"Studying by distance learning really worked for me being a single mother with two children. I took my study materials everywhere. And as I didn't have to travel to evening classes or hire a babysitter, it was a low-cost option, too.
I found it tough at times and there were moments when I considered walking away. You have to be disciplined. You need to remember it's only through dedication and perseverance that you can get to where you want to be tomorrow.
Before starting, you need to really consider what type of learner you are. Finding the time to study is one thing, but you also need to maintain a positive mind-set and respond well to challenges. There are plenty of tools to support you but the most important factor is you."
Student of the Year 2014
Time - having the flexibility to study in your own time can work in good and bad ways. Some students relish this freedom. Our 2016 Distance Learner of the Year, Jessica Leyland, completed all three AAT Accounting Qualifications in just seven months. Her exceptional story contrasts other students who've underestimated the amount of study time required. You need to be able to block out study slots around your work and home life. Making sure you have some kind of regular routine is important to your progress.
Motivation - everyone is different when it comes to learning. Some students are self-motivated, while others require a more structured, hands-on, tutor-led approach. There may be times where you'll struggle or lose focus. Being a good distance learner hinges on how you respond to those moments. You know your personality. If you're the sort of person who feeds on interaction with peers and tutors, you might be better choosing a classroom course.
Cost - distance learning courses vary significantly in their cost and the majority of students are self-funded. There are a variety of funding options available to help you pay. Many training providers offer flexible payment plans so your training costs can be spread out. You may be inclined to go for the cheapest course available but we recommend reviewing all the options. A more expensive distance learning course might include support resources that are worth paying extra for – for example, increased interaction with your tutor.
Great. Your next step is to choose a distance learning provider. To help you, we've created a handy interactive tool so you can find the right one for your learning requirements.Find a distance learning provider
To give you more of an idea of how distance learning works and whether it's for you, here are some of our distance learning providers talking about their courses.
We've put together all the tips, tools and resources to help you be a successful distance learner.