Why did I chose distance learning?
Firstly, I knew from the onset that I will not be able to attend a rigid class schedule. Let’s face it: I work full time (including occasional travel), I run a business 24 hours and there is just no time left for scooting it to evening classes after all is said and – most importantly – done. So my first consideration was the flexibility to efficiently and effectively combine study with all my other employment and personal commitments.
Secondly, I had to consider the cost outlay in comparison with bricks-and-mortar study. Needless to say, Leicester struck a warm rapport with my wallet by not making me break the bank!
The flexibility of the University of Leicester‘s School of Management programmes meant that I could work at my own pace (within reason of course owing to the built-in course milestones) and at the same time, study from anywhere at anytime. The fact that the Summer School programme is optional but very essential meant that if and when I had the opportunity to travel, I would be fortunate to augment the learning methods embedded in Blackboard with meeting and interacting with lecturers and my peers in Leicester. Brilliant!
Last but not least, I was impressed that the University of Leicester has upheld its stellar reputation by winning the Times Higher Education (THE) award for six (6) consecutive years. This is a crucial consideration as it indicated to me the quality of teaching and learning offered as well as the recognition such a qualification would received from government, professional institutions and other academic bodies when seeking employment or enterprise opportunities post-graduation.
On a personal level, my list is not exhaustive but I would include the following other considerations for anyone pondering on whether to pursue a postgraduate qualification via distance learning:When choosing a course, cost & convenience will be important factors, but the most important questions should be about the quality of the teaching & learning. Make sure that you are clear about what the course will cover, how it operates, what will be expected of you and how it will support your personal or career development. Find out the answers to the following questions:
- What qualification will I receive?
- Is this recognised by relevant employers or professional associations e.g. AMBA, EQUIS etc?
- What are the admission requirements?
- What are the main aims of the course?
- How is it taught, and who are the course facilitators/tutors?
- What course materials are provided?
- What is the quality of teaching and learning materials offered?
- What support is available from the institution and/or locally?
- What is expected How is it assessed?
- Who is responsible for setting and marking the exams?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost?