Where’s the best university to do a part-time degree these days?

At one time the only real choice for part-time students was their local university purely on the grounds of practical travel-time but these days lots of universities are offering courses via distance learning (usually via the Internet these days) and, in some senses, the worlds your oyster.

Well, almost. The problem is that in some cases there remain significant cost advantages to doing your course at an institution within your own country, not all universities offer fully distance learning degrees and there are administration issues in doing a degree from an overseas university.

For example, say you want to do a degree in America yet all your qualifications are non-American. What that entails is going through a course by course validation which in effect translates your existing qualifications into the equivalent in the American education model. There’s generally a cost in doing that. Naturally, if you want to use the resulting qualification outside America there can also be a translation process involved too.

The 100% distance learning knocks out a surprising number of potential choices. Thus, whilst Harvard offers a considerable number of courses online these days via their extension school (which is MUCH cheaper than you’d expect), it has a residency requirement of, usually, around six months (you can do it in two summer terms in most cases). At the other end of the scale is something like the British Open University which offers 100% distance learning.

In terms of own-country cost advantage, you can find that in Europe universities give preferential charges to those living in their own country. For example, typically the Open University will charge around double the normal fee if you don’t live in the UK. That seems to be the extreme case but you can expect to pay additional charges in some form if you live outside the country in which the university is based. For example, buying the recommended texts via Harvards bookshop is more expensive if you live outside America.

Aside from those complications though you should be able to choose pretty much any university assuming that you can understand the language they use for teaching. What you should do is draw up a short list and then look into the courses that you would hope to do in more detail. Some courses work much better in an online format than others. For example, although the Open College of the Arts notionally offers distance learning courses, for some of their courses a number of the tutorials have to be face to face in areas like sculpture.

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2 Responses to “Where’s the best university to do a part-time degree these days?”

  • Green Baker says:

    In today’s busy routine, online degrees are becoming very popular. To earn any degree online, you must inquire about the university at the initial stage only. While surfing, I have researched a pretty good link about courses as well as universities:
    Precise info about courses and universities is available on the site itself. To get further details, fill up one form and you get directly connected with university authorities.

  • tommy says:

    If you do a part time degree here in the UK, then it takes 6 years usually to finish, so here it’s not really worth it.

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