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Frequently asked questions

Get answers to your most common queries below. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Call us on +44 (0) 800 0527 526.

How does online learning work?

Online learning, put simply, is a method of learning that is 100% online. You can choose how and when you study, and all classroom activities and assignment submissions are completed using our innovative virtual classroom environment.

Do I need a computer?

Yes, you will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection. While it may be possible to study from a variety of venues such as at work, a library, or at a family member’s house, we recommend that you use a computer based in your own home.

How much of my time will it take to study a module?

We suggest you spend a minimum of 10 to 15 hours per week studying. The number of hours required each week can vary throughout your module, for example, if you’re preparing an assignment, the number of hours required in that week may be higher than other weeks.

How will I be assessed during my studies?

At University of Essex Online, we assess our students in a number of ways. Your tutor will make the requirements clear at the start of each module, but here’s a brief overview of the types of assessment you might be asked to complete.

Assignment: A structured essay that must focus on a topic or task set by your tutor.

Dissertation/thesis: An original research project on a topic of interest, aligned to a relevant area within the subject or course.

Discussion activity: A threaded discussion between students on a topic or issue (set by the module tutor) that takes place over a two week period within the online learning platform’s forum.

Journal report: An assessed record of a student’s individual progress and a reflection on their learning and its application.

Oral presentation: A brief brief spoken presentation delivered online with a time limit, focusing on a set topic, usually supported by notes and slides.

Project: An independent topic, based on a task set by the module tutor.

What happens if my circumstances change during my studies?

If your personal situation changes during your studies, we will work with you to make the necessary adjustments to your course load. University of Essex Online courses are different to traditional degree courses, enabling us to approach our courses with more flexibility.

Will I have to sit any exams?

There are no exams to sit. All assessments are based on discussion contributions, written assignments and work-based learning projects. Every piece of work that you submit is uploaded via our virtual online platform and your tutor has direct access to assess it.

Am I eligible for a student loan?

Part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students living in England can apply for a tuition fee loan towards the cost of their studies. Not sure whether you’re eligible? Our Admissions team are always happy to help you with any questions you have. If you’re not eligible, or you decide to fund the course yourself, we offer a simple monthly payment plan, enabling you to spread the cost of your tuition over the duration of your studies. You can learn more here.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Various courses offer scholarships and discounts. You can learn more here.

How do I apply and when can I start?

Call us on +44 (0) 800 0527 526 or complete our online application form. We have monthly start dates so you can begin your studies as soon as you’ve been accepted onto one of our courses and your student loan application has been received or you have paid your course tuition fee.

What is Accredited Prior Learning (APL) and do I qualify for any exemptions?

APL is a process which enables you to gain recognition, formal credit and exemptions for learning you have previously completed prior to enrolling on a University of Essex Online course.

This certificated learning could have been through study at another Higher Education Institution, distance learning, in-house company training or professional or vocational qualifications (NB: you cannot claim APL for training where only attendance was required).

In order to apply for APL, you will need to find the learning outcomes for the study you have previously completed so that we can compare this to our equivalent programme. Our Admissions Team will be happy to advise you of the APL process during your enrolment. You can learn more here.

What is an academic transcript?

An academic transcript is a record of your achievement from your current or previous institution which confirms the modules you have studied (including their level and the number of credits they are worth) and the grades you were awarded. The transcript should show the official seal of the awarding institution, and/or an authenticating signature.

Will my degree certificate say online learning?

There is no mention of online study on the University of Essex degree certificate. The mode of study is mentioned on the transcripts that accompany your final grades.

Will I be able to attend a graduation ceremony?

Yes, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex campus in Colchester after the successful completion of your degree course.

What is relevant work experience?

This can differ from person-to-person and course-to-course. Our Advisers are happy to give you advice and information and can be contacted by email, Live Chat or by phone on +44 (0) 800 0527 526.

Are there any age restrictions on any of the courses?

Not at all! Online learning is perfect for anyone of any age (as long as you’re over 18).