Applying for a distance learning Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, PhD or short course is not that much different from applying for an on-campus programme. You will follow the same steps and provide similar documents.
However, a big plus for online degrees is that you can apply anytime, so you won’t be constrained by a deadline. Also, application requirements for an online programme are generally more flexible compared to on-campus degrees.
Most of the time, there are no selection criteria based on excellence. And in the case of open universities, you may even enrol no matter your educational background. How cool is that?
Diving in, here are the 5 steps you need to take when you apply for an online degree programme:
Step 1: Select the universities and programmes you want to apply to
As any smart student, you know better than to put all your eggs in the same basket. Make a list of at least three universities and online programmes you want to apply to, so that you increase your chances of getting accepted.
Here are more online universities you should consider:
- Arden University
- University of Bath Online
- University of Birmingham Online
- RMIT University
- Nottingham Trent University Online
- Walden University
- The Open University UK
After you have identified the distance learning programmes that you wish to follow, then move on to the more technical steps.
Step 2: Check admission deadlines
While for a traditional Master’s programme, for example, there are usually two admission sessions per year (if not only one!), for a distance learning Masters there may be four or five submission deadlines per academic year.
For some programmes, you may even enrol all year around! This, of course, increases your chances of admission and makes the application procedure more flexible.
But just to make sure, you should always check the exact deadlines on the programme website!
Step 3: Complete the online application
Complete an online application form, which will probably require you to set up an account that includes some personal information. This will also involve uploading the electronic versions of the following documents:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Copy of your passport
- Copies of your previous qualifications and transcript of records
- Proof of English language competence (proof of passing C1 Advanced, PTE, IELTS, or TOEFL)
- Motivation Letter/Personal statement (focus on your reasons for applying for the course, how your knowledge and experience link to the course)
- Recommendations (from former professors or employers or both)
- Any other documents specific to the study programme you’re choosing or to your particular education level
Some faculties will accept applications by post, but you will need to check if this option is available.
Step 4: Prepare for the admission interview
Certain universities or programmes may require an interview, which can be conducted over the phone or online, on Skype.
An interview on Skype is pretty much the same as a traditional one. Make sure your laptop/computer camera works well and you have a good internet connection. Set-up a clear and plain background as much as possible, and dress formally, like you would for a normal interview.
Draft a list with answers to possible questions you will be asked, such as:
- Why did you choose this programme at this university?
- What makes you the right person for this degree?
- What makes you stand out from other candidates?
Step 5: You got in! Go through the enrolment process
Hurray! You have been admitted to your desired programme! Now it’s time to enrol as a student. The enrolment can also be done online and may require also the payment of the full or partial tuition fee.
So, as you can see, the application is not much different from the classical application. At most, the application and enrolment procedures for a distance learning programme are more flexible, more frequent and don’t require the physical presence of the applicant throughout the entire process.
Start your distance learning degree right now!
Once enrolled, make sure to have the right equipment ready – such as a reliable computer, a stable Internet connection and access to any particular software provided by your distance learning university.
If you lack any of these, do not worry: some institutions cooperate with learning centres throughout the world – allowing you to make use of their technological infrastructure to facilitate your learning.
Can it get any easier?