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The University of Southampton
Quality HandbookOff campus learning

Distance learning

The practice of ‘distance learning’ has been developing and evolving in many different forms in recent years, so that the phrase is now routinely applied to a very wide spectrum of activities.  

The University only has a small number of programmes which offer distance learning opportunities, where students are studying online for some or all of their programme of study. In particular, the University has recently developed a framework for Distance Learning at postgraduate research level.

Distance Learning - Taught Programmes

The approval, monitoring and review process for distance learning programmes is the same as that for other programmes, with recognition that such programmes will have specific issues and needs that may not be the same as those for traditional methods of delivery.  The Programme validation process describes the requirements. 

Careful consideration should be given to items such as:

If a distance learning programme involves another institution the procedures described under the Collaborative Provision Policy may apply.

Distance Learning - Research Programmes

The Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision should be consulted regarding the position of PhD students, particularly part-time PhD students, who are studying at a distance from the University for a considerable part of their time of registration, to ensure that research students in this position were assured of an equivalent experience.

The University has formally encouraged the development of Jointly Supervised Research Degrees and has recently formalised the requirements for different modes of off campus study at PhD level, including a distance learning PhD.


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