Academic Services

Distance Learning and Flexible PhD Programmes - School Checklist

Points to consider when setting up distance learning and flexible PhD programmes.

In deciding whether to set up a distance learning programme, or accept students once a programme has been established, the School may wish consider the following:

  1. Is distance learning research methods and generic skills training available online? If not, how will students access it?
  2. Availability of orientation programme
  3. Availability of training for potential supervisors of distance PhD students
  4. Have potential supervisors undergone training in supervising distance learning students?
  5. Supervision arrangements, including arrangements for joint supervisor/local advisor
  6. Is the technology available in the department to support supervising distance students?
  7. Is there a cohort, or likely to be a cohort in place?
  8. How will the School support a community and stimulating academic environment?  Consider:
    1. How to enable access to residential PhD student communities, research seminars or research groups
    2. Technology-based solutions for capturing and streaming
  9. Is English language support available on an online basis?
  10. What are the arrangements for conducting annual reviews and the viva?
  11. Will there be a requirement for study visits?
    1. By the applicants to Edinburgh?
    2. By the supervisor to the site of study?
    3. If so, who is responsible for paying travel fees?
    4. Will this be written into the student contract/memorandum of agreement?
    5. Will the requirement be compatible with UKVI visa requirements?
  12. How will any student issues related to the distance learning nature of the programme be addressed?
  13. Do any potential funding bodies permit students to study by distance? (Note that some funding bodies require students to be resident where they are studying)