If you want to specialise, improve your qualification and boost your work opportunities, but you cannot afford to put your life on hold, interrupt your job or be away from your family, then distance learning is the solution for you. Universities in the United Kingdom offer some of the best distance learning programmes in Europe and the world.
British education is known around the world for its high quality and many people dream about graduating from a UK university. Nowadays, this dream is much easier to fulfil. Distance education is the solution to the stringent need for education of students who cannot commit to moving and studying in a foreign country.
How we created the top 10 UK online university list in 2021
The most famous international university rankings do not publish rankings for best online studies.
But, because we understand that it’s important to find the best online degrees in order to decide where would be best to study, we used data from 2 prestigious international rankings: QS Rankings 2020 and Times Higher Education Rankings 2020 and checked which UK universities from these lists also offer online studies.
The listed universities may provide all types of degrees such as distance learning Bachelors, Masters and PhDs, or just some degree levels. We also mentioned the global ranking of the university in each of the 2 main rankings used.
Now let's take a closer look at the best UK universities offering online courses:
1. University College London
University College London offers a wide range of online Master’s degrees and graduate diplomas. Students can pick from M.Sc., M.A. and MBA degrees in subjects such as Neurology, Education, Security, Sports and much more. UCL stands out through its progressive teaching and research, dedicated to pursue excellence and have a real impact in the world.
University College London is ranked 8 in QS Rankings 2020, and 15 in World University Rankings 2020.
2. The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh offers online programmes that are academically equivalent to on-campus degrees, which means your degree will not mention that you completed the programme online. This also means that it will involve the same amount of work as a normal degree. The programmes usually take three years, but the University is flexible about this. As a bonus, you will have access to career consultants and IT support.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 20 in QS Rankings 2020, and 30 in World University Rankings 2020.
3. The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is one of Britain's most famous and forward-thinking universities, with a rich heritage stretching 180 years and an exciting agenda for the future. Today, research remains at the heart of the University and the quality, breadth and volume of research activity are unparalleled in the UK, with strong collaborative links with industry and public services.
The University of Manchester is ranked 27 in QS Rankings 2020, and 55 in World University Rankings 2020.
4. King’s College London
King’s College London is famous for world-leading research leading to modern groundbreaking discoveries. Get top online education from a university that provided 12 Nobel Prize winner alumni and former staff. King’s College offers world-class teaching across a variety of subjects such as Business Management, Food Science, History, Law, Philosophy, and more.
King’s is also distinguished in a wide range of health areas. You have six opportunities to apply to an online degree every year, giving you the flexibility to start whenever this suits your plans.
King’s College London is ranked 33 in QS Rankings 2020, and 36 in World University Rankings 2020.
5. University of Warwick
University of Warwick offers attractive options for online Business studies. The success of online MBAs at Warwick is guaranteed by the fact that graduates of the university ranked within the UK top 10 for highest earnings. Warwick is committed to expanding access to higher education globally.
University of Warwick is ranked 62 in QS Rankings 2020, and 77 in World University Rankings 2020.
6. University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow has played an important role in shaping the futures of international students and other universities, through collaborations. The university offers a range of online postgraduate programmes and short courses and a wide range of free MOOCs (massive online open courses). You can find most online study options in subjects related to Medicine, Education and Business.
University of Glasgow is ranked 67 in QS Rankings 2020, and 99 in World University Rankings 2020.
7. University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield offers students a chance to make good use of their talents and advance the global careers market. International students can gain free, personalised skills training as well as expert careers advice. You can find online degrees in disciplines like Humanities, Medicine, Information Technology, and more.
University of Sheffield is ranked 78 in QS Rankings 2020, and 117 in World University Rankings 2020.
8. University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham grants access to a welcoming university community, working alongside academics who are global experts. The university was awarded the ‘Gold’ rating in the 2016/17 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), reflecting outstanding teaching and learning experience. Choose from a great variety of online Masters and PhDs in areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, Arts, Business, Medicine and more.
University of Birmingham is ranked 81 in QS Rankings 2020, and 112 in World University Rankings 2020.
9. University of Leeds
University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and renowned globally for their quality teaching. U. Leeds leads you to a wealth of career opportunities and prepares you for making an impact on the world. Pick from a good selection of online degrees in Engineering, Humanities, Business, Education, and more.
University of Leeds is ranked 93 in QS Rankings 2020, and 155 in World University Rankings 2020.
10. University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham is another great UK university that’s dedicated to creating cooperation and partnerships with international universities around the globe. Learn from by some of the brightest minds in their fields, supported by ambitious research. University of Nottingham holds its very own “teacher Oscars” awarded to the best educators achieving great student satisfaction.
University of Nottingham is ranked 96 in QS Rankings 2020, and 152 in World University Rankings 2020.
The UK is a great provider of online degrees
These top 10 universities in the UK offering online studies are just a few of many. Make sure to check out other great schools and universities in the United Kingdom! Whatever distance learning programme you might be searching for, one of these universities is sure to offer you the education and skills you need.