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Online learning at Russell Group universities

Russell Group Online StudyOnline or distance learning is an effective way to improve your career prospects or retrain in a different field while you are still working or have other commitments to cope with at the same time. Russell Group universities offer some great opportunities for online studying at postgraduate level. There are options to study many different subject areas at postgraduate level via distance learning at Russell Group universities. History, Arts and the Law are all popular programs at masters degree or PG Diploma level to study online, as are other topics including Education.

The University of Birmingham offers a large number of Education postgraduate programs as well as a good selection on International Development. Other topics, such as Medicine or the Physical Sciences, are by their nature a little more difficult to study by distance learning, but Queen's University Belfast offers postgraduate programs in Pharmacy and other programs in Medicine for online study. Meanwhilem the University of Edinburgh has a large selection of Law courses for postgraduate law students, and at the University of Nottingham there is a wide variety of interesting online options, including niche topics such as the Masters in Brewing Science by distance learning.


Teaching methods

Not all Russell Group universities offer postgraduate level courses via online study, for example, the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) doesn't offer any distance learning options at all, but those that do have a online offerings employ a variety of teaching methods. Most have a system that is familiar to students who have only attended on-campus courses before, as modules will have recorded online lectures with assessment by exams sat online or by essays submitted online. Other universities have seminars by video conferencing that students attend online and some institutions in the Russell Group have all the material available for students to read online in addition to their research in the field. The teaching methods vary between courses and universities so it is best to find out if the teaching methods will suit your particular situation, and also bear in mind that attending online seminars requires an excellent internet connection so make sure your home set up is adequate.

Online postgraduate students

Some Russell Group universities have no online or distance learning postgraduate students at all – for example LSE and the University of Cambridge – as they don't offer any distance learning postgraduate courses. The other Russell Group universities do have at least some postgraduate online offerings, however as the online PG students can be based all over the world, so it can be difficult to access the total numbers of online postgraduate students studying online at an institution at any on time. Also, many of the Russell Group universities participate in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allowing access to students around the world to some of their online course materials for free.

Networking opportunities

Finding opportunities for networking while studying a postgraduate program online can be difficult. Russell Group universities pride themselves on their local, national and international connections to business, governmental and other organisations, giving their institutions and their students excellent access to experiences and contacts. Although networking is best done in person, as an online postgraduate student at a Russell Group university there are still good options, for example with social media, to connect with others while studying. There is also usually the possibility of attending conferences or sessions on-campus while studying online, which can offer online postgraduate students additional networking opportunities.

Online learning tuition fees

Here's a selection of tuition fees for some Russell Group universities' distance learning programs.
Russell Group Online Masters Tuition Fees


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