Your questions answered
At RDI we take a personal approach to your professional learning and everyone has questions about their studies. Read our FAQs for the most common questions students ask us.
What is Distance Learning?
Q: What will be written on my certificate? Is the qualification the same as that which campus students receive?
How does Distance Learning fit around me?
Application, Fees and Enrolment
Q: I have plenty of work experience in my area of interest but no real qualifications. Can I still apply?
Q: I already have a qualification. Will I gain exemptions from the course and will the cost be reduced?
Q: I have been asked to give certified copies of my certificates. What does this mean and how do I get this done?
What is Distance Learning?
Q: How does distance learning work
A: Distance learning is off campus, flexible learning that allows you to follow campus-based programmes, that you can study at home or work when it’s convenient for you. We provide you with professionally-developed study materials. The study materials have been developed to provide sequential learning with continual access to self-assessment and task-based progress measurement. You will be allocated a tutor for academic support who you can contact as often as you like by email and telephone. You will also have access to a student support co-ordinator who will be there for administrative advice to make your learning experience successful and enjoyable.
For most of our programmes you will also have access to our online university - ilearn. You will be able to access course information, tasks/activities, engage in discussions with tutors and fellow students, access the online library and download past papers and assignments.
Q: Are the qualifications recognised internationally
A: Yes. All qualifications are awarded by internationally recognised UK universities and award bodies.
Q: Are the study materials text-based or online
A: Study materials are text-based or online or a mixture of both, depending on which programme you choose. We courier your materials to you and you work from home. You will receive everything you require to successfully complete your programme. In most cases, you will also receive a library card and access to an online university - ilearn.
Q: Are the materials easy to understand
A: Our learning materials and ilearn have been developed with you and your career in mind. The materials are designed to give you skills and knowledge to implement in every day situations. The quality of these materials and the academic support given is high. You won't just be reading the theory, but will be putting it into real life situations through examples and case studies facilitated by your tutor, making it easier to understand and useful for your career.
Q: Do I need a computer
A: We recommend you have access to a computer with access to the internet and email as a minimum for all of our programmes. For some programmes there are specific software requirements. Please contact RDI on FREE phone 0800-COURSES / 0800 268 7737 for further information.
Q: Will there be any classroom lectures or workshops? Will I be able to meet my tutor face-to-face
A: There are no compulsory lectures or workshops, unless specifically stated. The programmes are designed to be 100% distance learning. Each programme is fully supported by an academic tutor and student support co-ordinator. You are able to contact our staff whenever you need to, via email or telephone.
Q: Is ilearn mandatory
A: ilearn - RDI's online university - is mandatory for students studying the online programmes. However, for other programmes, ilearn is there to enhance student’s learning and does not replace the normal comprehensive paper based study materials.
Q: What will be written on my certificate? Is the qualification the same as that which campus students receive
A: Yes. Curriculum, course content and assessment are the same, regardless of method of study so there is no distinction on the qualification itself. You receive exactly the same award and certificate from the UK university as a campus-based student. For more details on our UK university partners - please click here.
Q: Is there a graduation ceremony
A: For most of our university accredited programmes you will be invited to a formal graduation ceremony, usually held on the university campus with full time students.
Q: Will I recieve a student card
A: Yes all students with RDI are now eligible to apply for their NUS extra card. Click here for more details
Q: What type of support will I receive
A: Our support and advice will help you to understand your materials and help you to maximise your learning. We have dedicated student support co-ordinators to help with deadlines, submission dates and pastoral help. Our academic tutors can help you to fully understand and bring to life the learning materials, allowing you to put what you learn into your career or life every single day. Our IT support team ensure you get the best out of ilearn.
Q: Do you offer scholarships
A: We currently do not offer scholarships but our flexible modular payments scheme means you can pay as you go, so you do not have to pay the full fee upfront. UK and EU students can access government funding based on the programme chosen and also use Tesco clubcard vouchers. Students might also be able to secure funding for their course from their employer. For more information view our fees or funding page.
How does Distance Learning fit around me
Q: How long does it take
A: It depends on the programme but most programmes have a minimum and maximum study period. Generally you will spend as much or as little time as you would if you were taking the programme by formal part-time study but this is, of course, very flexible.
Q: What return do I get? Will it be worthwhile
A: Your graduation is just the start of the benefits to come from your qualification. The graduation ceremony itself is a moment you can take great pride in, collecting your certificate on stage in front of proud family and friends in your cap and gown. This day is just the beginning of things to come, as you use your qualification to develop yourself and build upon your new skills. You will join the other RDI graduates who have had promotions, pay rises, increased confidence or job security as a result of their qualification. Find out how to graduate with more.
Q: What is an HNC, HND or Degree Top up
A: Generally, students can combine the HNC, HND and final year Degree into 3 years of study and graduate with a full UK university degree. Click here for a fast guide pdf.
Q: I work full-time and have a family, how will I find the time
A: Flexibility is key. All of our programmes allow you to work full-time as you can fit your studies around your job and personal commitments. Our programmes require from as little as 8 hours per week study time. Your student support co-ordinator is always on hand should you need to extend a deadline or defer your studies. In most cases, you can take up to five years or more to complete your programme, although many complete within one or two years. Many of our students work full and have family commitments. Click here to find out more about our students.
Q: Can I study anywhere in the world
A: Yes. Programmes are flexible with study materials that allow you to study completely independently. The only compulsory campus attendance is normally for examination purposes, which can be arranged locally if you are overseas.
Q: How many hours per week should I devote
A: We recommend between 8 and 15 hours per week, depending on the programme. Flexible learning is about good time planning and building momentum. It is also about self-motivation. Regular study is more effective than heavy but intermittent periods of study. Always plan to spend as much time on the programme as you would by part-time formal study.
Q: What if I need more time to complete my studies, can I take a break
A: If you fall behind, become ill, relocate or need to defer your studies we will always try our best to accommodate you and your student support co-ordinator will be on hand to explain the options available to you.
Q: What happens if I fail something
A: Don’t worry, if you fail as assessment you are allowed at least one resubmission. Your academic tutor will provide you with detailed feedback to help prepare you for your resubmission.
Q: How do I sit exams
A: Some online courses will be assessed online. UK students can sit their examinations at RDI’s Midland Management Centre in Coventry or at the relevant university. To find out more please contact RDI on 0800 COURSES / 0800 268 7737.
Q: Do I have to come to the UK to sit my exam
A: Not necessarily. Examinations can be arranged locally for overseas students, although this will incur an additional charge. To find out more please contact RDI on +44 (0) 24 765 15700.
Q: Will I be able to succeed
A: We believe that your success is our success. Our experienced, friendly programme advisors will assist you through the application process to ensure you enrol on to a programme that is right for you. Motivation, time management and organisation on your part, combined with quality study materials and superior support throughout your studies are key to your success. To find out how others have found our courses - click here.
Q: What if I find the course too hard
A: We will not enrol you on to a programme unless we are confident that you will succeed. If you feel that you have started at the wrong level, let us know and we’ll transfer you to the right one, where possible. We also offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE which means you can try a course and if you are not completely satisfied for whatever reason you can return your materials within 30 days and receive a full refund. Please contact RDI on FREEphone 0800 COURSES / 0800 268 7737 for terms and conditions.
Q: Will there be any students like me on the course
A: Yes! RDI have thousands of students from many different backgrounds, but they all share the common goal of gaining a UK university qualification. ILearn, our virtual learning environment encourages interaction between students from all over the world. Click here for student insights.
Application, Fees and Enrolment
Q: Will I be able to afford it? How do I pay
A: Paying for your studies is an investment in your future. It should not be viewed as an expense or cost because there is clear evidence to show that qualifications lead to an increase in salary. However, paying for your studies is not always easy, so we suggest you consider the various funding options here.
Q: What do the fees include
A: All study materials, either text-based or online and student handbooks are supplied. For many of our programmes core text books are also included. You will be allocated a tutor for academic support who you can contact as often as you like by email and telephone. You will also have access to a programme co-ordinator for administrative support. For most programmes you will be invited to an optional induction day or complete an online induction and you will have access to an online Virtual Campus. There is no application or enrolment fee, this service is completely free of charge.
Q: How do I make payment for my next module
A: You can either make payment for your next module through bank transfer, cheque or credit/debit card both online or over the phone. Please contact your admissions co-ordinator for more details.
Q: How often do I need to make new payments
A: You only make a payment when you want to start the next module. With some courses modules can be completed in three months plus students can study two modules at a time depending on the programme. For more information please contact our admissions team on 024 765 15700 or +44 (0)24 765 15700
Q: Are there charges when making a bank transfer and how much are they
A: Yes there is usually a charge when paying via bank transfer. To ensure we receive your payment in full you will need to select the option to accept these charges when making the transfer. Your bank will be able to inform you of the value of any charge at the time of transfer.
Q: I have plenty of work experience in my area of interest but no real qualifications. Can I still apply
A: For many courses, experience can be just as valuable as qualifications so if you haven’t studied for a while you need not be at a disadvantage. Each applicant is considered on his or her individual merits. Call us today on 0800 268 7737 or 024 765 15700 if you have any questions about your eligibility.
Q: I have been asked to give certified copies of my certificates. What does this mean and how do I get this done
A: Due to authentication checks - photocopies or scanned copies of your original certificates cannot be accepted on their own. Copies of your original certificates must be stamped/signed and dated by a solicitor, the post office, your bank or someone else in authority before sending them to us. Alternatively, you can send your originals by recorded post. We will then certify the copies ourselves and return them to you. (We will return by standard Royal Mail post.) Please contact your programme advisor on 024 765 15700 or 0800 268 7737 for further details.
Q: I already have a qualification. Will this qualification allow me to gain exemptions from the course and will the cost be reduced
A: Different procedures apply for different programmes. It is often possible to gain exemptions based on previous qualifications and work experience. The best way to find out is to apply. All applications for exemptions will be considered on merit. If exemptions are granted the cost of the programme may not necessarily be affected.
Q: When does the programme start and when is the application deadline
A: This depends on your chosen course. Some university programmes have four intakes during the year – January, April, July and October - but you need to ensure your application arrives with us a month before the intake is due to begin. For some qualifications it is often possible to start at any time. To ensure you achieve your first choice course apply online today or please contact your programme advisor on 024 765 15700 or 0800 268 7737.
Q: Will enroling help me with a VISA application
A: No. This is because our courses are highly flexible and can be studied online anywhere in the world. Travel to the UK is therefore not required.
Q: How do I apply
A: To apply online click here. If you still have questions about your application you can speak to an Admissions Advisor on 024 765 15700 or 0800 268 7737.