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Deakin to offer postgrad degrees via FutureLearn

UK-based online learning platform FutureLearn has announced a partnership with Deakin University in Australia, making it the first MOOC provider to offer a series of postgraduate degrees from one partner institution.

FutureLearn and Deakin University partner to offer online postgraduate degreesDeakin University (pictured) will offer these courses through FutureLearn from 2017. Photo: Donaldytong

“The nature of the platform means that no one misses out, regardless of where they are located"

The six master’s degrees and two postgraduate certificates will be launched towards the start of next year, in six different subject fields. Students will also be able to enrol in a free, two week taster course before fully enrolling.

“This is a testament to how far we have come in just three years”

Taking the step to offering full degrees was a natural progression for FutureLearn, according to Mark Lester, its director of partnerships.

“We are excited to bring the opportunity to learn in this flexible and collaborative way to students all over the world,” he told The PIE News.

“This is the first time anything on this scale has been made available through a MOOC and is a testament to how far we have come in just three years.”

The subjects offered from the start of 2017 will be Information Technology, Financial Planning, Cyber Security, Humanitarian and Development Action, Property and Diabetes Education.

The degree consists of 16 programmes, each of which cost A$2,600, with each programme being made up of five FutureLearn courses. Students who wish to enrol in the courses will need to have the same entry requirements as other students from Deakin.

Groups of students will start at the same time and will be encouraged to finish together, said Beverley Oliver, deputy vice-chancellor – education at Deakin University.

“Students in Deakin degrees at FutureLearn are fully enrolled and supported Deakin students,” she added, “and are subject to all Deakin’s policies and services.”

Facilitating international engagement was one of the reasons Deakin chose to partner with FutureLearn, according to Lester. Students can participate in discussions and debates with other participants and their instructor on the platform.

“The nature of the platform means that no one misses out, regardless of where they are located,” he said.

Lester believes there is even further potential for the development of micro credentials and more full degrees to be delivered online.

“This is just the start and our progressive partners are all exploring ways to use digital learning experiences to deliver world class learning to alumni and future generations, who will need flexible ways to upskill or re-skill to cope with the rapid changes taking place in the world of work brought about by technology and globalisation,” he said.

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