From Shakespeare's home to yours. Distance learning with the Shakespeare Institute

In addition to the many courses that we offer on site in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Shakespeare Institute also offers a part-time MA programme by distance learning.

Distance Learning at the Shakespeare Institute

Students can study the entire MA Shakespeare by distance learning. Studying at a distance is not the lonely experience it may once have been. Our distance learning modules are designed to promote student and tutor interaction through the use of print, audio, and video teaching materials and methods. Students are able to study modules in a way that fits in with their lives, but they also have the opportunity to connect with other students and tutors through online seminars and discussion forums. Distance learning students based in the UK are also able to take some of their modules on-site if this fits with their schedules.

Our distance learning programme feature small class sizes (typically between 10-30 students) and a broad geographic spread. Our programmes have involved students based in every continent other than Antarctica and in dozens of countries around the world.

How it works

Our distance learning offerings involve the same amount of rigour, challenge and prestige as our on-site courses. All students studying by distance will be enrolled into our virtual learning environment, called Canvas. When you log into it you will find the core learning materials you need to study for your module, including weekly discussion questions, activities, reading lists, lectures, and links to live, weekly seminars. Our University e-Library contains a world-class collection of ebooks and electronic journals that will support your study as a distance learning student, and you will learn how to search and use these resources as part of your core Research Skills module.

Whenever possible we source electronic copies of essential reading for modules through the University e-Library, but you will also be expected to purchase or borrow copies of some texts that are not yet available as ebooks. Students located in the UK will be able to use their University of Birmingham student status to visit UK university libraries near them, and students based abroad may also find that they are eligible for reference and borrowing privileges at university libraries in their area.

screenshot of a lecture on canvas

Your course is structured so that every taught module is broken down into a number of meaningful sections, each of which discusses particular issues or plays. Most modules are taught September–January or February–June. It is important that you set aside adequate time to complete the MA – the University recommends that all students (distance or on-site) allocate an average of 200 hours per 20-credit module in order to complete the coursework and essays to an appropriate standard. This averages to about one–two working days a week over a four-month period.

If you would like to find out more about distance learning options at the Shakespeare Institute, please follow the links below and also get in touch with us at