Where to Study with Private Sector Providers

Private sector involvement in delivering first degrees by distance learning is currently relatively small.

  • A Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) survey in 2009–10 revealed that only 481 students were studying for first degrees by this mode of study with seven institutions.

These were the ifs School of Finance (208), Kaplan UK (51 students on the University of Essex Online distance learning programmes), BPP University College (121 students), Logos European College (a Scottish bible college) (two students), the College of Law – now the University of Law (65), Westfield House (one student) and the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (33). 

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  • The University of Law distance learning LLB is delivered in conjunction with the OU.
  • BPP University College is a UK-degree awarding body providing its own awards through its four schools: the BPP Law School, the BPP Business School, the BPP School of Health and the BPP School of Foundation and English Language Studies.
  • The BA (Hons) Theology by distance learning offered by the Wales Evangelical School is validated by the University of Chester.
  • While the ifs School of Finance has its own degree-awarding powers, Westfield House is accredited by the British Accreditation Council.
  • Logos European College degrees are awarded by Logos Christian College and Graduate School in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
  • Kaplan-delivered online degrees are validated by Essex University.

Pearson is a leading provider of electronic learning programmes and of test development, processing and scoring services to educational institutions, corporations and professional bodies around the world.

  • It is partnered with a number of US universities including Columbia and the University of California system. It provides materials that can be accessed by distance learning but is not itself a distance learning provider.

Professional skills updating courses can also be studied online and the OU has a wide range of skills updating courses for the armed forces, the NHS and individual firms.

  • Courses Direct is one of the UK’s largest providers of distance qualifications in anything from business management to garden design. It has students in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Stonebridge Associated Colleges also offers distance learning courses in the whole of the UK.
  • Home Learning College describes itself as the UK’s Number 1 online business college.
  • Sponge is a leading UK based e-learning company that helps major organisations train their staff by creating customised online courses. Clients include the John Lewis Partnership, GKN and Ofqual.