Students laugh while sat at a desk

Online and distance learning courses

The Faculty offers an extensive range of high quality online and distance learning degrees and awards. These combine Lancaster’s excellence in teaching with the flexibility to study at a time and place that is convenient for you.

We have considerable experience in supporting online and distance learners, and this expertise will make a difference in the quality of your learning experience and your enjoyment of the course.

Key features

Online and distance courses include some or all of the following:

  • Access to Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment
  • Online library resources and support
  • Online seminars and conferences
  • One-to-one tutorials
  • Opportunities to engage with tutors and other students both formally and informally

Some courses include short residentials and summer schools – see individual courses for details.



Short postgraduate courses

Our short courses enable you to study at postgraduate level without doing a full Master’s degree. Options include specialist modules and more substantial Postgraduate Certificates (PGCerts). Some are available part-time and some via online learning. All are at the same level as Master’s study, they include a form of assessment, and offer a transcript of credit or a Certificate from Lancaster University.

Short courses

Free courses

We run free online courses in partnership with FutureLearn. These are sometimes referred to as 'MOOCs' - or Massive Open Online Courses. You can register online to join any of the courses listed below - you just need access to a computer, tablet or mobile phone to learn with us.

Free courses

Our students

A vibrant and supportive learning community and with high quality programmes: these are the hallmarks of Lancaster’s online learning experience.

A day in the life of a distance learning postgraduate student

Amy was a Master's student in Diplomacy and International Law, taking the course via distance learning. As a Digital Content Ambassador, Amy documented her journey through a blog.

Read Amy's blog


Academics and doctoral students in the Department of Educational Research regularly write about different aspects of online and distance learning, including tips for effective learning. You can read the latest posts on their blog page.