Distance and Part-time Study

Students are able to study Electrical, Electronic and Power Engineering MSc programmes (MSc Telecommunications Systems and MSc Data Communication Networks) from home, and part time over the Internet[1]. They are able to take individual modules to obtain certificates as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Students who complete all of the required taught modules for one of the Masters programmes, may then proceed to the MSc Project (EE4006), possibly at their place of work[2].

Students taking the courses over the Internet will cover the same material concurrently with our on-campus students i.e., individual modules will start in October or January and continue over 11 weeks (nine weeks' teaching, exams in week 11). Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of dynamic tutorials, various types of online assessment and online interaction with fellow students, for example using discussion groups. Much of this activity will be through the universities Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. We will maintain the same assessment and academic standards for both types of provision.

Exams and Summer School

Please note that distance learning and part-time students will be required to attend the University to take their examinations concurrently with the full-time students, usually in mid December and mid March and, if they are referred and have to take examinations they may additionally need to attend in September.

All students will be required to attend at least one summer school on campus, usually held in June. At this summer school, they will complete the laboratory components of the modules that cannot be done at a distance and will have tutorials with the individual module owners. It is the students' responsibility to meet their living and travelling costs and to obtain any necessary travel documents to attend the summer school. Rooms in the university accommodation can be booked through the MSc office.

The overall aim is to allow as flexible an approach as possible to learning, with students begin able to take single modules for certificates until they build up enough credit to be allowed to complete the project and obtain an MSc. The entrance requirements will be the same as per on-campus students (including the English Language requirements).

A typical approach

A typical profile for a student wishing to obtain an MSc award through distance learning will be to complete four taught modules in year one, the remaining five taught modules in year two and then complete their project in year three. However, the format is flexible and an MSc can be awarded provided all units of assessment, including the project, are completed within five years.

The first year has a slightly lighter load, hopefully allowing students to get a feel for the subjects and this mode of learning. In years two and three the students take on their more specialised modules. Students must have, at most, one referred examination to proceed to the subsequent year. After finishing the taught components (with, at most, one referred examination) students will take on their projects, which ideally they will do while in placement with their companies (if they are already working for a communications related company).

[1]  Students wishing to opt for this mode of delivery must have a suitable Internet connection - broadband (ADSL or Cable) is recommended. 

[2]  Projects on placement in industry must be vetted prior to commencement by the university to ensure suitability

Fees & Scholarships

Fees & Scholarships

A postgraduate degree from Aston is an investment in your future. At Aston, we offer a range of support and advice on money matters.

Research Programmes

Research Programmes

The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a vibrant research environment that reflects the cutting edge research of academic staff. Over 40% of research output was rated in the internationally excellent to world-leading categories.

Distance Learning

Distance Learning

Distance learning at Aston allows you to fulfil your academic and professional aspirations simultaneously. Design your learning programme around your personal objectives and the time available to you.