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Flexible Learning - Is It Right For Me?

Lady on a laptop

The huge rise in internet access has revolutionised many aspects of our lives, including how we learn. People now have more access to technology than ever before, and that has helped pave the way for flexible learning methods to play a big part in education.

These new methods have helped complement (and sometime replace) more traditional learning in a classroom.

It has also given a newfound sense of freedom and individuality to the learning experience. So is it something you should consider for your next course?

Here are 5 reasons that flexible learning could work for you.

Interested in more study options? Learn about the benefits of structured learning in this article.

Working around your work

Being able to fit studies around day-to-day life is increasingly important.

Between work, family and maybe even a social life, being able to commit to a set time and place every week may not be realistic for everyone.

Last year, over 6 million people in Britain worked 45 hours a week or more, highlighting the need for more flexible ways to study. On top of this, many jobs now require their staff to be flexible with their working hours, so flexible learning complements this shift.

Kaplan student Julie Dove explains how Distance Learning has helped her balance her health issues with a busy work schedule whilst studying:

“Flexibility is the biggest factor, because I need to spend intermittent time in hospital for my Cystic Fibrosis. Also being able to study at home gives me so much more flexibility around my job. When it's really busy at work I generally don't get time to study during the week, so I make it up at the weekend”.

Study where and when you want

Even if you have the time to attend timetabled classes, there might not be a classroom that’s easy to get to, or maybe you just prefer the journey from your bed to your sofa rather than a long bus ride!

With flexible learning methods, you don’t need to worry about being late for class because of traffic or making yourself look presentable.

You can easily study where and when you want, watching tutor-led videos on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

With Kaplan Distance Learning, you get extensive printed materials including your study text, exam kit and pocket notes, as well as online study resources such as interactive study guides and practice questions. So you can just as easily study in a remote cabin in the mountains or answer practise questions in your local pub!

An alternative option is Live Online, which allows you to attend timetabled courses online.

Not going it alone

The thought of self study can seem quite scary. As Stuart Pedley-Smith, Head of Learning at Kaplan explains, “If you encounter a problem whilst studying, being able to speak to a tutor who can explain in detail how a concept may be thought of differently or a calculation prepared is the final piece of the learning jigsaw”.

That’s why all our study methods provide extensive support from experienced tutors to guide you through any challenges you may face along the way.


Our innovative OnDemand learning method for example provides the best of both worlds - the resources are specifically designed for flexible learning online, but with the structure provided by a tutor-led course.

This includes letting you know what needs to be completed and when to stay on track, and immediate feedback on any mock exams.

It fits your style

For most people, education is still associated with classrooms, structure and formality. It’s what you grew up with and what you know. However, no two people learn in the same way and the “one-size-fits-all” method may not work for you or your current situation.

Flexible learning methods give you the option to learn in a way that’s right for you and also control over how, when and where.

Kaplan OnDemand allows you to study in your own way, without losing that all-important guidance and support provided by our subject specialist tutors. They are available on evenings and weekends to fit around your life.

It’s affordable

If you feel you don’t need a lot of extra resources, learning away from the classroom can often be the most cost-effective solution. For example, studying a level of the AAT Foundation Certificate via Distance Learning with Kaplan starts at £756, a 56% saving compared to Classroom study.

If cost is an issue, there are lots of funding options available for all flexible and structured study methods, such as Interest-free payment plans, Government-funded Apprenticeships and Advanced Learner Loans.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to study for your exams - what matter is if it is right for you. Kaplan offers 4 unique ways to study, each with different benefits, depending on your needs and situation.