DE studentDistance education gives you the opportunity to take university credit courses without setting foot on campus.

Perhaps the greatest appeal of distance education for learners is the flexibility it offers. As a distance learner, you will have access to university credit courses without having to leave your home or your job to go to a class on campus. For many people, distance education provides an opportunity to maintain, complete, or continue university study while working, caring for a family, or sustaining a busy life.

Although distance education implies some separation of distance between learners and the instructor, you, your classmates, and your instructor, in fact may just as easily be located across the campus, across the city or across the world from one another.

When you take a distance education course you have control over where and when you learn. You can study independently, with the guidance of an instructor who grades and comments on your work, or learn online by communicating with your instructor and other students in a ‘virtual’ classroom.


UBC offers two formats for distance education to suit your individual needs:

  • Online: collaborative study with opportunities for interaction online with other students and the instructor – not independent study.
  • Print-based: independent study with instructional guidance, print materials and supplementary learning aids (i.e. DVDs, CD ROMs).


Students registering for distance education courses through the Office of Learning Technology must be admitted under one of the following student classifications:

  • Regular: A student enroled in studies leading to a degree or a diploma at UBC, whether on a full-time or a part-time basis.
  • Qualifying: A student enroled in makeup studies in preparation for registration as a regular student in a graduate or professional program.
  • Visitor: A student enroled in studies for transfer to a degree program at another recognized university.
  • Exchange: A visiting student studying at UBC under a Senate-approved student exchange program and enroled in studies for transfer to a degree program at another university.
  • Unclassified: A student enroled in studies not intended to lead to a particular degree or diploma.
  • Preparatory: A student who is in a program of non-credit, non-degree studies intended to help prepare him or her for admission to an undergraduate degree program.
  • Access Studies: Applicants may be enroled as Access Studies students upon approval from a Faculty (a) to allow them to take a limited number of courses in a specific area to upgrade or achieve a qualification, or (b) when they do not wish to pursue a specific program.
  • Audit: A student registered in a credit course whose participation is limited to that deemed appropriate by the instructor but who, in general, is expected to maintain the same schedule of readings as regular students although not expected to write examinations.

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