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What is flexible learning?

What is flexible learning?

Flexible learning – often also referred to as distance learning or online learning – is a learning format whereby students have the flexibility to choose their own mode, pace and location of learning. 

With busy professionals increasingly seeking greater flexibility in their lives to maintain better work/life balances and fit in studies comfortably alongside their work and personal commitments, flexible learning has become the preferred choice for many students around the world over traditional on-campus studies. 

What are the benefits of flexible learning? 

Flexible learning offers a range of benefits to those looking to develop or enhance their knowledge and skills in a particular field and expand their global career opportunities, including: 


Perhaps the greatest benefit of flexible learning is, of course, its flexibility. With flexible learning courses, you have the freedom and flexibility to study on your own terms, when and from wherever in the world it suits you.

So you don’t need to adhere to rigid class timetables or invest time and money in travelling long distances or relocating to attend face-to-face classes.

This essentially means you don’t need to reschedule your life or work around your studies – you can carry on with your everyday life and fit your studies in around your own schedule.


As well as giving you increased flexibility in terms of when you study, flexible learning also lets you study from wherever it suits you. So you don’t need to worry about travelling to a university campus for lectures or applying for a visa to study at a university abroad when you have flexible learning options available.

No matter where in the world you live, with flexible learning, you have access to a university degree that's identical to campus-based courses. 

Advance your career without giving up your full-time job

Choosing to pursue further studies to enhance your skills and advance your career shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your income and work commitments. With flexible learning, you can carry on working and earning a full-time income while you study.

Since flexible learning courses are specifically designed to enable you to study alongside your work and personal commitments, you’ll be able to comfortably manage both your full-time job and studies while you earn a full-time income, helping to alleviate the worry of how you’ll keep up with day-to-day expenses while you study. 

Improve your digital literacy

Flexible learning courses allow for online access to your course materials, lectures, tutors and fellow cohort. You’ll have 24/7 access to all your course content online, so you can download and read, watch, listen, and learn at a time and place that suits you.

Flexible learning promotes student engagement and interaction through a range of digital content formats and channels, including:

  • Video tutorials 

  • Webinars 

  • Podcasts 

  • Online discussion boards and forums 

  • Social media groups 

This will enable you to improve your digital literacy and become more proficient and confident with the digital space and its various forms of digital content and communication. 

Collaborate and network with students from around the world

When you study a flexible learning course, your classmates won’t be restricted to those sitting next to you in a classroom – your cohort will be students from all around the world.

This means you’ll gain exposure to a diverse range of unique insights, perspectives and experiences, giving you a truly global learning experience.

As you build connections with your cohort and tutors throughout your time on the course, you’ll also gain the opportunity to expand your global professional network – helping you to stay connected to global career opportunities throughout your career. 

How can a master's help you achieve your goals while learning online? 

UCLan's online programmes are specifically designed for flexible learning that fits around your work and personal commitments, so you can enhance your skills and expertise without having to take a career break or relocate.

You’ll have access to world-class teaching excellence from anywhere in the world, and gain the expertise and confidence to take the next step in your career. 

Discover how you’ll study with UCLan's fully-flexible online programmes:

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Have questions?  

We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to discuss your course of interest and ask any questions about studying.