Distance Learning

Has anybody had any experiences with distance learning. I’ve been looking at a couple of places in Australia - Marquarie Uni and the Uni of Southern Queensland, but am unsure what the workload is like when trying to balance it with a 9 - 6:30 gig. Obviously the reason I look in Aus is I won’t have to pay a cent until I find a job back there, but I welcome imput about other countries. Any general experiences and other places that offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Amos.

Good question. I’m going to be starting a Masters in International Relations from a U.S. school in August. I know some guys (all English teachers) who’ve done their M.Ed through Austrailian schools, and some MBA’s from British schools. They seemed able to balance work and school fairly well. I think it mostly depends on what you’re going to study.

I’m a distance learner through a UK uni, and here’s my advice:

Because you’re not a full-time student, you’ll need a steady work schedule in order to integrate your studies into your life. No running around, working here and there, and up and down. Time slot all in one location is better.

Study/read/write at least 20 hours per week.
Pencil out a schedule for yourself, and STICK TO IT! Motivation waxes and wanes as a distance learner, this is something you’ll need to learn to control.

Give up all or most social activities and turn down invitations. Keeping your social life will only interfere with studies and deter your progress. Choose one day a week, or two at the most, to see people. Other times, keep to the books. (I’m actually moving out of the city soon to make myself DO this more regularly! I give myself 18 more months to finish this programme in the absence of a social life, 3+ years WITH one. Lucky my programme can take up to five…)

Your life should be divided up like:
Work 60-70%
Studies 30-40%
Social life 0-10%

IT sux to be lonely with your head up your ass, but it’s worth it. In fact, I’ve already reaped some benefits in my career. The MSc (cheaper than GOING to UK) is from an accredited and respected uni, and my diploma will not say “distance learning”.

DL is a growing trend in the world of education, but it’s something that needs a great deal of self-motivation.


I personally would choose Macquarie over USQ. USQ may have lots of awards but that was when there was no competition for distance ed. I would also investigate Deakin Uni in Melbourne.


What distance learning program are you enrolled in?