Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

What is distance learning and why should you consider it?

Home / Study / Discover Sunderland / Preparing for university / What is distance learning and why consider it?

Published: 19 June 2019

Distance learning is a flexible way of taking a course without the need to attend traditional lectures at a college or university, with the course material being delivered online. Distance learners studying with the University of Sunderland benefit from lectures and support delivered through our virtual learning environment, Canvas, which is accessible from internet-connected devices anywhere in the world.

Student studying distance learning

If you’d like to learn more about distance learning, browse our website, or why not watch our webcasts and discover everything you need to know about PGCE Education and PGCE Early Years Teaching.

So now that you know what distance learning is, why should you consider it? Here are our top 5 reasons:

1) Flexibility

Distance learning courses are ideal for those in full-time employment or that have busy family lives and responsibilities. The University of Sunderland’s distance learning courses allows you to learn from anywhere in the world that has internet access. You’ll interact with other students in online discussion forums, and your tutors will guide and support you via email, phone, skype and the University’s e-learning portal, Canvas. We also offer a choice of start dates that fit around the school calendar in your country.

2) Boost your career

A University of Sunderland degree is an internationally-recognised qualification. You’ll also develop the skills, experience and knowledge you need to develop your career wherever you choose to go in the world. According to Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2017, postgraduates earn on average £6,000 a year more than their undergraduate counterparts. 

With 95.3% of University of Sunderland postgraduates finding employment or undertaking further study within six months of graduating (according to DLHE 2016/17, based on UK postgraduate students), you can be sure you will graduate with the skills and experience needed to get ahead in your career. 

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students. The past 18 months have been an unforgettable adventure. From day one it went so smoothly. The Canvas site is very straightforward and clear and we have received an enormous amount of support from the teachers, module leaders and tutors. I never felt lonely or lost during my studies.”

Stefanie Deri,
MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - Distance Learning

3) First class support

We have distance learning students in over 60 countries around the world. Our distance learning delivery allows you to share and benefit from being a member of a global community of learning and educational practice. You can study in a flexible, independent and well-supported manner that enables you to achieve recognised professional and academic qualifications.

You’ll have access to innovative learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which caters for different learning styles. There’s even an app for Apple and Android devices which gives you access to your study materials on the go.

4) Choice

We have a wide range of postgraduate courses you can choose to study as an independent distance learner, including:

5) A high-quality degree

The University of Sunderland has a proud history of delivering high-quality education and is renowned for training teachers (for over 112 years), pharmacists, PR professionals, journalists and engineers.

More recently, we were delighted to be ranked 16th (out of 131 universities) in the ‘University of the Year’ category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, the only national awards voted for by students.

We have ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) and we were also proud to have been awarded SILVER in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), meaning you can be assured of the quality of teaching, learning and research at the University of Sunderland.

Learn more about distance learning at the University of Sunderland.