MSc distance learning students collect degrees
Press release issued: 15 February 2006
Seven students from the UK, Germany and as far afield as Greece, India and Sudan will this afternoon [Wednesday, February 15] be awarded an MSc in Reproduction and Development from Bristol University having received most of their tuition over the Internet.
Seven students from the UK, Germany and as far afield as Greece, India and Sudan will this afternoon [Wednesday, February 15] be awarded an MSc in Reproduction and Development from Bristol University having received most of their tuition over the internet.
Although thousand of miles apart the course, launched in 2001 by Julian Jenkins in Obstetrics and Gynaecology within the University's Medical Faculty, uses novel internet-based distance learning technologies to reach its students.
The course caters for both full time (1 year) and part time (2 years) students. All the part-time students are employed, full time, in clinical or scientific posts, illustrating the importance of distance learning methods in widening the participation of such groups in postgraduate education.
The use of the internet and distance learning for postgraduate education, especially in medically related fields, is a relatively new concept. However, when a evaluation of the course by the University's Institute of Learning and Research Technology asked the most important reason for selecting the course, the students rated distance learning aspects above all other factors, including cost, and the reputation of the University. Part-time students in particular considered distance learning the most important aspect of the course: 79 per cent said they wouldn't have been able to attend the course if it was arranged as conventional, campus-based study.
Over the duration of the course, the students also attend short residential workshops in Bristol, totalling no more than 10 weeks. As well as offering structured teaching sessions, these workshops give students the opportunity to meet their course tutors and each other, thereby facilitating subsequent electronic communication.
Julian Jenkins, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine, said: "It's a completely new opportunity for professionals from across the world to gain a higher medical degree from the University - and a successful way to increase postgraduate numbers when we have no room to physically accommodate more."
For more information, and demos of online learning, visit www.ReD-MSc.org.uk