13 Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

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Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

Whether or not you live in the United Kingdom, there are many top universities in the UK where you can earn your degree through their online or distance learning programmes.

I’ll take you through some of these universities in today’s blog post.

The information about the top schools in the UK was largely informed by QS World University Rankings 2023 and Times Higher Education rankings.Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

Further research was made as to which of the universities in the list offer online courses at different levels. I’ll show you the result below.

The universities listed provide different types of degrees such from Bachelors to Masters, PhDs, or others.

See also: Best cities to study in the UK

13 Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge 
  3. University of Edinburgh
  4. University of Manchester
  5. King’s College London
  6. University of Birmingham
  7. University of Glasgow
  8. University of Sheffield
  9. University of Leeds
  10. University of Warwick
  11. University of Nottingham
  12. University of Aberdeen 
  13. Open University

The Open University UK is a renowned institution that offers a wide range of online courses across various disciplines. Here’s what you need to know about the Open University UK online courses.

The Open University UK online courses cover a wide range of subject areas, including business, engineering, healthcare, social sciences, and more.

They offer over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are available to students worldwide.

The UK recognizes the certificates, diplomas, and degrees earned from the Open University UK.

The Open University UK is a respected institution and is accredited by the British government, which means that its qualifications are recognized by employers and other educational institutions across the UK and internationally.

University of Oxford 

Oxford is a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

searching for online universities in the UK
Picture of University of Oxford

At Oxford, the Department for Continuing Education oversees the delivery of online courses across a selection of subjects.

Some courses to study online at Oxford are Undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education, Foundation Certificate in English Literature, Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology, Postgraduate Diploma in Paediatric Infectious Diseases, etc.

Oxford master’s online course programmes focus largely on History, Archaeology, Urban Development, Medical Sciences and research degrees.

 University of Cambridge


Ranked the second-best university in the world, the University of Cambridge is one of the best universities where you can earn a well-recognised degree online. The school has a strong reputation for quality online learning.

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) oversees distance learning at Cambridge. You can study full, award-bearing university courses online with ICE during the 2023-24 academic year.

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) oversees distance learning at Cambridge. You can study full, award-bearing university courses online with ICE during the 2023-24 academic year.

Some of the online courses for undergraduates are Creative Writing, History, International Relations, and Business along with other short courses and Postgraduate degree courses.

University of Edinburgh

students finds UK universities onlineRanked 15th in the world (QS World Rankings), the University of Edinburgh is one of the leading universities offering online programs at different levels.

You can choose an online degree from a broad range of subject areas. You can study to masters, diploma or certificate level, or take a short credit-bearing course.

The University of Edinburgh has the longest list of online postgraduate degree courses from Medical Sciences to  Law, International Development, Medicine, Education, History and Cultural Studies, etc.

University of Manchester

Online courses in the UK The University of Manchester is another top leading university in the UK that provides an opportunity for students to earn a degree online.

Their distance learning program is well-established and they offer a relevant range of courses for students.

Some of the available postgraduate courses that you can study online at the University of Manchester are aspects of Business Administration, Law, Education, Medical Sciences, Engineering, and Real Estate.

They also have blended courses. Blended courses offer some face-to-face teaching, so you can enjoy the Manchester experience in person.

All courses result in a recognised qualification (master’s degrees, postgraduate certificates/diplomas or professional accreditations).

King’s College London

You can study at King’s College London from anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection.

As one of the most prestigious schools in the world, you would be taught by one of King’s world-leading academics.

The school has quite a number of online postgraduate courses you can choose from such as Public Health, Psychology, International Corporate and Commercial Law, Marketing, International affairs, Applied Neuroscience, Global Finance and Banking, etc.

You can also learn new skills, pursue your interests, and advance your career with their online short courses

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is not just a top university in the UK but a leading school when it comes to providing world-class online courses to students from across the world.

The university offers a number of courses through online learning allowing you to study at a time and place that suits you. Their comprehensive courses pair world-class academics with the latest teaching methods.

Upon the completion of your course, you will become part of the university’s alumni community and build a network of like-minded professionals on your course that will help you navigate the next steps in your career.

You can take postgraduate courses such as Energy and Environmental Law, International Business, Business Administration, and Public Administration, etc. at the University of Birmingham.

Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

University of Glasgow

top courses online UK universities‌‌The University of Glasgow is one of the best online universities in the UK for distance learning.

Studying online with the University of Glasgow allows you to gain a globally recognised degree from a world top 100 Russell Group university but with the flexibility to suit busy professional lifestyles.

The university’s online postgraduate programmes involve the same level of work as our on-campus programmes, and the qualification you get is of equal value. All you need is a computer and internet connection.

Some of the courses you can take online at Glagow are Data Analytics, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Law & Sociology, Medicine & Medical Science, Psychology, and Veterinary Science. Etc.

University of Sheffield 

lady finds best universities in UK online coursesThe University of Sheffield is at the forefront of university education in the United Kingdom.

The university attracts thousands of students on campus from around the world every year to run different educational programs.

Professionals who love to further their studies or up-skill can also opt for online postgraduate course at the University of Sheffield.

The university’s online, distance learning and CPD courses give you access to internationally-renowned academics and innovative learning materials.

You can find online degrees in disciplines like Humanities, Medicine, Information Technology, and more.

University of Leeds

At the University of Leeds, online courses are led by top academics at the forefront of their subjects and explore a wide variety of topics.

Research is at the core of the school’s learning and teaching, and they draw on the latest discoveries to inform their online courses.a university best for online courses in the UK

The University offers a range of short online courses or MOOCs (Massive open online course) on FutureLearn and Coursera. Most of our courses are free, have no entry requirements and they can all be completed at a pace that suits you.

They offer courses around Engineering, Humanities, Business, Education, and more.

Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance Learning

University of Warwick

writing business online for Nigerian students

The University of Warwick is a world-renowned institution located in Coventry, UK. It offers a range of online courses that cater to individuals seeking to further their education and improve their skills.

The University of Warwick online courses cover a wide variety of subject areas, including business, management, data science, engineering, and many others.

The online courses at the University of Warwick are delivered through their online platform, which provides learners with a flexible and engaging learning experience.

The courses are designed to be self-paced, allowing learners to study at their own convenience and pace.

The University of Warwick offers a variety of online courses across different disciplines like Business and Management, Engineering, Data Analytics, Health and Social Care, etc.

University of Nottingham

Best Online Universities in the UK for Distance LearningThe University of Nottingham online courses cover a wide range of subject areas, including business, engineering, healthcare, social sciences, and more.

They are delivered through the university’s online platform, which offers a range of interactive and engaging learning resources to help students master the course material.

In addition, the University of Nottingham online courses are taught by experienced instructors who are experts in their fields.

They use a range of teaching methods, including videos, interactive exercises, and assessments to help students learn and retain the course material.

University of Aberdeen 

The University of Aberdeen has a reputation for being one of the best universities in the UK. The University of Aberdeen is a public research university located in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The school offers online master’s programme for students who are unable to opt for the full-time on-campus programmes.

The University of Aberdeen online master’s programmes offer a high-quality learning experience that is designed to support students throughout their studies. The programmes are taught by experienced instructors who are experts in their fields.

Below are some other frequently asked questions about the best online universities in the UK answered

What universities in the UK offer distance learning?

There are many universities that offer online courses in the UK. Some universities in the UK that offer online courses include the University of Edinburgh, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham, Open University UK, Open University UK, University of Aberdeen, University of Liverpool, and many more.

Is distance learning degree Recognised in UK?

Yes, distance learning degrees are recognized in the UK, as long as they are awarded by a reputable institution that is accredited by the appropriate regulatory bodies, such as the Office for Students (OfS) or the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). The UK government recognizes and regulates all higher education providers in the country.

Which university is the best for online education?

There are many universities that offer high-quality online education, and the best one for you depends on your personal goals and preferences. Here are some of the universities that are commonly recognized as offering excellent online education programs: Open University, University of Edinburgh, University of Warwick, University of London, University of Manchester, etc.



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