Tips and insights from distance learning students and alumni

Some of our distance learning students and alumni from around the world tell us what they like about distance learning and how it has helped their careers. They also share their top tips for studying from home and maintaining balance.
A student types on a laptop

My top tip for studying at home is... 

'Have a start and end time for any studying periods.’ 

‘Breakdown your objectives into smaller tasks; to some extent over-organise. Having small wins will keep you motivated.’ 

‘Try not to fall behind with the readings.’ 

‘Invest the time you gain from having no commute wisely. Identify distractions and remove them, either physically or mentally, to avoid procrastination. Plan breaks.’ 

‘Set up a dedicated workspace that is your study cave, separate from distractions, and keep it organized to support your focus.’ 

‘Create a space conducive to learning that is separate from your sleep space; Get into a routine before studying that helps your brain focus (perhaps hydrate, coffee, cold shower, exercise, eat a nutritious meal); Consider the Pomodoro technique: study in 25 minute increments with short breaks in between.’ 

‘have a structured day, clear time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, exercises and family time.’ 

I maintain a work life balance by... 

‘Running, turning off my computer and putting my phone away.’ 

‘Retreating/forced solitude and taking time out for my body. Also reading nonfiction related to infectious disease to keep me motivated to push through the rote memorisation.’ 

‘Gaming, sleeping and studying.’ 

‘Running and enjoying time with my family’ 

‘Aiming for a daily balance of everything that needs my attention, for regular progress, and building in breaks for exercise and some social time on weekends.’ 

‘Not sacrificing sleep, social connections, exercise (all the things that help my mental health). I have to be strict with time management.’ 

‘Exercising, playing piano and meditating.'

One thing I have taken from my learning and applied to my career is... 

‘I have changed my career, likely with help from my distance learning! I now work assessing clinical trials.’ 

‘How to refine the pathogenesis of specific disease processes in the context of the emergency department.’ 

‘To stay focused.’ 

‘The more synthesis and critical thinking, the better - oops that’s two things!’ 

‘I was already working in the field of public health and the MSc public health distance learning allowed me to acquire more theoretical foundations and apply some level of academic rigor to my work, improving its depth and quality.’ 

‘My critical thinking is improving and this helps me reason and communicate better in my clinical job.’ 

The best thing about studying by distance learning is... 

‘I can do it when I want to do it.’ 

‘Having the freedom to pay as you go and avoid the heavy debt load that often happens in parallel to school.’ 

‘I don't have to comb my hair.’ 

‘Distance learning gave me the greatest flexibility to fit in studies with other parts of life, i.e. work, family. Attending in person wasn't an option for me and through distance learning I was able to achieve a long-cherished goal of studying for an MSc Public Health degree.’ 

‘Being able to work and do all my home-based hobbies at the same time.’ 

‘The ability to have quality time for reading.’