Dual Teaching with Onsite or Online Access – MA Education for a Sustainable Environment

by | May 9, 2022 | Academic insight, Geography and Global Development | 0 comments

We use Dual Teaching on the brand-new MA Education for a Sustainable Environment . This is a new way of teaching with some exciting benefits, but also with some unique challenges. 

What is dual teaching?  

Dual Teaching means that we are teaching onsite students (in Manchester) and online students (not in Manchester) at the same time. If you are an onsite student, you will attend seminars and lectures in person while in Manchester. If you are an online student, you will attend the same seminars and lectures virtually, using an online video conferencing tool such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.  

How does it work?  

In the four core units that you need to complete, both onsite or online students can ask questions, onsite and online students will be able to interact, and we will encourage group work that mixes onsite and online students. In the four elective units you will do, onsite students will not notice any difference. However, for online students the elective units will be a bit different. Online students still attend seminars and lectures with video conferencing tools, but there may be fewer opportunities to ask questions or interact with other students. However, in all the elective units there will be a Teaching Assistant who will help you (the online students) to access the seminar or lecture.  

Importantly, whether you are onsite or online, you will have personal access to academic staff, extensive learning resources for each course unit, and you will have access to The University of Manchester’s world-class library resources.  

So, as a student on this programme you can decide to come to Manchester (and be an onsite student) or decide not to come to Manchester (and be an online student). We will ask you make this decision at the start of the academic year, and then to stick to your decision throughout the year. It may be possible to change, from onsite to online or the other way, between semesters 1 and 2. However, if you want to change you need the permission of one of the Programme Directors (see our names listed below). For international students, changing between online and onsite may also be complicated by Visa restrictions.  

What is the benefit of dual teaching? 

The exciting benefit of dual teaching is that everyone, whether in Manchester or somewhere else in the world, can interact and study together. We believe this will be very helpful if – for whatever reason – you are unable to travel to Manchester.

Also, and in the spirit of Sustainability, if some of you do not travel to Manchester then we can reduce our collective carbon footprint.  Our MA in Education for a Sustainable Environment is committed to reducing its carbon emissions as a part of a broader commitment to socio-environmental sustainability in the School of Environmental, Education and Development. Reflecting that commitment, we are pleased to offer a carbon scholarship, in the form of a 10% discount on fees, for those students who choose to study remotely on this programme. Students can additionally apply for other scholarships where those scholarships are applicable.

What do I need to consider when choosing to study online? 

There are, however, a couple of unique challenges for our online students. Firstly, as an online student, you need to have an up-to-date computer and a good internet connection. Secondly, you need to attend the dual-teaching seminars and lecturers at the scheduled times. So, being an online student does not mean you can study anytime you like. There are 8-12 hours of seminars and lectures every week (October – December and February – April/May). This teaching happens during Manchester’s working hours (usually between 10am and 2pm, but it can start as early as 9am and end as late as 5pm). If you are in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, the time difference will not be so great. However, if you live in South or East Asia you should expect to attend classes in the evening (local time), and if you live in the Americas (North or South) you must expect to attend classes very early in the morning (local time).   

We are excited to use dual teaching in our new MA Education for a Sustainable Environment and we hope that you will join us. If you have questions about dual teaching, or any other aspect of the programme, please contact one (or both) of us.


Co-Programme Directors for the MA Education for a Sustainable Environment 
Susan Brown – susan.brown@manchester.ac.uk  
Juup Stelma – juup.stelma@manchester.ac.uk  

To hear more about dual teaching at Manchester watch the video below from Co-Programme Director Juup Stelma.