Distance learning students share their experiences.
Video: Distance learning with the College of Arts and Law
'I was enormously impressed by the quality and the content of distance learning material that I got.'
'Because I don't have to attend a lecture at 9am on a Monday - that gives me a lot more freedom. I'm able to combine it with my part-time work. 'Even though I was a distance learner, I had access to the e-library and actually access to articles throughout the world and I didn't have any trouble finding what I needed.'
'I'm studying the Shakespeare and Theatre module at the Shakespeare Institute. I chose that as a retirement present for myself.'
'I chose distance learning because I have a full-time job. I have a family.'
'It had a sentence that really caught my eye. It said everybody is different so let us know what your requirements are and we can try to adjust them to suit you'.
'I chose to study at the University of Birmingham because of the Ironbridge Institute which teaches all the heritage and conservation courses. I decided to come back because I wanted to change career. I've been a journalist for about 20 years and that industry isn't very healthy at the moment so I decided to come back to England and study heritage and history.'
'I live a long way from academic institutions. I'm also quite a self-motivating individual so I was really attracted to the idea of studying on that sort of basis.'
'I live in Switzerland and I was looking for something to further my education because I wanted to get a better job. I did a lot of research because I needed to distance learning because I have a family and I needed to do something part-time.'
'We use the University of Birmingham website and through that we get into the student portal which gets you to the actual area of learning.'
'They have online forums where you can interact with your peers. They've also got WebCT where they copy all the lecture notes and they have slides/powerpoints/ a vast array of web resources.'
'Of course you have contact with other students online - the Yahoo group or other discussion forums.'
'I was able to email questions to the tutor. I got very prompt replies back and so for me it was a very, very good experience.'
'We have people on my course who are as far away as Malaga, Madagascar and the Netherlands. It's possible for students to be in touch with the tutors by Skype.'
'I had originally set out with the idea that I would do all of the course on a distance learning basis but one of the requirements was to attend a summer school and that really also whetted my appetite for mixing and matching the distance with some of the sessions here at the Institute.'
'The summer seminars were great. I could see the face behind the person and found out that the lecturers are human beings and are just like you and I. '
'They also have visiting experts come in so theoretically if you're doing DL, you could come in for a lecture a month.'
'All the heritage students have just been on a 5 day study tour around museums all over the West Midlands. We stayed in Shrewsbury, we went to the Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent, the Back-to-Backs in Birmingham and, of course, the museums in Ironbridge itself.'
'I really enjoyed studying here at Birmingham. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I wanted to do more but I'm not quite ready to do a PhD so I asked if I could become a tutor and they accepted me. So now I'm helping other people throughout the world learn what I was able to learn.'
'The warmth that I've found here is something that is very important to me and they're not just talking to you like you're a student, they're actually talking to you like you're a person. They know what it's like to try to juggle your job and your family and your studies and they're extremely accommodating for that.'