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How do I Choose the Best Postgraduate Distance Learning Program?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The first step in determining the best postgraduate distance learning program for you is to decide what specific area of study you are interested in, and then to research the programs that offer what you are looking for. Once you have found a few potential postgraduate distance learning programs, figure out which schools are accredited, and which ones fit your budget. It is best to eliminate schools that are not accredited, as attendance at such a school can adversely affect your eligibility for some types of financial aid as well as some types of employment. It is also important to research the way the classes function in each postgraduate distance learning program to determine which one will best suit your learning style.

Postgraduate work is often more involved and difficult than undergraduate work, which means students will need to be able to communicate with instructors regularly and access key materials when needed. The best postgraduate distance learning courses will have a structure in place that allows students to communicate with instructors quickly and easily to facilitate learning. This can be achieved through e-mail, video conferencing, online message boards, websites, phone calls, and so on. Be sure to research how each program facilitates communication and choose the program that works best for you.

A woman taking postgraduate distance learning classes.
A woman taking postgraduate distance learning classes.

Accreditation is a process that many educational institutions seek to go through to prove that they are offering a high quality education that is acknowledged and respected by the educational community as well as by potential employers. Be sure to attend an accredited institution to ensure eligibility for certain types of financial aid. Employers, too, prefer job candidates who have attended accredited institutions rather than non-accredited institutions.

Many people choose postgraduate distance learning courses because they either cannot attend classes on site due to travel distance or difficulties, or because they are working full-time and need a flexible schedule. Be sure to look carefully at the type of courses offered: synchronous classes require you to be online attending class at the same time every day with all the other students in the class. Asynchronous classes allow you the flexibility to work on classes at your own pace, as long as the work is done by the established deadlines. Synchronous classes allow you to interact more with other students and the instructor, while asynchronous classes will require you to work more independently. Be sure to choose the type of classes that work best for your learning style.

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    • A woman taking postgraduate distance learning classes.
      By: Yuri Arcurs
      A woman taking postgraduate distance learning classes.