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Distance learning at Oxbridge

University of CambridgeDistance learning is a fantastic option for those postgraduate students who are unable to attend courses on-campus. The University of Oxford educates over 15,000 students this way each year, however, the offering for online or distance learning is much more limited at the University of Cambridge.

Distance learning at the University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge does not offer degree-level courses by distance learning. They do offer a large number of courses for professionals and others through their Institute of Continuing Education. After finishing the course students will gain a certificate of completion, but this will not count as credits towards a degree of any level from the University of Cambridge. Many courses have a professional or postgraduate career emphasis. There are online courses in Executive Coaching, many different aspects of Creative Writing such as Children's Writing or Popular Science Writing and there are courses in many areas of History. During the course, students receive feedback from their lecturers and should gain an excellent understanding of the topic.

Distance learning at the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education operates its online course offering. There are over 90 courses and some of these courses can count towards credits for degree courses. To earn credits towards a degree students must register for the CATS points system and each module usually costs an additional £10 for CATS points. For masters level qualifications the University of Oxford offers courses in subjects such as History, Literature and the Arts, and Transnational Health Sciences. There are 21 taught masters-level courses that are taught online with weekend or summer school sessions and there are eight research-based DPhil courses. Students must be a member of a college and not all colleges accept part-time students, so potential students must research which colleges would be suitable for them.

How long are the courses?

Most of the distance learning courses at the University of Cambridge are one university term in length. The masters courses at the University of Oxford take two years to complete, as students must first study a Postgraduate Diploma before moving onto the masters course. Research programs that result in a DPhil take six years to complete.

Distance learning tuition fees

Tuition fees for distance learning courses at Oxbridge depend on the level of study. The masters and DPhil programs at the University of Oxford do not differ from other tuition fees at the university. For example, a Masters in the History of Design costs £5,440 per year for two years for UK-based students. Shorter courses can cost around £450 per term and are one term in length. Courses at the University of Cambridge vary in tuition fees from £275 to £455 for a module that lasts for one university term.

How to apply for distance learning courses at Oxbridge

Most applications are done online and for many of the courses with the University of Cambridge any student who pays the tuition fees is accepted onto the course, it is up to you to be up to the work. The University of Oxford online courses depend on the level, but for their online postgraduate courses students must have completed the Postgraduate Diplomas before moving onto the masters level courses and entry-level qualifications are similar to those of the on-campus courses.

Rankings for online subject areas

The University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford offers a selection of online courses at a variety of levels – these are subject areas that both universities excel at in world rankings figures, including History, Law, Archaeology, Creative Writing and Finance. This table illustrates how the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge rank worldwide for these subjects.

Oxbridge subjects


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