The top 10 online and distance-learning colleges and universities
Online study is a great option for 2012 if you want to get ahead at work with a specialist qualification, but don’t want to put your life and career on hold. Here are 10 top online education providers to help you to boost your prospects…
1. The Open University
The biggest online university in the UK, The Open University is regarded by many as the place to study. There are 600 programmes on offer, counting towards more than 250 qualifications, so you’re sure to find the undergraduate or postgraduate course, research degree or professional skills training to suit you. The range is vast, including anything from food science to nursing and psychology to financial management – for most courses you won’t need any previous qualifications, as The Open University has specially designed introductory courses.
2. RDI (Resource Development International)
RDI partners with eight UK universities, to deliver its programmes via distance learning. Its subject list is long and includes courses in management, business, HR management, law, public sector, psychology, IT & telecoms, finance & accounting, sales & marketing, service excellence, tourism & hospitality and supply chain management.
3. Distance Learning College and Training
This is the UK's top specialist provider of accredited distance learning courses in logistics, supply chain management, purchasing, and export & management. Globally recognised professional institutes accredit all its courses. Over the last five years the Distance Learning College has enjoyed a 97 per cent pass rate on all courses.*
4. Modern Montessori International (MMI)
Want to teach children aged from two-and-a-half to six? MMI offers suitable diploma and bachelor degree teacher training courses. Although online, MMI also 70 centres in the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand, so it’s certainly well established and respected.
5. UK Open College
One of the largest distance learning establishments, the UK Open College offers relatively affordable home learning on 250+ courses. Study one of 15 A-Levels, get creative with a writing or beauty therapy course, try bookkeeping or business, or move into HR or childcare – see the website for a full course list.
Learndirect comes highly recommended – in fact, it has helped over 3 million gain new skills and nationally recognised qualifications in maths, English and IT, as well as business and job-specific skills, life skills and job seeking and employability. Learndirect also runs eCourses, most of which don’t lead to qualifications, but allow you to brush up on your skills in areas such as Microsoft Office, web design & development and customer service.
7. BSY Group
Established in 1946, this is one of the largest colleges in Europe specialising in alternative health and complementary therapies, such as yoga, massage, fitness and counselling. You can sign up for a certificate or diploma course. BSY conducted a recent survey in which 99 per cent of students rated its courses good to excellent, and would recommend them to a friend.
8. Oxford College
Oxford College promotes home learning in the UK and worldwide. Its online programmes include A-Levels, Fast track A-Levels, Level 3 Diplomas, Level 1 courses (as an introduction to a subject area), Level 2 courses (equivalent to GCSE level) and BTEC HND courses, which can be topped up with a third year at university to gain an honours degree. Subjects covered are vast – from Accounting to Zoology!
9. University of London
Get an internationally recognised diploma, bachelors degree or masters degree here. With China emerging as a leader in the global supply chain, its International Management (China) MSC and Postgraduate Diploma has become more attractive, and its short courses (35 hours to 240 hours) in conjunction with The Royal Veterinary College are popular.
10. The University of Derby
This establishment offers around 20 online courses, including foundation, honours or postgraduate degrees, in a wide range of subjects. It’s known for its online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. You’ll get support from a tutor and be able to discuss your subject online with your distance-learning peers.