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Introduction New Students from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

Getting ready to start

Flexibility is one of the key benefits of studying as a distance learning student. You'll be able to plan your studies around your existing commitments and study from anywhere in the world.

 Before starting your course, make sure you have internet access and a reliable laptop. We want to avoid any technical problems that could hold back your course progress.

You will get the most out of your degree when you fully engage with all aspects of the course. We encourage you to take part in all online activities, interactive exercises and forum discussions, as well as make use of our extra-curricular services.

If you struggle to take part in any activities, please speak to your Student Success Advisor. They will offer support and advice to help you complete your studies successfully. Your course leaders recommend you set aside at least 15-20 hours of study time per week.

Shortly, you'll gain access to the University's eLearning platform (eLP), Blackboard. Familiarise yourself with the platform and work through the induction material. It will help you to prepare for the weeks ahead.

As part of your induction, you will receive an email invitation to attend a welcome webinar where you will:

  • Engage with your academic leads
  • Meet your Student Success Advisor
  • Identify a selection of services available to you
  • Interact with the other students on the course
  • Ask any initial questions you may have

We encourage you to make time to attend the webinar - it's a great opportunity to get your learning off to the best possible start.

Technical Requirements

Here's a list of basic computer system requirements to use Blackboard. We recommend you always use the most up-to-date browsers and the best internet connection you can. Blackboard will still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times.

Screen size - Blackboard is best viewed at a minimum resolution of 800x600.

Operating systems

  • Windows 7 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux - chromeOS
  • Mobile - iOS7 and newer / Android 4.2 and newer

Computer speed and processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1BG of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet speed - Minimum of 512kbps

Your Student Success Team will invite you to join webinars and online meetings. You won't have to pay a subscription fee to communicate with the team through these platforms.

You don't need to be a computer expert to take part in your course, but we do expect all students to have a basic level of computer literacy. Support is available for students that encounter any problems. Please contact your Students Success Advisor if you have difficulty accessing your learning and assessment activities or materials.


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