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Professor Clare Pickles is Vice President of Academic Affairs at University of Liverpool Online Programmes. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the education sector, is a Professor of Academic Quality and Enhancement, and is a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Strategic Advisory Committee.

Studying online with a Russell Group university
If you’re looking to invest in your education and your career, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Which programme should you study? Which university should you join? And how will you fit your studies around your existing work and family commitments?

Professor Clare Pickles recommends only looking at quality-assured institutions – and it’s not hard to see why. “A degree is a great investment,” she says. “It opens doors and enables you to follow your career. But nowadays, so many people have first degrees that, to get an advantage in the workplace you need to differentiate yourself. One way of doing that is studying for a master’s degree from a reputable university with great tradition.”

She points to the Russell Group – the UK equivalent of America’s famous Ivy League – as a solid starting point.

“The University of Liverpool was established in 1881. It’s an original redbrick university and it’s a member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities with outstanding teaching and learning experience. It has also been offering online degree programmes since 2001, so it’s got 17 years’ experience of innovation in online education. Its 100% online classrooms enable students to study while staying in their own country, keeping their job, and spending time with their family and friends.”

Online degrees recognised around the world
As forerunners in online education, Liverpool Online has more experience than most in enabling working professionals to invest in their development.

“It’s important to find out how your degree is recognised,” says Professor Pickles. “Liverpool Online is recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency, so all of its degrees are recognised in the UK and internationally. Its programmes hold exactly the same status and standing as the University of Liverpool’s campus degrees. Students can graduate on campus and their degree certificate is exactly the same as those given to the on-campus students.”

Setting new standards in online education
In her role, Professor Pickles is committed to the continued development of Liverpool Online’s master’s degrees. “We never sit back. We’re constantly looking at how we can assure and enhance the quality of our programmes. Students don’t just get a benchmark level of quality here – they get something special.”

She adds: “Liverpool Online also ensures the courses it designs are relevant to working professionals. The curriculum is based on weekly tasks, so you can see your progress, with taught modules followed by a dissertation.

“In many cases, the dissertation topic is something you are working on at work. Through that dissertation, which occupies a third of the degree, you can tailor your studies to your workplace and your career, while the professional accreditation of many Liverpool Online courses also adds another layer of relevance to students who are studying in the workplace.”

Are you looking for the flexibility of 100% online learning combined with the quality of one of the UK’s leading universities? Take a look at the master’s programmes available with the University of Liverpool Online.

*Times Higher Education’s World Rankings 2017-2018 – 177th; QS World University Rankings® 2018-19 – 164th; Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2017 – in the top 150.

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