Almost all higher education institutions now offer at least a few distance learning options, as the concept of studying online, rather than in traditional university classrooms, has blossomed in both practicality and popularity over recent years.

It is certainly true that the range of options available for those looking to study online is now better than ever before. However, the concept of online learning has not been common-place for long enough to easily gauge the prestige of the university when it comes to online offerings rather than their traditional offerings.

We understand that choosing a university is one of the most important decisions you can make, even when studying online. To help you make this decision, we have researched the best options in the UK for distance learning courses.

This is a shortlist of some of the best options. There are of course many other top providers to choose from but these have established strong reputations in the online learning field.

Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University is a well-respected and historic institution, which in recent years has provided a wide range of excellent online learning opportunities which can suit many students. Among their distance learning opportunities, there are part-time undergraduate courses covering subject areas such as Enterprise, Management, and Finance to name just a few.

They also offer a wide range of post-graduate online learning opportunities to help graduates advance their career; the latter are particularly popular with those in the Nursing field.

University of Northampton

At The University of Northampton, there is a major emphasis placed on ensuring that learning and high quality education is accessible for everyone. This guiding ethos means that it is a particularly strong option for any students looking to complete their courses via distance learning.

They currently offer options for distance learning in subjects including Law, Marketing, Business, Accounting, and many more. These courses are designed to be flexible, ensuring that they can fit around a busy work or home life.

The Open University

The Open University is the biggest provider of online education in the world. Its campus acts only as a research centre, with all courses being delivered online. Since it was founded there have been more than 1.5 million students who have studied courses through the university. As part of their mission to make higher education as widely accessible as possible, they have a large selection of courses to choose from across almost any discipline you can imagine!

You can study courses across countless subjects, with course levels spanning the range from foundation degrees to honours, masters, diplomas, and everything else in between. The flexibility offered, makes it a perfect option for everyone, whether you are pursuing professional development or going back to study to pursue a whole new career.

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a popular destination for students across many disciplines, and has a long held reputation as one of the country’s most prestigious centres of learning.

In addition to its rich history, the University of Manchester also has an ambitious eye towards the future of learning. They are now among the most popular options for students choosing to study via online and distance learning. They offer a large number of distance learning courses, from professional development options to postgraduate courses in subjects including Healthcare and Sciences.

University of Derby

Since 2001 The University of Derby has had its own online division, focused on developing the provision of state of the art online learning facilities. Their sophisticated online learning platform, and course delivery methods mean that the University is now one of the best places to achieve a qualification online, their systems make it simple to study in the way that suits you; fitting around your schedule and working to your strengths so you can get the most out of your course.

They offer a huge range of courses covering subjects such as Finance, Computing, Business, Education, and much more. All of these subjects can be studied at a number of different levels, making it an option for everyone from beginners to those looking to develop and improve upon their existing qualifications.

Find out more about the benefits of online learning, why more people are studying outside traditional universities, and where you can find a distance learning course that suits you.