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A split image of a student studying at home and students creating in a studio
Chris MackinJun 24, 2024 11:48:18 AM4 min read

On-campus or Online: Which is the right choice for a Master's degree?

Dead set on returning to education for a Master’s degree, but unsure whether in-person or online study is the right choice for you? We highlight the unique aspects of each pathway to help inform your decision. 

If our opening statement describes you, the important thing to emphasise is it’s an incredibly common question. And more importantly, it’s one that we’re going to help solve. 

Let’s figure out which study option is right for you. 

The benefits of studying a Master’s degree on-campus

A greater connection with your tutors and peers

Liam OMullane and a group of students in the production suite

The pandemic was a real reminder that we rely heavily on connecting with one another in-person, and that extends to studying a Master’s degree. 

Thanks to our tight-knit community at dBs Institute, you will form intimate connections with your tutors throughout your studies, as well as the students also studying alongside you. 

Collaboration forms a huge part of creative expression, and for many, building a rapport with a future collaborator is a million times easier when you’re studying together in-person. 

A chance to envelope yourself in the local scene

Whether you study a Master’s with us at our Bristol, Manchester or Plymouth campus, you will have the chance to become part of a rich and diverse creative community. Absorbing and engaging with the artists in your city is the key to putting yourself out there, as well as finding inspiration from a range of sources. 

Easy access to our facilities

Studying on-campus means you’ll be surrounded by our cutting-edge facilities including our many recording studios, creative production spaces, Dolby Atmos suites and more. These are available to you throughout your studies, and as Master’s students study for an additional term, the summer months are a fantastic time to get more studio time under your belt. 

The benefits of studying a Master’s degree online

Study when you want, where you want

David Harrison using dBs Online in his home studio

Flexibility really is the biggest benefit of studying a Master’s degree online. With dBs Online, course materials are released on a weekly basis via our Virtual Learning Environment. These learning materials are made up of high-quality video content, eLectures and tasks based on that week’s topic(s). 

Consuming this content and getting stuck into tasks can take place at the time that suits you. This is especially useful if you’re working alongside the degree, and/or additional commitments such as childcare.

There are weekly webinars where you’ll be able to check-in with your tutors and classmates, which are scheduled at the optimum time based on everyone’s respective time zones. While we encourage dBs Online students to always attend these, they are not mandatory, so if your schedule prohibits you from joining live then you can catch up on what you missed. 

Absorb content at your own pace

This is linked in some ways to our previous point, but the ability to learn at your own pace is a huge benefit to online study. Once you have access to any given week’s materials, you can watch, watch again, repeat a section etc. to absorb the information fully, which may not feel possible in a more traditional learning environment. 

A more affordable study option

Beyond having the necessary knowledge and experience, studying with dBs Online requires very few things from you, and this includes being in one of our home cities. Without the need to move and pay for accommodation, as well as associated travel costs, the savings can make a huge difference to how feasible a Master’s degree is for you. Plus, no one enjoys transporting their home studio…

Access to all of our campus facilities

Check out our Campus Tour playlist

We mentioned that on-campus students have easier access to our facilities, however dBs Online students have their own benefits. If you have the means to travel to any of our campuses in the UK, you have the same level of access to those facilities as our on-campus students. 

Each of our campuses boasts different types of studios and production spaces, with a myriad of equipment, and that’s available to you throughout your degree. Only dBs Online students can boast having that kind of access.

Which study option feels right for you?

By now you should have a better understanding of which study option makes the most sense for you. It’s important to note that while on-campus and online have their differences, the level of support you receive is exactly the same. That includes mental health, academic support, counselling and career development support. 

We endeavour to make as many guest lectures available online as possible, either via Live Stream or private recordings made available after the fact - there’s a huge archive of unreleased content that will become available regardless of how you study when you enrol.

If you’re still feeling uncertain about things, get in touch with our admissions team. They can set up a call with Postgraduate Course Leader, Nick Lawson, where you can discuss your reservations and chat about what study option would suit you best. 

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