Traditional Education and Online Learning: A Comparison

A close look at the differences between traditional university and online learning, helping you decide which is right for you.

In a world that’s becoming more reliant on technology with each passing day, online learning is becoming more prevalent – but can it truly compete with the traditional uni lifestyle that attracts so many people to study in the first place? We believe it can!

Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of both campus and distance education, helping you decide which one is best for you.


Online learning gives you access to lecture recordings 24/7, giving you the freedom to study as and when you want. For those worried about personalised support, this is offered over phone and email by expert tutors.

At a traditional university, teaching time may only reach 10 or so hours in total, but while time spent face-to-face with your tutors is engaging and informative, classes often exceed 100 students, meaning little to no one-to-one time.


A traditional university offers access to many fantastic facilities, including a library where you can access many reading materials you need for your course. However, large class sizes may make it difficult to get hold of your essential reads for more than a week at a time, sometimes making it necessary to purchase your own – and university books can be very expensive…

With online learning, all materials you could possible need are all stored in your online portal, not only saving you from the inconvenience of carrying physical copies around, but potentially saving you several hundred pounds, too!

Two photos of students studying


The student lifestyle is undoubtedly the reason why so many people are keen to go to uni in the first place. Clubs and societies, nightlife, on-campus halls – university is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that appeals to the masses and, if that appeals to you, a traditional university is definitely the way forward.

For those less concerned by uni lifestyle, online learning could be the perfect alternative. Having control over your own study schedule allows you to balance studies with any other commitments you have, including family or work-life. It’s also great for those who aren’t looking to move away from home.


The flexibility an online degree provides gives you the opportunity to develop your career in more ways than one. Whether your study is relevant to your current career, or is just the beginning, the knowledge and skills you acquire while studying can be put into practise in your existing role or any work experience you secure along the way.

While some traditional degrees do place an emphasis on career, it isn’t uncommon for new graduates to be turned down for professional roles due to lack of hands-on experience.


There’s no denying that university life is appealing –the price tag, however, is less enticing. As well as the £9,000+ a year in fees, living costs easily stack up when you consider rent, bills, food, socialising, travel, study materials and anything else you might need.

Online education gives people who only are only interested in obtaining a high-quality qualification the chance to do exactly that, saving up to a third on university fees. If you choose to live at home, your living costs could also be significantly reduced.

Wishing you could find the best of both worlds? You can do just that with blended learning.