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Global Development Institute

Distance learning with GDI

A flexible way to learn, reducing the cost of study

With over 15 years experience delivering high quality distance learning postgraduate programmes, the advantages of flexible study within GDI are clear. 


Study around your commitments, and vary the pace of learning combining on and off campus periods to suit you.

Competitive costs

You don’t have to be in Manchester whilst you study; remain at home and you will typically reduce the total net cost of your study by two-thirds.

Career relevant learning

Our programmes use cases and models from the real world, so you can apply your learning direct to your workplace.

Continuing professional development

The opportunity to register as an associate, allowing you to study individual modules for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes, but still gain postgraduate credits.

Advantages for employers

Studying while working allows you to apply your new skills and knowledge directly to work contexts, so employers see immediate benefits.

GDI programmes

Our current distance learning programmes are:

The distance learning approach

GDI distance learning programmes work along the calendar year, with new cohorts starting every January. 

In a typical study route, the full Masters programme takes two and a half years to complete. This involves four compulsory modules in the first year of study, completing the remaining four units in the second year, and then undertaking a dissertation. But that is just an example – the course accommodates both faster and slower study routes.

The University’s elearning system provides study materials, online resources, and interactive online tutorial discussions with the module tutor and other course participants. 

Distance learning students have full access to the University’s library, with more than 25,000 electronic journals and 400,000 electronic books.  They benefit from the full range of the University’s other support services and from the reputational benefit of an alumni community of 250,000 former students spread across nearly 200 countries.

Funding Opportunities 

The Global Development Institute offers a number of funding opportunities for its master's courses.

See our current opportunities 

Further information

For further details, contact GDI’s Distance Learning Administrator, Kate Robinson.