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.



Our students

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

Mark Jones, LLM Diplomacy and International Law (Distance Learning)

“This course provided an excellent challenge, offering a blend of theory and real-life case studies. The learning platform was easy to use and the help and guidance that I received was exemplary. When it came to the disseration, it was reassuring to have a subject specialist allocated as my tutor and to receive measured and insightful guidance. My time as a postgraduate student at Lancaster University has been considerably enhanced thanks to the quality of the tuition, the excellence of the communication and the high calibre of my fellow students.”

Irene Foster, PhD Educational Research – Higher Education

“The learning environment within the department, and reflected throughout the course, was one of high level stimulation, embedding thought-provoking debates and discussions in many of the teaching sessions. The content of many of the modules was very pertinent and contested topics within higher education arenas. This, coupled with the varied and diverse backgrounds of the students within my cohort, added another interesting dimension to my learning. The well-stocked physical and on-line library is second-to-none, making research for the many assignments a much easier task.” Irene is Director of Quality Improvement at a UK Higher Education Institution.

Jenny Hatley, PhD in Education and Social Justice

“It has been a really wonderful experience. The tutors have been as available, as supportive and as responsive as they would have been were I a student on campus. The discussion fora, skype supervision and online activities – both individual and group – have been superb. The chance to engage with researchers passionate about their subjects has been a real pleasure. The freedom to explore new areas of interest has been one of the best aspects of the course. I cannot recommend this course and the Department of Educational Research highly enough.”


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.


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