The easy answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes’. As a distance learner myself, I would recommend it to any mature student who is thinking of giving it a go. Distance learning can be daunting at first and someone new to the experience may have several questions: Will I get the help I need if I’m finding the course difficult; Will I be able to contact my tutor? Will I be able to get financial help? What course is best for me? are some of the questions any reputable distance learning organization should be able to answer – and more!
Distance learning requires a certain amount of self discipline; you need to be sure that you’ll be able to keep to a structure and assignment deadlines, if there are any. On the plus side, learning from home can be very flexible. You should be able to fit in your studies around your other commitments, just as long as you are prepared to maybe sacrifice the housework or the gardening once in a while. Seriously though, many students work full time and may have family commitments, and still manage to study.
Learning from home is very rewarding; there is nothing like receiving your assignment results back and realizing you’ve done a good job! And if you do find yourself getting into difficulties, a tutor should be on hand at the end of the phone or via email. some organizations may even hold tutorials that are local to you. There is no pressure to attend, however.
I’d certainly recommend distance learning. It won’t replace regular universities for those who wish to go from college or prefer a more face-to-face approach and I’d still also recommend younger people should try out their local uni whilst they can first. But for a mature student who may not have had the opportunity before or for someone who, for whatever reasons can’t get to their local uni, distance learning is a great substitute.