As a result of ease of communications, most postgraduate distance learning courses are theoretical in nature. By this, I mean you would rarely find a bachelors in engineering as a distance learning or online course due to the need for a hands on approach to learning and understanding.
The degree courses followed by most candidates at the postgraduate level are usually social arts, business or economics, and these make perfect ground for online or distance learning studies. For instance, a Distance Learning MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a business management course at the postgraduate level and is directed to providing the essential background knowledge required for upgrading your technical skills to match an international environment.
So what is involved in postgraduate distance learning courses?
Students that undertake distance learning postgraduate courses learn and train under industry professionals and academics focussed on the strategic aspects of any industry. For instance, a Masters in Finance / Museum Studies / Construction Project Management addresses strategic or managerial aspects of the department and its contribution to the goals of the organisation.
Postgraduate courses also know as Master degree programs cover a range of topics in the field of study. There is a small, yet stark, difference between an MBA and an MSc (Masters), however, we will leave that for another article.
A postgraduate course is a 120 credit program (UK) broken down into three levels: postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and the dissertation / masters level. Each level consists of 60 credits and can usually be completed with 2 years (24 months). If you chose to specialize in your masters courses these modules will be selected at the postgraduate diploma level.
The beauty of pursuing a postgraduate course via distance or online learning is the ability to start and stop at our own convenience. You could undertake the first level, that is the postgraduate certificate, and then move on to the next level after a study break (check with your admissions consultant regarding study breaks). Alternatively, you could graduate with a PGCert and then return to pursue a PGDip/MSc after a few years. However, it is always recommended to complete the entire program in one sitting so you do not lose the momentum of studying and let lethargy set in.