Studying by distance learning

Watch how our distance learning difference worked for Georgia

If you want the flexibility to study where and when you want, online distance learning might be for you. 

With distance learning you can set your own pace and develop a study routine that works with the rest of your life. You decide if you want to study full or part-time, and how many courses to study at once. 

So you can fit study around work, whānau and community commitments.


How our courses are delivered

Studying by distance will be different to any study you have done before, but some things will be the same.

Like face-to-face study, distance learning courses have start and end dates and work to get through in between. You won't attend classes (although some courses may have practicums, noho marae or exams), instead you decide where and when you study.  

Our programmes are designed exclusively for distance learning, and our Course Facilitators, Student Mentors and other kaimahi (staff) are experts at teaching and working by distance learning. It’s what they do. They will be with you every step of the way to encourage you, ensure you understand the course content and help you to succeed.


Online study

For most of our courses your study will be completely online. Your online courses will include a mix of reading, video and interactive activities and quizzes to work through. 

There are no online classes. Instead, you’ll work independently through the course materials each week and do assessments by the due dates. We’ll give you a study guide to follow, and your course facilitator will be on hand to guide your work.  


For online learning you need:

  • Regular access to a laptop or desktop computer
  • Reliable broadband internet and a data plan so you can access the course, watch videos and download content. 

Online/print and print only

Some of our courses are a combination of online and printed materials. This means we send you printed materials that are supported by online content.

We also offer a small number of paper-based courses, where you will receive printed course materials and readings and post back your assessments.

Like online learning, you will work independently to work through the course materials and do assessments by the due dates. 

Contact classes

For some courses you may need to attend some contact classes, noho marae, workshops or exams, which are in person.

You can check this on the course information page of this website before you enrol. 

Support at every step of your study journey

While distance learning means you work on your own, you're not alone. We have a range of support to help you every step of the way.  

Find out more about how we’ll support your study journey

Entering into study and embarking on a new career is nerve wracking. That’s how you know it is important to you. We have all been there and are here to support you every step of the way.

Shannon Neary - Lecturer, Early Childhood Education


Download our latest prospectus

At Open Polytechnic we specialise in flexible, distance and online learning that is designed to help you fit study around your work and life commitments.

For more information about what we offer when you study with us, and what you can study, download our prospectus  (PDF 3MB)

Learn more