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Is Distance Learning Worth It?

27th April 20

Thousands of people embark on distance learning courses every year. Over 20,000 alone complete Access to Higher Education Diplomas and go on to study at university.

Whether you are studying a diploma or retaking your GCSEs. The grading system is the same. The qualifications are the same.

The course material may differ but then that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it ensures the material stays current.

The only significant difference is you aren’t at the mercy of someone else’s schedule.

That means you don’t have to worry about timetables or getting to class on time. Mainly because there are no classes.

You don’t need to worry about homework, because there isn’t any.

You don’t need to worry about childcare or juggling work commitments. Because you’re the one who gets to decide when you study and for how long.

Distance learning is both empowering and freeing. You have the luxury of choosing many of the same courses offered by conventional colleges. But you get to study them at a time and place that suits you.

Work Life Balance

Whether you are returning to education because you want to retake your GCSE Maths or you want to go to university, committing to any kind of study programme is a big ask.

If you have a 9-5 job you at least have the evenings. If you work shifts, it’s all but impossible to attend evening classes. Even if it’s just one evening a week.

But the rest of the week is spent frantically doing the work in preparation for the class.

Which is fine providing you don’t have to work late; you have someone to look after the children and you’re able to make it to the class in the first place.

It all adds up to an insurmountable pile of stress that will have you wondering what you were thinking.

Life is busy, and often messy, and evening classes don’t always allow for that.

Distance learning on the other hand offers you a flexible alternative. Because all your learning takes place online you never need to worry about childcare. Or rushing back from your place of work. Or rushing anywhere for that matter.

Learndirect | Is Distance Learning Worth it | Work Life BalanceYou have the freedom to decide when you study. You can choose a time to do your work when and where you can be most productive.

Moreover, online distance learning courses start when you want, not a set term time. You can also complete the units as quickly as you like.

Some students can rattle through a course in six months. Some take years. Providing you are learning at a pace you are comfortable with; it really doesn’t matter.

The Gift of Choice

When a learning institute decides to provide a course, they do so based on likely up take versus the cost of running that course. Namely the administration costs, the cost of heat and light, the maintenance on the room in use. And significantly, the salaries of those delivering the course.

It is for this reason universities can withdraw a course with only a moment’s notice. Quite simply, there aren’t enough students enrolled to make it profitable.

However, online learning doesn’t have classrooms, or the need for janitors to keep them clean. They don’t have lecturers to deliver lectures or teams of administrators managing everyone’s timetable.  

As a result, online distance learning providers can invest in a far greater range of courses and run them indefinitely.

Not only do you have greater freedom to decide when to study, but greater freedom to decide what to study.

You have the benefit of choosing from dozens of different courses to meet your professional and personal ambitions.

Beyond this, however, online learning allows you to learn the way that works best for you. According to IBM, students carrying out courses online learn five times more than those who study in a traditional setting.

This is partly due to a more relaxed approach to learning. Because you are comfortable, in a study space you have created, you are more inclined to learn.

Moreover, a higher proportion of online learners study their courses through to completion than their bricks and mortar counterparts. And in less time.

Again, this is likely down to the fact that you get to decide when you learn. This allows you to throttle your learning up and down to fit around your life and commitments, as opposed to constantly racing to be on time for a class.

Learndirect | Is Distance Learning Worth it | The Gift of ChoiceMaster of your own Destiny

With a traditional course – whether you’re in full time or part time education – if you miss a class you miss out on that learning.

You may get notes from someone or the exercises sent through to you to catch up. But that is now a gap in your knowledge that you will struggle to fill.

Considering how fast paced traditional adult learning courses can be, the chances are it’ll stay a gap, right up until you need to revise for your exam.

Distance learning, on the other hand, doesn’t have classes. Or teachers. There is nothing to miss because you are in control of what you learn and when.

You have the luxury of reading and re-reading the material until you feel you have a complete grasp of that theory, point or principle. That means the only way you will ever miss out on a crucial point is because you chose to.

That puts you firmly and solely in control of your learning. You have the power to control when you study and the power to control how effectively you study.

Of course, you’re not alone during your studies. When you enrol on your course you will be assigned a dedicated tutor. An expert in their field, they will mark your assignments and provide you with feedback.

They are also available to answer questions and provide support. So, if you really get stuck on something, they are there to help you.

With such a huge range of courses now available through distance learning providers, the opportunity to learn something new is huge.

Whether you want to learn a hobby, start a business or go to university.

All you need to do is sign up and do the work.


Distance learning, as with any undertaking, is only worth it if you see the value in the result. If the qualification you achieve could make a meaningful impact on your life then it is, quite simply, worth it.

learndirect offers a wide range of Access to Higher Education Diplomas in order to help you realise your ambitions.

Check out our diplomas or contact a member of our sales team today to learn more and enrol.

Learndirect | Is Distance Learning Worth it | Enrol Today

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