What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning is increasing in popularity, but what exactly is it and how does it work? Our handy guide is here to answer all your Blended Learning questions.

Blended Learning – an alternative to traditional educational delivery that more and more people are turning to in order to help fit their studies around their lives.
If you’re wondering what it is and how it can work for you, our guide is here to help you understand what makes Blended Learning different, and how it works here at Arden University.


Arden Staff with talking to student in front of Arden background

How does Blended Learning work?

Blended Learning is a combination of traditional, classroom style learning and independent, online study.

Typically, you’ll be given a fixed timetable for your classroom hours; you’re then free to complete the remainder of your studies wherever and whenever suits you best, as long as you complete the minimum hours required.

Arden is a Distance Learning and Blended Learning university. If you opt for Blended Learning with Arden, you’ll study from home via our online learning platform, ilearn. This houses all your learning materials, including e-books, video lectures, and forums where you can interact with tutors and fellow students. 

For undergraduate degrees, you must complete a minimum of 25.5 hours of independent study per week; this can include time spent learning core information from online materials, and preparing for and writing assignments.

In addition to your online study, you’ll attend eight hours of classes at one of our Blended Learning UK study centres in London, Birmingham or Manchester, or at our German study centre Berlin. Here, your tutor will review course materials you have studied online, answer any questions you have, encourage topical debates and engage you in classroom activities which will deepen your knowledge of your chosen subject.

Photos of Birmingham, Berlin, Manchester, and London

Here’s an example undergraduate timetable, which can help you understand how a Blended Learning degree might fit around your life:

Sample Blended Learning Timetable

How flexible is Blended Learning?

Arden University Blended Learning offers a degree of flexibility that many campus universities cannot. While your classroom hours are fixed, these are kept to a minimum, so the majority of your study is done on your terms. This can help you fit your education around other commitments you have, like work or family.

Your eight hours of class-time is split across two weekdays, or in some instances you can opt for two evenings per week or every Saturday, depending on availability.

It’s worth noting that while your classroom hours are part-time, a Blended Learning programme is still a full-time commitment, with your total study time amounting to a minimum of 33.5 hours each week.

Many UK universities only offer a chance to join every September or October, in alignment with the traditional academic calendar. In comparison, we run several Blended Learning intakes throughout the year, which means you can start your degree at the time of year that suits you best. 

Who does Blended Learning suit?

Blended Learning is a great option for you if you’re focused entirely on where your qualification can lead your career. Courses are workplace-focused and many come with professional accreditations, so you can be confident of your degree’s worth in the eyes of employers.

Blended Learning also suits people who might not be able to give up on their life commitments to move away for university and attend lectures in person on a full-time basis. Many Arden students successfully balance family life or work while studying a Blended Learning degree.

If instead you have your heart set on typical uni life – moving into halls, joining societies and enjoying on-campus sports facilities and bars – it would be fair to say that Blended Learning might not be quite right for you.

Does Blended Learning cost less than traditional uni?

In short, yes, you will save some money. Not only do tuition fees cost less (particularly with courses like a Blended Learning MBA), but this mode of learning can also help you save on additional costs like university accommodation and costly reading materials.

If you’re studying a Blended Learning degree as a full-time student, you’re entitled to apply for student funding to cover your fees and maintenance costs, as with any other university degree. You can find out more about this - and our tuition fee charges - on our Fees and Funding page.

What Blended Learning courses does Arden University offer?

Here at Arden, we offer a great selection of Blended courses at our study centres across the UK and in Germany.