Following our profile of the Open University (August 2018 edition), we return to the subject of distance learning to look more generally about what it’s all about and how Service leavers can make it work.
Need qualifications for that new civilian career? You don’t have to become a full-time student to earn them.
Adapted from CivvyStreet Magazine, September 2013. Words: Paul Cockburn
What’s your idea of ‘a student’? Someone who spends a lot of time in the student bar, or sleeping at the back of a lecture hall? Truth is, lots of students nowadays are just like you; they seldom, if ever, set foot on the campus at all.
The last few decades have seen a significant rise in “distance learning”, where you study and learn remotely from the institution. As with most things in world today, this has benefited greatly from the rise of the internet, though many courses haven’t entirely given up on paper and print. Nevertheless, it’s even possible now to remotely sit your exams anywhere in the world as long as you have a secure internet connection.
Convenience is key; distance learning enables you to work at your own pace, fitting your study time into your life rather than the other way round. And it’s not just the simpler qualifications we’re talking about here; you can study for everything from the simplest certificate (needing only a few hours study, probably completed over a few days) to degrees and postgraduate qualifications that will require several years’ commitment.