unit tutor at any time through the portal if they feel stuck.

When you submit your assignments, your tutor will mark it and provide you with the appropriate feedback within the agreed timescale - which is usually between 24 to 48 hours.

One thing you have to remember though, with distance learning, most of the onus is on you.  Your tutor won't check in to see how you're getting on with your course as they would do in a class. It is your responsibility to complete the course to the best of your ability.

What Are the Benefits of Distance Learning?

The most significant advantage of distance learning is that you can fit your studies around your work and home life. Other benefits include:

  • Study at Your Own Pace: With distance learning, you're not restricted to certain time restrictions and deadlines as you would find in a classroom environment to complete an assignment.
  • You Can Study Wherever You Live: If you live in Manchester, Birmingham or even Wales, you can enrol onto any online distance learning course, wherever you are in the UK. Plus, you can study anywhere, whether that is at home, a library or a coffee shop.
  • It Costs Less: Distance learning courses make effective use of their resources and learning materials.
  • Gain Transferable Skills: Since you'll be solely responsible for completing your course, you will gain and improve your skills in time management, planning, and researching. Also by telling prospective employers that you completed an online distance learning course and explain that you had to set your own study schedules shows that you are a self-starter and a motivated individual.
  • Less Distractions: When learning in a classroom environment, you are likely to come across a classmate who wants to disrupt or copy your notes. In a distance learning environment, you won't get that at all.

How Can The Learning Station Help?

If you're looking for a distance learning college, then look no further than The Learning Station. The Learning Station offers distance learning courses in a variety of vocational courses including:

Functional Skills

These GCSE equivalent qualifications are available in:

Health and Social Care

Child Care


Plus, The Learning Station also gives you the option of attending their North London training centre if you would like to opt for blended learning.

To find out how The Learning Station can help, please get in touch via our contact us page or call us directly on 020 8342 7210.