University of Liverpool Online Degrees
Jackie Gay rates this 3.5/5
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University Of Liverpool Online From: University of Liverpool, England

well established programs, high quality, good student reviews

managed by Laureate Online, expensive (relatively)

a good choice for the busy professional who is confident in their study skills and anxious to extend their knowledge and contacts

REVIEW: University Of Liverpool (Online Degrees) - Is It The Real Deal?

Liverpool, England. What associations come to your mind? The Beatles, maybe; the river Mersey, Liverpool FC and of course the city's people, the inimitable 'scousers'. But did you know that the city was founded as long ago as 1209, and in the 1850s was christened the 'New York of Europe'? That for periods of the 19th Century its wealth exceeded that of London? That the first School for the Blind and High School for Girls in the world were founded here? 
That the University of Liverpool was the first institution in Europe to offer a 100% online Masters degree program?
Good starting credentials, then. The University was founded in 1881, and, like all UK universities, is regulated and monitored by the Quality Assurance Agency, an independent body established to uphold quality and standards in British educational institutions.

The University has also been awarded a Royal Charter (in 1903), which is a sign of long-standing, proven academic quality. 
So, if you're interested in studying with one of the UK's most prestigious institutions with a track record of providing online education, read on. Firstly, however, lets make it clear that online programs are limited to masters degrees (or higher) so you need to have your undergraduate degree firmly under your belt before applying. The areas of study available are in psychology, law, public health, management and IT. Studying for a masters degree in any of these areas will undoubtedly advance students professionally, so with those boxes ticked the question is, why online? Perhaps more than any other educational undertaking, distance learning programs prompt the question, 'is it going to be worth it?'

So, step back for a moment and ask yourself what associations come to mind when you think of distance learning. Nelson Mandela, perhaps, studying for his law degree alone in his cell on Robben Island? Posting off assignments to faceless professors and then anxiously awaiting their response in the post? Not in the 21st Century. The best of today's online programs use modern technologies such as videoconferencing, virtual classrooms, chats, bulletin boards and online workshops to improve the way students and teachers connect. Now, the hallmark of a good online program is interaction. With the University of Liverpool classes are kept small (a maximum of 20 students per class), and students can control their schedule, personalize their program contact, and interact with both faculty and students. 

And here is one of the advantages of online study - the people you meet. With high quality admission standards, the University of Liverpool programs ensure that you will work with fellow professionals and active industry experts. And the reviews are good: students give the institution credit for being one of the best in the world. 'A lot of interactions with other students is asked' one said, 'the quality of work of other students is very high and participation is good,' said another. This kind of review holds a lot of weight in the online education world. Another student chose to transfer to Liverpool from because their existing institution was handing out A+ marks which s/he 'was not sure were an actual reflection of my work and therefore were not credible.' The University of Liverpool does not suffer from such doubts over quality.

However no Masters degree is a walk in the park, especially not an online one. Prospective students should spend time to understand what to expect in terms of workload (which is high) and participation (also quite demanding). Students are required to produce a thesis (with supervision) which entails many hours of independent work however you choose to study. 

It is also important to note that the online degrees are offered in partnership between Laureate Online and the University of Liverpool. Laureate deals with the finances and technical infrastructure and some participants felt that they would have preferred a school that runs its own Masters program. Inevitably, there is some variation in the quality of instruction, and prospective students need to be proactive in giving feedback and ensuring that their teachers push them to the best of their capabilities. 

Nevertheless the resources offered are excellent, every course is an 'eye opener' and the courses are highly recommended. If you have a knowledge gap that you need to fill to advance your career and require the flexibility of distance learning, this 'top notch' institution could be the answer you've been looking for. 
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2011, 6:31 pm
Reviewed by Jackie Gay
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