What to expect from online study


Academic Director of the University of Liverpool Online Programmes, Peter Wilkins, addresses some of the questions commonly asked by prospective students about what you can expect when studying online with the University.
 

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How many online programmes does the University of Liverpool offer?

You can choose from over 35 fully online masters, doctoral degrees and postgraduate certificates in management, IT, law, health, psychology and education. All of them are delivered in partnership with our specialist online learning partner, Laureate Online Education. And no matter which one you choose, you can be assured it will provide a firm foundation to take your career to the next level.

See our full range of online programmes.

What are the start dates for your online programmes?

There is no single start date for our online courses. Each programme has regular start dates throughout the year, so you can start your course when it’s most convenient for you. To find out about start dates for a particular programme, simply fill in an information request form and one of our Enrolment Advisors will get back to you.

Will I need to travel?

No, none of our online programmes require you to travel. If you like, you can choose to attend the graduation ceremony in Liverpool when you graduate, but you don’t have to.

If you’re on the Doctor of Business Administration or Doctor of Education programme, you have the option of attending residencies in Liverpool, but you can also complete your studies online if you prefer. The Board of Examiners on our doctoral programmes can also ask students to explain their thesis verbally, but this would normally be done via conference call or video conferencing

How long does it take to complete a course?

Postgraduate Certificate programmes take approximately one year. Master’s programmes normally take between 2.5 and 3 years, while doctoral programmes normally take 5 to 6 years.

What kind of students will I meet on my course?

You’ll meet all sorts of interesting, motivated people from all over the world. But generally speaking, you’ll find that most of our online students are ambitious 31-45-year-old professionals who fit their studies around their work and other commitments. Around 85% of them will typically be in full-time employment, and have extensive work experience*.

There are more than 10,000 people from over 160 countries currently studying online with the University of Liverpool. Another 8,000 have already graduated with an online degree. You could be next!

*Based on recent student data

What will my tutors be like?

Over 450 faculty members teach our online programmes. They all have a solid academic background in their field and many also have professional experience. All online faculty members are approved by the University of Liverpool and undergo rigorous training and mentoring to ensure they are highly effective online educators.

Will my degree be recognised by potential employers?

Many employers not only recognise University of Liverpool online qualifications, they sponsor their employees to study with us, too. They know that our online degrees have the same status and high standards as our on-campus degrees. This applies to every one of our online postgraduate certificate, masters and doctoral programmes. Recognition policies may vary from one company to another, however, so you should always double check with your human resources department.

When can I start studying?

We have several start dates per year. You can visit our website to find out the next available start date for your programme, or you can ask your enrolment advisor.

How many hours a week do I need to study?

On average, students spend around 15-20 hours per week on their studies studies. You may need more time, especially for your first module as you adjust to the learning platform, and you may need less for some modules. The time you need to spend studying will depend on many variables including your previous academic experience, your confidence with technology, and your English-language skills.

Is a work placement included as part of the online programmes?

No, work placements are not part of our online programmes. However, our collaborative online learning model allows you to make connections with international professionals on a weekly basis who may be working in a country or industry you want to move into. Also, when you graduate as an online student you become part of the University's global alumni network which gives you access to networking and career events.

How flexible is the programme?

Our programmes are designed with working professionals in mind and allow for flexibility within a framework. You can choose the days of the week and the times of the day you study to accommodate your other commitments, however you must meet strict deadlines and participate in your classroom several times a week, or as advised by your instructor. Our modules are 8-12 weeks in duration, and you are able to take breaks in between modules. You must have reliable access to the internet, although you can complete some of your studies offline (for example, reading downloaded learning materials or writing draft assignments).

Accreditation awarding body and recognition


Clare Pickles, Vice President of Academic Affairs for the University of Liverpool Online Programmes, discusses accreditation and recognition of the University’s online degree programmes.
 

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Is the University of Liverpool the awarding body for all online degree programmes?

Yes. The University of Liverpool is responsible for the academic quality of the programmes and awards the degrees. The University’s status as a degree-awarding institution dates back to 1903 when we were first granted a Royal Charter.

Like all UK universities, we are regulated and monitored by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the official body that monitors quality and standards in higher education in the UK.

Will my degree be a genuine University of Liverpool degree?

Yes. Your degree certificate is awarded directly by the University of Liverpool, It will have the same validity and credibility as the equivalent degree awarded to a graduate who studied on campus. This means that your degree will be a reputable, internationally recognised qualification, and an invaluable stepping stone towards your career ambitions. The University of Liverpool is in the top 1% of universities worldwide and a member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-led UK universities.

The University’s status as a degree-awarding institution dates back to 1903 when we were first granted a Royal Charter. Like all UK universities, the University is also regulated and monitored by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the official body that monitors quality and standards in higher education in the UK.

Is an online degree as good as a campus degree?

Yes it is. There is absolutely no distinction between the quality of online and campus programmes. You can be assured that all our online degrees have the same status as those awarded to graduates who studied on-campus. This applies to every one of our postgraduate certificate, masters and doctoral programmes.

Will my online degree be recognised?

Our online degrees are fully recognised postgraduate certificate, masters and doctoral degree awarded by the University of Liverpool, one of the top 1% of universities in the world. They have exactly the same status and standing as the University’s on-campus postgraduate certificate, masters and doctoral degrees.

As UK university degrees, our online qualifications are widely recognised internationally. You can check this by contacting the appropriate government body in your home country.

The University of Liverpool Management School is also one of an elite group of institutions worldwide accredited by the prestigious AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. All our campus and online management programmes are covered by this accreditation.

As well as AACSB accreditation, one of our online management programmes have specific industry accreditation:

Online MSc in Operations and Supply Chain Management – Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) accreditation

The university has been reviewed and approved as a provider of project management training by the Project Management Institute (PMI). As a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP), the University of Liverpool meets PMI-established quality assurance criteria.

The University’s online IT masters programmes include the world's first fully online programmes to be accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The University of Liverpool’s online Master of Public Health (MPH) is accredited by APHEA, the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation.

Are University of Liverpool online degrees recognised in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

Yes. The University of Liverpool’s online programmes have received recognition from the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR). The University has been added to the Ministry’s recommended list of universities offering online degrees.

You can read more about this in our UAE recognition press release.

Will my degree certificate state that it was an online degree, completed via distance learning?

No, your degree certificate will look exactly the same as those awarded to students who studied on campus in Liverpool. There will be no reference to ‘online’ on your degree certificate. However, there will be a small reference to the mode of study on the transcript (the record of the modules you took and the grades you received).

Can I graduate on campus in Liverpool?

Yes of course! You can join the hundreds of online students who travel to Liverpool every year in July or December to graduate with others from both our online and campus-based programmes. You’ll wear the same cap and gown as your campus counterparts and take part in the same graduation ceremonies. Many of our online graduates say that attending the graduation ceremony in Liverpool is an unforgettable experience – a time of excitement and celebration, and an opportunity to meet your fellow students, faculty and support staff in person. 

It is not compulsory, though. It’s perfectly OK to graduate without travelling to Liverpool, and does not detract from the commitment, dedication and hard work you will have consistently demonstrated during your studies. Read more about graduation.

How studying online works


Christian Burwood, Director of International Advising and Student Support for the University of Liverpool Online Programmes explains what you need to study online and how it works in practice.
 

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How does online study work?

With online study at the University of Liverpool, there are no fixed lecture times - your online classroom is always open. This enables you to choose when and where you learn, making it much easier to fit your studies around your other commitments at home and at work. You can study anywhere, any time and even take a break between programme modules.

Assignments: At regular intervals, your faculty instructor will set an assignment for you to complete, providing lecture notes and a reading list in the online classroom to help you. You’ll need to complete the assignment – usually a written piece of work - by the specified deadline.

Classroom discussions: You and your course colleagues will also take part in discussions in your classroom, guided by your faculty instructor. You take part in the discussions asynchronously – in your own time – by posting well-reasoned comments in the online classroom, reading the answers of fellow students and responding to their comments. This collaborative approach enables you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject, while also learning and sharing knowledge with your peers from all over the world.

Practical application: You can engage with the material you’re learning not only through discussions but also by applying theory in your work. In fact, our online learning model is designed to encourage you to do just that. By applying principles in practice, and returning to the online classroom to discuss the outcome, you’ll enrich your own learning and contribute to your peers’ knowledge too.

Assessment: Throughout your course, you will be assessed on both the quality of your participation in the online classroom, and on your written assignments.

For further information, visit the What to Expect pages.

How will I be assessed?

There are no exams - you will be assessed continuously based on your classroom participation and on the assignments you submit. You will also be assessed on a final research project, such as a dissertation, consultancy project or thesis. Assessment will be rigorous and your online degree will be every bit as challenging as a degree studied on campus.

What time are classes held?

Your classes will be asynchronous. This means there are no set class times. You don’t have to be online at the same time as your instructor or other students. Just pick the time that suits you best.

Will I have to meet a lot of deadlines?

It varies between programmes, but most modules will have a number of deadlines each week, as well as a deadline towards the end of the module for your assignment. Generally, you will receive each week’s assignments on Thursday. You’ll then take part in online discussions with other students over the following days, as well as submitting an essay.

How long does each module take?

In postgraduate certificate programmes, the first module lasts 12 weeks and the subsequent three modules last 8 weeks each. In most masters programmes each module lasts 8 weeks, apart from the first module, which is 10 or 12 weeks. The Master of Public Health programme is slightly different, with modules that range from 6 to 12 weeks. On doctoral programmes, each module lasts 10 weeks, except the first module, which is 11 weeks.

What equipment do I need?

The only things you will need in order to study online are:

  • An internet connection – you must have regular access to a reliable internet connection, preferably from your home. Although broadband (cable/ASDL) makes the online learning experience faster and richer, it’s still possible to study with a dial-up connection.
  • A personal email address – although we provide you with a study email address, you’ll also need a second email address so we have an alternative way to contact you if necessary. This should ideally be a webmail service, like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo!, rather than a work email address, in case you have trouble accessing your work email when you are away from the office.
  • A suitable computer – generally speaking, if you have a computer under 5 years’ old running either Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X, you should be able to use Laureate LENS, our online learning platform, without any problems. As well as an internet browser like Internet Explorer, Safari or Google Chrome, you’ll also need to be able to read and save Microsoft Office documents and read Adobe Acrobat documents (often called PDFs).

What does asynchronous learning mean?

Asynchronous learning means that there are no set times for you to be online. You can log in to your classroom at times of the day and days of the week that suit you. This makes it possible for students in different time zones to participate in classroom discussions and allows for flexibility.

How often/where do I take exams?

There are no exams. You will be assessed on your assignments and on your contributions to online classroom discussions. You will normally receive a provisional grade for assignments a week after you complete them so you will know how well you are doing as you progress through your degree and you can ask for help if necessary.

Support for students


Student Support Manager Chris Pickles, talks about the types of support available to University of Liverpool Online students.
 

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What support is available?

As a student on one of our online programmes, you can expect friendly, helpful support from the moment you make your first enquiry, right through to your graduation:

  • Our knowledgeable Enrolment Advisors will guide you through the application process, making sure you understand what to do and how to apply.
  • Before you start studying, you will take a short course that introduces you to your online classroom and how to use it.
  • Our dedicated support teams will help you make the most of the University of Liverpool Online Library, Technical Support and Bursar (Finance) Support.
  • Our expert Student Support Team will be on hand throughout your studies to answer your questions and guide you through your programme.
  • If you need help with specific skill areas, such as research or academic writing, our expert Study Skills Tutors can help you improve your abilities. You will also have access to our Writing Centre for advice on your academic writing.
  • Your tutor for each module will provide you with feedback on your assignments to help you monitor your progress.
  • A Dissertation Advisor or Thesis Supervisor will support you through the research and writing process for your final research project or dissertation.

Who do I contact for technical support?

You can call on our expert Technical Support team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The best way to contact them is through Laureate LENS, the portal to your online classrooms. You will also have access to a list of handy technical FAQs to help you with common queries.

How to apply


Experienced Enrolment Advisor, Fabio Luelmo, talks through the application process for the University of Liverpool’s online programmes.
 

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How do I apply?

To apply for a programme, please fill in an information request form so that an Enrolment Advisor can contact you to discuss next steps. Visit the Admission section for more information on the entry requirements and application process.

How long is the application process?

Once you have completed the application form, your enrolment advisor will present your case to the Board of Admissions. The Board will normally make a decision on your acceptance within 48 hours. For doctoral degrees, the process is longer and you may need to wait 1-2 weeks to hear the Board's decision.

Do I need to provide transcripts?

Transcripts (official records of your previous academic studies) are required for some programmes and not for others. You need to check the specific requirements for the programme you are applying for.

What does an enrolment advisor do?

An enrolment advisor is usually your first point of contact with the University of Liverpool Online. He or she will be able to answer your questions about the University and its online programmes, and advise you about our entry requirements and our online learning model.

You can also ask your enrolment advisor for advice about which programme is most suitable for your needs, interests and future goals. If you decide to apply for an online programme, your enrolment advisor will guide you through the process to help you put together a strong application, with all the correct supporting documents.

Your enrolment advisor will present your application to the University's Board of Admissions for consideration. If you are accepted onto your chosen programme, your enrolment advisor will help you through the steps required to register as a student and to prepare to start your studies and make sure that you are ready to start your first module.

What is the application deadline?

Ideally you should submit your application five weeks before your intended start date. This will give you enough time to fully prepare for your studies by completing the New Student Preparation Programme. You can, however, submit an application closer to your preferred start date.

Is it possible to transfer credits to a University of Liverpool online programme?

This will depend on the programme and there are specific requirements which need to be met - please discuss this with your enrolment advisor.

Fees and payments


Executive Director of Global Student Financial Services, Russell Rogers, answers some of the questions students ask about paying for their online programme with the University of Liverpool.
 

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How can I pay my tuition fees?

There are several ways of paying your tuition fees including by credit/debit card or via wire transfer. Alternative payment methods may be available depending on your country of residence. Details are available on our website, or you can ask your enrolment advisor.

Are scholarships, grants, or discounts available?

Full scholarships are not normally available. If you are concerned about your ability to fund your studies, have a look on our website for details of our payment plans and study loans that may be available in your country. You can also ask your enrolment advisor for advice.

Do I need to order textbooks?

For most programmes you will need to order one textbook per module. The average cost is US$120 per book. E-books are provided for some programmes at no additional cost. You will be given more information once you apply for a programme, or you can ask your enrolment advisor.

How much are the tuition fees?

The overall tuition fees depends on your programme, the payment plan you choose, and the region you are living in. You will find details on our website, or you can ask your enrolment advisor.

Laureate Online Education

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I applied for one of your online programmes and was contacted by somebody in the Netherlands, the USA or Poland. Are they legitimate?

Yes they are. Our Enrolment Advisors work for the University’s online learning partner Laureate Online Education, which has offices in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Baltimore in the USA, and Gdansk in Poland.

Laureate looks after the administration of our online programmes, including the initial stages of admissions, and fees, while the University has ultimate responsibility for the academic content of the courses. Success in one of our online programmes leads to a degree awarded directly by the University of Liverpool. So rest assured, it’s quite normal for you to be contacted by someone working from one of Laureate’s offices in the Netherlands, the USA or Poland particularly during the admissions stage.

Laureate Online Education

Laureate Online Education is the University of Liverpool’s online learning partner. We have been working together since 1999 to deliver world-class fully online postgraduate education. Through this partnership, the University has become one of Europe’s largest providers of 100% online postgraduate degrees.

The University has total academic control of the online programmes, their curriculum, the faculty members, the assessment of students and the awarding of degrees. Laureate provides the marketing, infrastructure and administrative support for the online programme.

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