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Frequently Asked Questions

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We offer the same opportunities to our online students as our campus-based students. As well as making our careers information and support available online, we offer career appointments to suit your schedule.

While there are no mandatory face-to-face sessions on campus, there are opportunities to visit campus if you wish, such as to take part in workshops and industry events. But you can choose to visit campus whenever you like.

Though we don’t offer scholarships for our online degrees, other scholarships and funding opportunities may be available. Alumni discounts are available to previous University of Birmingham students. To find out more, please visit our funding pages.

Though the schedule varies by programme, most online classes, or synchronised tutorials, normally take place once every two weeks. These are often run multiple times during the day, so you can join at a time that suits you. You’ll receive a timetable of your synchronous session after you enroll.

Our programmes are designed so you can study and work at the same time. In fact, around 96% of our online students both work and study. Students find it beneficial to be able to put what they’ve learned into practice in the workplace straight away.

Yes, you can. If you submit your application without meeting the academic entry criteria, you may receive a conditional offer. A conditional offer is a provisional acceptance that you meet the criteria before your start date. You will need to provide evidence of this.

Just like any other student, you’ll be invited to take part in a graduation ceremony on campus. Do not worry if you’re unable to attend – we will post your degree certificate instead.

Our online degrees are designed with today’s mobile students in mind. Still, some programme material can be downloaded for reading offline. In the interests of the environment and copyrighting issues, we don’t endorse the printing of documents.

Since our programmes are designed to enable you to learn and network on your own terms, we don’t provide private tutoring. From student feedback we’ve found that our discussion forums, live lectures and assignments provide more than enough learning and development opportunities.

Our programmes are scheduled so all students can attend live lectures, wherever they’re studying from. Though it largely depends on your programme of study, attending the synchronous sessions is mandatory or highly recommended. If you are unable to attend a session, contact our Student Services team.

We do offer the option to switch; however, it depends on a number of factors, including the similarity of the programmes and the stage you’re at in the current programme setting. If you’d like to discuss switching from a campus-based programme to online, please contact our Admissions Team.

As a student of the University of Birmingham, our campus facilities are open to you. We will give you a student ID, so you can use facilities if you are nearby. If you’re unable to visit campus, do not worry – all the programme materials you need are available online.

You can apply to study the Online Master of Public Administration irrespective of which industry you work in. Whatever your professional ambition, this programme supports a broad range of organisational functions within the public and private sector.

There are no exam requirements. All online degrees are assessed via a combination of coursework, group projects, class participation, presentations and other assignments.

Yes, all of the modules on the MPA programme are available as stand-alone Postgraduate Microcredentials, which you can study online over an 8-week period. At the end of your 8-week course, you will receive an official University of Birmingham Postgraduate Microcredential certificate worth 10 credits, and a transcript highlighting your new credential to both current and prospective employers.

You’ll also be able to use any course credits you’ve earned through this Microcredential qualification towards the Online Master of Public Administration programme, should you choose to study the full master’s degree at a later date. Find out more about our short online courses here.

We are able to accept students from nearly every location worldwide, and our current students come from over 50% of the world’s countries. One of the main benefits of online study is that you can learn from anywhere. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

Online degrees are delivered in a similar way to traditional campus-based degrees. Commonly, you’ll be given a programme structure at the start of the term detailing the year ahead. This breaks the programme down into modules, giving you a clear indication of what’s coming up, so you’re always prepared.

The specific details will depend on your particular programme, but each module is worth a specific number of credits, equating to a total number of credit hours. This generally averages out to approximately 12–15 hours of study per week.

All content is delivered through the University’s own online learning environment (Canvas).

All 100% online programmes take 2.5 years to complete. However, you can break up your studies and take time out between modules if you need to. You can take a maximum of 5 years to finish your online programme.

We recommend 12–15 hours of study per week. The time required will depend on your particular way of studying and the amount of free time you have.

Fees vary depending on your programme of study, but are exactly the same for UK and international students. For more specific information about our fees and payment plans, please get in touch with our admissions team.

As well as learning from leading lecturers and industry speakers, you’ll have access to community boards, instant messaging services, live discussions and one-to-one support from a Student Services Coordinator. We also offer 24/7 technical support should you encounter any difficulties accessing the online platform.

Our online learning environment includes videos and interactive activities for you to learn from. You can also access the university’s online library, which includes e-textbooks, journal articles and specialist industry reports.

Find out more about our online learning environment.

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in law, and would like to undertake our Online LLM, you can also apply for Bar Professional Training. However, if your first degree is in an allied subject, you would also need to undertake a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), before taking professional courses which allow you to become a qualified lawyer.

An Online MBA is both an investment and a challenge. The value of an online MBA vs campus MBA is hard to fully quantify. Research by GMAC (2018) suggests that 79% of MBA alumni thought their degree was personally, professionally and financially rewarding. The findings did not find many differences between the modality of studies.

As a global university, the University of Birmingham draws on research and ideas from around the world. The faculty teams feature multinational lecturers, with experience of working in a number of industries and worldwide locations.

For many students, online study is the only way to enhance skills and further a career, since they’re unable to attend a university campus due to distance or lifestyle commitments. For others, online study is just a more flexible, more cost-effective way to study.

Studying online with the University of Birmingham gives you access to the same acclaimed lecturers, research and content as our campus-based students, so you’re never missing out as an online student.

A good level of understanding of the English language is required for all our programmes. If English is not your first language you will need to provide an up-to-date IELTS certificate which meets the programme entry requirements.

Through our online learning environment, Canvas, you can contact your peers and tutors, use discussion forums, connect to live lectures and take part in group work. It’s a highly interactive environment, designed to make you feel part of a community.

Some students also choose to use Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangout whilst studying, in addition to Canvas.

In short, to log on and complete your assignments you’ll need access to a computer with a reliable internet connection and Microsoft Office. We also recommend a notepad, pen, comfortable chair and refreshments to keep you going! For detailed requirements, please see our Technical and Support page.

Cohort sizes vary between programmes and each student intake. The cohorts generally come from different locations and backgrounds, offering you an opportunity to network with and learn from people from around the world.

We have very high student retention rates, which are, on average, consistently above 90%. This reflects the high engagement and thought-provoking module content delivered through each of our online programmes.

The University of Birmingham use Harvard referencing for social science programmes, and OSCOLA referencing for law. For more style guidance, see our university pages.

Looking for a 100% online programme? We offer an MBA, an MSc International Management, a Masters of Public Administration and an LLM in Energy and Environmental Law. There are also a range of distance-learning and blended programmes available in various formats. Browse our distance learning directory to learn more.

There are three intakes per year. You can choose to join our programmes in spring, summer or autumn.

Programme information is available on our main website. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0)800 032 7101 or by email at They’ll be happy to help you with any information you need.

There is no such thing as an ideal student. As long as you meet the programme entry criteria and can commit to regular study time, we’re confident that you will succeed. You will also need plenty of enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and excellent time management. Our previous students come from nearly every continent in the world, from all walks of life.

Our programme fees are benchmarked based on the quality of the content and the academic rigour of the teaching, both equal to the campus-based equivalents. We feel this represents great value, especially without the accommodation, travel and other costs associated with campus study.

Programmes are designed to provide you with the most diverse, career-relevant experience available, to maximise your choice while exposing you to content you may not have otherwise considered. Our Online MBA programme does offer a choice of elective modules in the second year.

Studying online allows you to learn around your existing commitments from anywhere in the world. This flexible way of learning means you can choose your study space and overcome some of the geographical and financial concerns of campus-based study.

Your degree certificate will state the degree that you studied and the qualification level you achieved. It will not mention that it was taken online.

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