Doing distance learning the right way: Zara boosts her qualifications whilst chasing her dreams

Increasing Career Opportunities

As a full-time drama student, Zara dreams of taking the stage in the West End, becoming an actress or working in musical theatre. While this is her true passion, Zara also wanted to be prepared should she ever change career paths or need to work towards another professional goal.

Zara has now been accepted into a drama university, where she’ll start attendance in September, but Zara plans to carry on her distance learning education to provide her with the gift of options if she ever needs them! 

"I’m currently at drama school full-time, but wanted to have other qualifications to fall back on. The worry was that I wouldn't be challenged academically so it seemed smart to do A Levels alongside drama college. I’ve been accepted to a drama university next year so I’ll continue down that path but it’s good to have options for the future."

Studying A Levels Around Your Schedule

Having the freedom to choose her own hours was particularly desirable for Zara so that she could still focus her efforts on her true passion of performing. With that in mind, Zara and her parents searched for alternative education options to give her the flexibility to train as an actress and secure other qualifications at the same time. 

After a quick search online, Zara and her parents found Open Study College where they decided she would carry out two A Level courses in History and Maths. Thanks to the excellent tutor support, Zara has been able to schedule in her own learning more efficiently, deciding when to study at a time that suits her best.

Building Transferrable Skills

Even if Zara does not directly utilise her qualifications, she hugely appreciates the skills she has developed such as self-motivation, self-discipline and time management.

Speaking of her experience with Open Study College, Zara said: “The confidence I’ve gained since beginning my studies is incredible. Regular school is very structured, and I was happy with school but even so it’s nice to have the freedom that online distance learning provides and has given me a new sense of self-motivation."

Our Learner Services Team

Every member of our team are committed to ensuring our learners receive the best support and guidance throughout their study journeys. No more so than our learner services team, who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible distance learning experience.

Gemma, our Learning Services Coordinator, gives an example: "Zara had completed her coursework based on a question on the official awarding body's website and not one provided by ourselves. Originally this meant that she needed to rewrite the coursework, however after talking with the Learner Services Team, we agreed that the tutor would mark the current coursework. This saved Zara from having to re-write her coursework all over again and potentially missing the deadline."

She adds: "Zara sent us a beautiful bouquet of flowers to the office. It was a lovely surprise, and I was so touched. It goes to show that it’s the little things that make a big difference sometimes."

Zara agrees: "Everyone is so helpful! Tutors have been great with support, really quick responses, usually within a day. I was very impressed with the Learner Services Team. They were incredibly helpful and provided the perfect solution for me.”

Speaking of her experience of online learning, Zara said: "For anyone considering distance learning, be realistic on what you can do, know your limits and what suits you. Know what you're capable of and structure your time around that. Overall, my experience has been interesting, useful and exciting!”.

If you're inspired by Zara's story, and are interested in building your academic skills alongside your current commitments to future proof your career options, browse our 700+ online courses and qualifications here

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Salma Sabir

Doing distance learning the right way: Zara boosts her qualifications whilst chasing her dreams