Independent Distance Learning
Heriot-Watt has been providing Independent Distance Learning (IDL) for over 20 years and offers a wide range of professionally oriented programmes in this format. There are currently over 14,000 Heriot-Watt students studying our IDL programmes as both independent learners or with the support of our Approved Learning Partners.
IDL students gain the same qualification and degree certificates as on-campus students. The academic standard is exactly the same and all students undertake the same (or equivalent) assessments.
Why study via Independent Distance Learning?
Choosing IDL means you can:
- Study at a pace that you can set to suit your own circumstances, allowing you to combine your programme with work and other commitments.
- Study in your own country and in some cases, in your own language
- Remain in employment during your studies, allowing you to apply your learning directly to your job
- Complete assessments at a place that is convenient for you. You can sit an exam at one of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses (in Edinburgh, Dubai or Malaysia) or at one of our 400 exam centres across six continents.
How does Independent Distance Learning work?
IDL students have a similar workload to part-time students. The following resources are available to help you with your studies:
- Academic support – studying via IDL doesn’t mean you will be left on your own. Tutors will provide you, by phone or email, with academic support similar to that received by our on-campus students.
- Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – comprehensive course materials are made available through our recently upgraded VLE.
- Heriot-Watt’s online library services – 24 hour access to our online library, from which you can access further materials to help you with your studies.
- Discussion boards – you will have access to discussion boards which allow you to make contact with your tutors and other students.
- Administration assistance - as well as academic support, our Schools offer dedicated administrative support for all IDL students. Our friendly administrators can help you with any non-academic questions you may have.
View our IDL graduate profiles to see what some of our alumni have to say about their experiences at Heriot-Watt and find out what they've gone on to achieve after their studies.