Online learning FAQs

Do I need to attend a classroom for the course?

All of TUC Education's online courses are taught solely online without the need to attend a classroom.

Who will teach my course?

Online tutors are experienced TU Education tutors who have also undertaken a course in online teaching.

Will I study by myself?

You will be expected to contribute to group discussions and will be required to work with other members of your group online to produce work. However, you are not required to meet up with other members of your class.

Will I need to log in at a certain time each day?

Courses are delivered using a web-based learning environment. The course is delivered using discussion boards that learners can access whenever is convenient for them. Courses often involve some group work, where you will be expected to work with fellow learners. At the start of the course, the tutor will set a timetable outlining the activities that need to be completed and a date when they should be submitted.

In order to benefit most from TUC Education's online courses you will be expected to:

study for at least three hours a week
access the web at least once a week and check emails at least three times a week, and
complete any tasks and coursework on time.

I am planning to do the course in my own time. Do I need to get the approval of my employer?

You are entitled to paid release for online courses. Consequently, you should inform your employer that you are doing a TUC Education online course.

Can I apply for more than one course at once?

You are welcome to apply to more than one course, however, please be aware of the amount of time that will be needed to complete each course. If you are unsure about which course to apply for please contact your regional education officer.

I plan to go on holiday after the course start date. Will this be a problem?

If you have a holiday planned, you should let your tutor know as soon as possible – preferably before the course begins. It will not normally be a problem, but you may need to catch up on your return.

Are online courses free?

All of TUC Education's online courses are free of charge to recognised union reps from unions affiliated to the TUC.

What qualifications will I get after completing the course?

TUC Education accredits its online programme through NOCN. The qualifications gained are the same as those awarded in the classroom. NOCN credits are awarded for achieving the learning outcomes for that course and NOCN will also issue a certificate on completion. Credits can be built up over a number of years and are transferable throughout the country. They can be used to gain access to other courses in further and higher education.

What is GREL?

GREL stands for Getting Ready for E-Learning. All successful applicants to an online course are required to take this pre-course module before starting their chosen course. GREL introduces the online learning system and familiarises learners with the processes of an online course. It also offers an opportunity to get to know fellow students.

I have already done GREL with a previous course; will I have to repeat it?

You do not have to repeat GREL, but you are welcome to log onto the course in order to get to know your fellow learners.

I have dyslexia. Can I still do the course?

We endeavour to make all courses inclusive and accessible. However, when you submit your application, please make us aware of your needs and we will make an assessment based on your requirements.

Where can I find out what other courses are available online?

A full list of available online courses is available.

The course I want to take is not currently available. What should I do?

The courses available to study online are updated all the time. Keep checking the TUC Education online courses, or sign up for unionlearn email alerts

I have just submitted my online application form. How long will I have to wait before my course starts?

You will receive an acknowledgement of your interest within two weeks. This acknowledgement will give details of the course start date. Closer to the start date you will be asked to complete a college enrolment form. Specific start dates are given on each course information page.

Why can't I begin my course immediately?

Online courses are run in a similar way to those based in the classroom. They require regular 'attendance' in the online learning environment and courses are timetabled. Courses cannot be completed independently.

Where can I get more information about TUC Education?

For more information about online courses and developments contact Craig Hawkins, TUC Education online learning officer, on 020 7079 6947 or email For more information about courses in your region, contact your regional education officer.

What IT skills will I need to do an online course?

No advanced IT skills are required for TUC Education online courses. All you will need are basic keyboard and mouse skills.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is the software that TUC Education uses for its online courses.

Will I need any special equipment or software?

All you will need is regular access to a computer with web access. You will also require the use of a word processing programme.

How do I log on and start the course?

When the course is due to begin you will be sent details of how to access the course materials and a username and password so you can log onto the course website.

Last modified: Thursday, 19 March 2015, 1:15 PM