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Distance Learning at Oxford

By Erin Jarvis

Like many other institutions, Oxford offers a wide range of courses which can be completed at home, without needing to commute to the Oxford campus. These distance-learning courses are a great opportunity to study and learn whilst holding down other commitments - perfect for those who have many things to juggle. For part-time study the University recommends around 20 hours per week of studying, allowing it to slot in nicely to a variety of schedules.

I applied for the MSc in Precision Cancer Medicine rather hurriedly before the deadline in March 2022. I had always pictured myself studying for a Masters degree and preparing for a long career in research, but having graduated in the midst of the Covid lockdowns of 2020, prioritised work experience over further study. I’d been itching to go back to university but with a full-time job to hold down, had really been struggling to find anything I was interested in that I could fit around me.

After spending a few days trawling through the sites of every university institution in the country, I had finally found something that I liked the look of. However, of course it would be at the University of Oxford. Self-doubt crept in quickly - would I get offered a place? My state-school grades hadn’t been particularly worth shouting about, but I did have a first class degree and two years of work experience, so I decided I may as well try. After all, I wasn’t going to be offered a place if I didn’t apply for one!

I was shocked to be offered an interview, and could barely believe my eyes when I was subsequently offered a place. Distance learning with Oxford is certainly a unique challenge and there is a lot of work to be put in, but the university offers so much support and guidance, and the academic staff are so helpful. I’m coming to the end of my first year in a few short weeks and I am delighted to be almost halfway through. And at the end of the day, no matter the mode of study, a degree from Oxford is an achievement I’ll always be proud of.


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