Distance and online learning

How it works

Studying at a distance doesn't mean that you will be left to study alone. Our three decades of experience in this kind of learning means that you can expect a strong network of support - from tutors, our student support services, the Library and even other students. 

To get the full benefit of distance learning work, you'll need to think about where and when you are going to study, and how regular study time will fit into your life. We also recommend finding a comfortable and convenient environment to study. This could be at home, at work, in a public library or a local coffee shop – wherever works best for you. In some countries we have distance learning agents who manage dedicated study centres.

Course materials

With very few exceptions, all our course materials are available online, accessed through Blackboard, our virtual learning environment (VLE). Good internet access is therefore essential. In the rare cases where physical materials are required, they will be sent to you by post.

Alongside course materials, Blackboard offers:

  • online discussion between students and tutors using discussion boards
  • access to presentations and tutorials
  • assignment submission and feedback facilities


Distance learning students are well-catered for by the University Library which allows online access a huge range of journals, articles, e-books and databases. You can request for physical books (or photocopied chapters) to be sent to you by post. If you live in the UK, studying by distance learning with the University of Leicester gives you access to the library of your own local university.


Essays, coursework and dissertations can be submitted online via Blackboard. If a course requires an exam, this can be taken at an approved location.

Your tutor will provide detailed feedback on all assessments.


A dedicated team of academic tutors and administrative staff are here to support you throughout your distance learning study. You will also benefit from working alongside a diverse network of fellow students – all around the world – debating and discussing course topics on the Blackboard forums. Groups of students often set up their own social media networks too.

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