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Gaining Professional Accreditations Online

Online professional accreditationPostgraduate study is an excellent way to achieve professional accreditations, but online study to gain professional accreditations can be a little different to more traditional classroom-based form of study, and the topics available are fairly wide-ranging.

Here's a guide to some of the courses and professional accreditations available to gain online and how to study them successfully.

How do you find a course?

If you want to gain a professional accreditation via online study, a good place to start your search is the professional accreditation organisation that you want to join, such as the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy. These organisations will usually have a list of approved postgraduate courses on their website. Another alternative is to attend a networking event held by the professional body. At one of these networking events you will meet people who can direct you to the right course or courses, or at the very least will be able to recommend someone who will be able to help you.


Which universities offer professional accreditations?

Plenty of universities offer courses with professional accreditations. For example, the University of Derby offers a range of online courses with accreditations in topics like counselling, nursing and hospitality management. Other universities offer courses for those students who wish to continue with a career in academic teaching, such as the University of Edinburgh with their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice.

What subjects are available?

There is a great selection of professional accreditation subjects available to study online, however obviously some professional courses are more easily accessed online than others. Professional courses – like those in physiotherapy – will not be easily converted to online formats, however those postgraduate students looking for professional accreditation in topics like the law, accountancy, counselling, IT and business management have excellent options for online study with professional accreditation. Courses that are tailor-made specifically for those who are currently working, like project management or engineering management, tend to be offered on a part-time basis via online study.

How much do online PG courses with professional accreditations cost?

Tuition fees of online postgraduate courses with professional accreditations can vary. Sometimes online courses cost less than on-campus courses, but this is not always the case. Here are some examples of the tuition fees of professional online courses for all students.

Online professional courses

How do you study a professional course online?

Studying online can be difficult for those students who are not used to studying at home on their own, but if you have enough self-motivation, online study shouldn’t present too many difficulties. It's important to check that you have sufficient internet access and this can sometimes comprise part of the application process. Creating a workspace and a timetable are all excellent ways to prepare for online study, as is undertaking a short course to check that online study is for you.

What about on-campus sessions or work placements?

It’s important to check the study modes offered on a particular course before you apply in case there are any on-campus sessions for your course, as this could have a significant impact on your study plans. You should find out important facts like this when you are researching the course. If you are not currently working, then you might be able to take advantage of work placements either during the holidays, and some courses – even online ones – offer the chance of work placement sessions during the course. If you can fit this around your studies and life, then a work placement is an excellent opportunity to improve your career options.

How long does a course with professional accreditation take?

The duration of an online course with professional accreditation depends on the topic, the level that you need to study at, and how you are studying. If you are studying part time then you should expect your studies to last about twice as long as if you were studying full time. Many courses with professional accreditation are aimed at those students who are already working, so you may find that part-time study is the only option.


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