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Previous experience of online learning (or e-learning) is not necessary. You will find it helpful to be familiar with everyday activities such as online searches, emailing and using common desktop office applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc. If you are familiar with social networking sites, then that may also be an advantage for some programme activities (discussion groups, blogs, etc.). Specific assistance will usually be provided for more specialist e-learning activities, such as WebExes (web conferencing or ‘webinars’).
All of our programmes and courses involve mostly online learning which means that you have some flexibility over your learning/study patterns, although there will usually be defined assessment and submission dates (assignments and assessment tasks are often submitted electronically). There may also be other scheduled activities for your learning group too (such as online WebEx meetings).
Our online programmes will normally involve online interaction with others in your learning group, usually through discussion areas which you can participate in, and you will also receive online support and guidance from one or more facilitators or tutors allocated to your group (exact details vary depending on the size of a group and the course you choose).
In addition, we also deliver certain programmes in a blended learning format, using a combination of online study (as above) plus attendance at a number of face-to-face workshop sessions held at regional centres (we usually operate these across England).
Whether you choose a blended learning or fully online pathway you will normally study as part of a learning group (or tutor group) so that although you will be studying at home (or at work) you will also be progressing with a group of fellow colleagues and can interact with them as much, or as little, as you want.
Payments can be made via BACS transfer, by credit card or by cheque. You do not usually need to pay at the time you apply for a programme. We will send you an invoice (normally via email) for the total amount shortly before a course starts. Please pay within 14 days of receiving your invoice. Once you have received an invoice from us, you can also pay your course fees by credit/debit card (payment details are on the invoice). All programmes will require your accounts payable (or equivalent finance officer/payments) contact details as part of the application process.
Certain school business manager programmes qualify for government-backed loans (Advanced Learner Loans) and other assistance schemes, such as Enhanced Learning Credits for former MOD employees; eligibility conditions apply for these so please refer to the relevant programme pages for further information. In addition, trailblazer apprenticeship funding will be available for certain courses during 2017 once trailblazer and apprenticeship details have been approved - please see our home page and relevant course pages for further details during the year.