Getting your College Degree on the Internet

If you are looking at an online degree offered by a UK-based University or College, check out whether the awarding body (which may be different from the institution where you learn) is a member of either Universities UK (www.uuk.ac.uk) or GuildHE (www.guildhe.ac.uk)

These are the ‘membership bodies’ of officially recognized universities and colleges in the UK. (These are bodies that have either been granted the power to award degrees by Royal Charter or, more recently, been granted the power to award degrees by the Privvy Council.) This will help to keep you clear of ‘degree mills’ or non-accredited institutions whose qualifications may well be worthless to you once you’ve completed them.

If you wish to check out something about the quality of provision in UK universities and colleges, go to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) website where you will find reports on subject provision and more general aspects of their management. The QAA can be found at www.qaa.ac.uk.

Finally, if you wish to check out any other aspect of UK higher education, including the research performance of individual universities and colleges in specific disciplinary areas, go to www.hero.ac.uk and follow the links.

Online degrees are a valuable alternative to regular campus-based education and continue a long and respectable lineage of distance learning. Enjoy yours, safe and secure in the knowledge that it’s a proper education you’re getting.