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What are Online Studies?

Online studies are an alternative to on-campus study. They are a relatively recently developed form of delivering education programmes, which is gaining popularity. Millions of students are currently doing online courses globally and their number is only likely to rise in the foreseeable future.

Enrolling in an online study programme means that students are still officially registered at the institution that provides the programme and receive the same resources as students who study on campus. Many institutions that offer online studies are fully accredited and provide academic qualifications as well as award students with undergraduate or postgraduate certificates depending on their level of study. Students who have difficulties attending classes or wish to study at their own pace opt for this form of course delivery.

This form of education involves watching lectures, participating in discussions and being actively engaged in the learning process online. Online studies rely heavily on electronic resources provided by the libraries of the institutions where students are doing a programme. Resources may vary with each institution but the most commonly used ones are e-books, journals, videos, recorded lectures, quizzes, discussion forums and live Q&A sessions. Some online programmes may require students to order and use physical copies of textbooks. Therefore, students who are planning on enrolling in an online programme need to check whether they are expected to gain access to printed resources and if these are covered by their tuition fees.

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What are the benefits of Online Studies?

There are online courses for all levels of education available in almost all subject areas thanks to the rapid technological advancement that the world is experiencing today. This creates multiple opportunities for people to obtain official certificates, diplomas and qualifications that are internationally recognized in a variety of flexible ways that result in even more benefits than the traditional form of education.

Online studies enable students to gain the skills and qualifications they need from anywhere around the world. They provide an opportunity for students who wish to study at a particular institution but are unable to because they are too far away from their homes. Moving to a new location in a completely different part of the world can be challenging both financially and mentally. Online education eliminates this challenge by providing access to the same benefits offered by education institutions on campus and allowing students to take advantage of them from the comfort of their homes. Students can experience a brand new way of learning course content while lying in bed or having lunch as long as they pay attention to what is being taught of course. Moreover, the electronic reading materials students are expected to use for their independent study are portable and enable them to read and learn about different topics regardless of their location as long as they have an internet connection.

Online programmes provide flexibility to students in designing their own schedule and choosing their pace of work. Some people are more productive in the morning while others enjoy the peacefulness of night studying. Education institutions cannot provide flexibility for such drastic differences in productive time on campus. Thus, many institutions have come to offer online education to make students completely free to choose when to do their work in order to ensure its quality and efficiency will be at its best. Online students can access course materials and complete their assignments at the most convenient time for them. This provides them with great flexibility to design their schedule around their work, studies and personal life to ensure they achieve the best possible work-life balance.

Speaking of work-life balance, online studies are an opportunity for people who want to start or maintain their professional careers without interruption for educational purposes. Such people can still get the desired qualifications by taking an online course that fits their academic work around their professional work.

Gaining the required qualifications is the ultimate goal of completing any degree programme and this does not differ for online studies. Online degrees allow students to obtain the same qualifications as on-campus programmes. They are well-accepted by employers as long as they are recognized in the respective field. In fact, employers may even consider getting an online degree as a source of unique skills that only online students come to possess, such as personal management as well as personal dedication and motivation to achieve goals, which makes online students stand out from the crowd.

Apart from the unique skills that students obtain through online studies, they also have the pleasure to experience customized methods of delivery of the course content. Most discussions or other modes of learning take place in small groups or individually, which allows for a more personalized approach. The people that are responsible for delivering the content get to know individual students better and understand their weaknesses and strengths in-depth, which enables them to focus on filling the gaps in their students’ knowledge and providing useful feedback. Overall, interaction is focused on meeting the individual needs of each student.

Some might be repelled by the misconception that online studies limit social interaction and hence reduce opportunities to build a wider network and make friends. Although human interaction is limited, when compared to on-campus studies, online education still provides many opportunities for students to socialize by watching lectures, participating in student discussions and joining social media groups formed by students enrolled in the same online courses. Therefore, online students can still expand their network and build long-lasting relationships.

Last but not least, online education is highly accessible. As already mentioned, students can study from anywhere around the world, which eliminates the need to commute or travel far away from home where students would have to find a place to live that will cost them additional finances. This results in a lot of savings, which could be spent on or invested in something else. For instance, students could spend the saved money on travelling and exploring destinations they have dreamed of visiting while using the online learning materials, which are available in any location that has an internet connection, to prepare for their course. Overall, online studies tend to be more affordable.

Examples of Popular Online Higher Education Institutions

  •       EU Business School Online
  •       University of Essex Online
  •       University of Bath Online
  •       University of Glasgow
  •       Sustainability Management School
  •       SBS Swiss Business School
  •       University College Birmingham
  •       GBSB Global Business School
  •       Universidad de Burgos
  •       Maastricht School of Management
  •       The University of Edinburgh
  •       University of Leeds
  •       CQUniversity Australia
  •       IUBH Online
  •       Cardiff University
  •       University of Southampton
  •       Robert Kennedy College
  •       Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
  •       University of Central Lancashire
  •       Lancaster University
  •       University of Portsmouth
  •       Apsley Business School
  •       Rome Business School
  •       Vlerick Business School
  •       IE University
  •       The International School of Management
  •       Montpellier Business School (MBS)
  •       Warwick Business School
  •       London School of Commerce
  •       Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI)


In conclusion, online studies are becoming an increasingly popular option for further education. Online programmes are internationally recognized and enable students to gain the same qualifications as students enrolled in traditional programmes. Online studies may even result in the development of unique skills that make individuals stand out from the crowd. Such programmes offer access to a wide range of resources and support services, which aid students in their learning all the way through to graduation. Overall, online courses already open up a variety of opportunities to individuals who choose this path for their development and the best of online education is yet to come.

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