Best Cheap Distance Learning Universities in Europe

20 Best Cheap Distance Learning Universities in Europe

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Distance Learning Management Systems (LMS) have become increasingly popular since technology exposed the discovery of e-learning possibilities in 2020. In a short chat we had with students on our platform, we discovered that many learners prefer participating online rather than attending in-person classes and quizzes.

And this method is even popular among students in the European Union and European schools; this is because Statista 2021 report shows that at least 24% of students in EU nations take their courses online. However, one major argument about the competence of distance learning still remains—does it facilitate better teacher-student relationships that are pivotal to student development?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 20 cheap distance learning universities in Europe and each university’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide a comprehensive guide to the best universities for distance learning in Europe. Let’s get started.

In the end, whether you agree with the idea of having distance learning education in our schools, you can hardly deny its popularity among students.

Introduction to Distance Learning Universities in Europe

Distance-learning universities in Europe offer students the opportunity to pursue a degree program without setting foot on campus. This is beneficial for those who wish to attend college without sacrificing work or personal responsibilities. Additionally, many of these universities offer some of the best and most affordable distance learning programs available in Europe.


Distance learning universities provide students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere in the world, allowing them to work part-time and manage other responsibilities, while still being able to earn an accredited degree from a top European university.

Next, distance learning universities provide quality programs without compromising on education value. Furthermore, it may interest you to know that there is some distance learning universities that offer super affordable programs for students of any background to take advantage of. Keep reading to learn more about them.

How We Ranked the Top 20 Cheap Distance Learning Universities in Europe

Distance-learning universities provide an opportunity for degree seekers to pursue higher education in an affordable way. This is especially true in Europe, where the top 20 affordable distance-learning universities are ranked according to their tuition fees and other services. These universities offer degree programs across a variety of fields and many have established reputations for providing quality education at an affordable cost.

Top distance-learning universities in Europe typically offer support services such as tutoring, career counseling, library access, and student housing at a fraction of the cost of traditional universities. 

In addition, many have adopted modern technologies to make their courses more accessible and engaging for students. Distance-learning universities offer an excellent option for those seeking a quality education without the costs associated with attending a traditional university.

The following are the top [cheap] distance-learning universities in Europe that we want to focus on:

  • Free University of Berlin
  • University of Oxford
  • European University Cyprus
  • Stockholm University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • IU International University of Applied Sciences 
  • The University of Essex Online 
  • Swiss School of Business & Management
  • Université Catholique de Louvain
  • University of Utrecht
  • Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae
  • The Open University
  • Wismar University Wings
  • University of Nicosia
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • UNINETTUNO International Telematic University
  • EU Business School
  • RWTH Aachen University.

At a Glance: Our 20 Best Cheap Distance Learning Universities in Europe

We featured what we think are the top 20 universities to study in for anyone who’s keen on pursuing distance learning universities. With these, you can not just study from home the entire time you’re enrolled; but you’ll be certain that you are not compromising your educational standards by doing so. Here’s the information about each school in a table.


S/N Name of Top Distance Learning Universities  Location in Europe Tuition fees (Estimated fees in bracket) Best Program(s) Comment 
1 Free University of Berlin (Frèie Universität Berlin) Berlin, Germany  ($629) Political Science and Humanities  Highly competitive admission process 
2 University of Oxford  Oxford, England  £3,000 (Home students)

£5,650 (Overseas students)

£260 for micro-courses

Computer Science


Health (short adult education courses)

Intensive part-time programs that learners may often find difficult to keep up with
3 European University Cyprus  Engomi, Cyprus £5,000 – £10,900 Business and Language courses Some of its distance learning courses are offered in Greek
4 Stockholm University  Stockholm, Sweden  SEK 90,000 – SEK 140,000 Environmental Science



Social Policy & Administration 

It has an average admission acceptance rate
5 Trinity College Dublin  Dublin, Ireland €9,580 – €22,000 (Non-EU students); MBA costs €36,000 English Language and Literature,

Modern Languages,

Politics and International Studies,


They also offer FREE courses in collaboration with FutureLearn 
6 Delft University of Technology  Delft, The Netherlands  €2,209 – €19,600 Engineering  Reputable school for engineering programs 
7 Wageningen University & Research  Wageningen, The Netherlands  €16,400 Agricultural Sciences;

Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology 

It is a great university to study agriculture, food science, and maybe biotechnology. But not great for much else based on their subject rankings
8 IU International University of Applied Sciences  Bad Honnef and Berlin, Germany  €5,247 (36-month full-time studies) – €6,750 (72-month part-time studies) Entrepreneurship  A 100% online university. 
9 University of Essex Online Colchester, England  £6,167 – £18,500 Criminology



Considered one of the best online universities in the world 
10 Swiss School of Business and Management  Geneva, Switzerland  €7,000 (online MBA) – €13,500 (Bachelor programs);

€15,000 for executive DBA

Business Management and Administration  Often praised for its lecture quality, overall experience, and affordability 
11 Université Catholique de Louvain  Lovain-la-Neuve, Belgium  Free courses on edX Mathematics and Materials Science  Decent school and affordable for international students 
12 University of Utrecht  Utrecht, The Netherlands  €1,963 – €14,665 Philosophy and Political Economics One of Europe’s leading research universities. Recommended for master’s programs
13 Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae Santiago, Spain €3,400 Project Management  It is an online open university often credited for its economic and social impact on Spain.
14 The Open University  Milton Keynes, England £6,750 – £13,160 Business It is a pioneer in the distance learning education approach in the UK
15 Wismar University Wings  Wismar, Germany  €5,900 Operations Management of Maritime Systems

International Logistics and Trade

One of the top distance-learning universities in Germany
16 University of Nicosia Nicosia, Cyprus €9,300 – €10,920;

€15,000 – €24,000 for veterinary and medicine, and doctoral programs 



Blockchain and Digital Currency 

Oil and Gas Engineering 

It is the first university in Cyprus to be ranked by the renowned QS World University Rankings.
17 Cork Institute of Technology  Cork, Ireland  €12,000 Engineering and Science courses;

Humanities and Business courses

Cork Institute has many academic researchers and staff, as well as an extensive catalog of courses to choose from.
18 UNINETTUNO International Telematic University  Roma, Italy €2,500 – €4,000 Arts and Social Sciences  A consortium of 43 universities, companies, and public bodies providing distance learning education. It provides a high standard of education for affordable fees.
19 EU Business School  Munich, Germany  €6,750  Business Administration  Located in Munich, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain. And it offers its programs online, making them accessible to anyone. It is one of the most affordable business schools in Europe.
20 RWTH Aachen University  Aachen, Germany  Free courses on edX Computer Science

Social Science and Humanities 

Brilliant university 


Overview of Our Top 20 Distance Learning Universities in Europe

As the world navigates the new normal brought about by the pandemic, many individuals have been forced to rethink their educational paths, and distance learning has become the solution. We have compiled a list of the top 20 distance-learning universities in Europe to help you achieve your educational goals from the comfort of your own home.

1. Free University of Berlin

The Free University of Berlin Online often referred to as FU Berlin, is a research university located in Berlin, Germany. As a leading institution of higher learning, it is known for its academic excellence, research prowess, and commitment to promoting critical thinking, diversity, and internationalization. It provides distance learning courses in a variety of disciplines that students can take advantage of.

FUB offers an annual digital lecture series that talk about pressing issues in industries and proffer solutions for trends. For example, its 2021 lecture series focused on history and music; and offered micro courses that students or anyone else can take advantage of. These courses have no credits attached to them and is relatively stress-free to go through.

You can find them here.

2. University of Oxford

With a history dating back over nine centuries, the University of Oxford has earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading academic institutions. While traditionally known for its on-campus programs, Oxford now offers a range of innovative and engaging online courses, allowing anyone with an internet connection to access the expertise of its world-renowned faculty and educational excellence. These programs range from highly valuable short courses to specialized adult programs for those looking to switch careers and gain knowledge fast. These adult education courses are typically part-time online programs that last for two years.

3. European University Cyprus

European University Cyprus is a dynamic and innovative university that offers a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of the modern, globalized world. With a commitment to excellence and a dedication to providing students with the skills they need to succeed, EUC has a thriving distance learning program that allows students from all over the world to access their courses online.

Whether you’re looking to earn a degree, enhance your professional skills, or explore a new subject, EUC’s distance learning opportunities provide the flexibility and quality instruction you need to reach your goals from anywhere in the world.

4. Stockholm University

Stockholm University is a world-class research institution located in the heart of Sweden, offering students the chance to engage with leading experts in their fields. Whether you’re a working professional looking to expand your knowledge, or a busy student who can’t commit to traditional on-campus learning, Stockholm University’s distance learning opportunities provide the flexibility needed for you to get quality adult education courses from the comfort of your home. 

5. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin is an internationally recognized institution that offers a diverse range of online courses to students who prefer distance learning. Trinity College Dublin partnered with FutureLearn in 2014 to provide free online courses to students who were looking for adult education programs without needing to travel long distances. Furthermore, TCD offers 2-year, part-time, online postgraduate programs (master’s) and certificate/diploma courses in specialization areas that last one year.

6. Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology‘s distance learning courses is renowned for their top-notch quality and innovative instructional design, supported by state-of-the-art educational technology. Delft is one of the top global schools for engineering. However, when it comes to its distance learning programs, other study areas are better recommended.

7. Wageningen University & Research

With its dedicated distance learning platform, WUR students have access to the latest course materials, assignments, and exams. They also have access to expert advice and support through the interactive virtual platform.

What sets the WUR distance learning platform apart from the others is its interactive elements and user-friendly features. For instance, students have access to the library and various forums to exchange ideas, ask questions and receive advice.

WUR offers various micro-courses that give you the option to either learn at your own pace or schedule fixed learning dates. In addition, this school offers postgraduate online programs with micro-credentials. We found these courses to be vastly offered in the agricultural and bio-agricultural food sectors. So, if you’re interested in anything like that, you can check out your options with WUR’s online education programs.

8. IU International University of Applied Sciences

IU International University of Applied Sciences is a renowned international university that preaches the gospel of online education to anyone who would listen. The school has over 100,000 online learners from 150 countries.

IU has a catalog of bachelor’s, master’s, and MBA degrees in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Business, Robotics, and so many more. What’s great is that IU offers up to 75% in financial aid and scholarship slots are open for you to apply.

9. the University of Essex Online 

The University of Essex Online offers multiple courses in professional disciplines like Business, Law, Psychology, Criminology, Project Management, Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics, Education, Computing and Data Science, and Health.

The University of Essex also constitutes one of the best distance learning universities in the UK, and its programs are priced at fair rates—some of which take as little as 16 months to complete and full degree programs take up to 4 years of study.

10. Swiss School of Business and Management

Swiss School of Business and Management (SSBM) is a private business school located in Geneva, Switzerland. SSBM offers a range of academic programs in business and management, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degrees.

SSBM also offers online global and executive MBA programs which are designed to cater to the needs of working professionals who wish to upgrade their skills or complete their education while balancing work and personal commitments. 

11. Université Catholique de Louvain

UCLouvain also offers distance learning programs to cater to the needs of students who are unable to attend traditional classes due to time or location constraints. The distance learning programs are designed to provide students with the same level of academic quality as on-campus programs and are delivered through a virtual learning environment.

UCLouvain’s distance learning programs include Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in various fields of study, including Economics and Management, Computer Science, Law, Political Science, and Engineering.

12. University of Utrecht

The University of Utrecht‘s distance learning programs caters to various fields of study, including arts, humanities, social sciences, law, and natural sciences. The programs are designed to provide students with a highly interactive and engaging learning experience, where they can attend virtual classes in real time, interact with professors and classmates, participate in discussions, and complete assignments and exams.

Through its online portal, the university provides students with access to a wide range of online resources, including e-books, academic journals, and multimedia content that support distance learning.

13. Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae

Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae is a higher institution in Spain notable for its programs in business, law, health, sports, and project management. They offer online courses in these typical areas and also offer blended and hybrid programs for students who want a customized program schedule.

14. The Open University 

The Open University, as its name implies, is run based on an open university education system that provides an accessible education to students regardless of educational history. This school allows students to study an online, part-time degree in most professional areas including business and law. TOU’s part-time bachelor’s degree programs can be completed in six years; with only 60 credits being offered per year.

It is a great option for working students to take advantage of from wherever they are residents.

15. Wismar University Wings

The third German university on our list, Wismar University‘s subsidiary WINGS Professional Studies offers part-time studies and certified continuing education to professionals in the United States. There are study programs in business, technology, and design. Popular international study programs include, for example, the following:

  • MBA International Logistics and Trade
  • Master’s in Green Architecture 

An academic degree, such as a Bachelor’s, Diploma, or Master’s degree, can be obtained.

16. University of Nicosia

The University of Nicosia offers distance learning programs in business administration, hospital management, banking, finance & accounting, blockchain and digital currency, computational design, computer science, data science, law, health and healthcare-related areas, special ed, language programs (Greek), criminology, and technology. It is often praised for its delivery and style. The University of Nicosia also caught our attention based on its decent acceptance rate which gives anybody a fair chance of getting into the school.

17. Cork Institute of Technology

Cork Institute of Technology offers a range of distance learning programs, including online courses and blended learning. These programs are designed to provide flexibility and accessibility to students who may not be able to attend traditional on-campus classes.

18. UNINETTUNO International Telematic University

UNINETTUNO International Telematic University is a distance learning institution that specializes in online education. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various fields of study, delivered through a virtual learning environment that allows students to study at their own pace and from anywhere in the world.

19. EU Business School

EU Business School offers a range of distance learning programs, including online bachelor’s, master’s, and MBA degrees, as well as academic certificates and diplomas.

These programs are designed to provide flexibility and accessibility to students who may not be able to attend traditional on-campus classes. Distance learning is delivered through a highly interactive virtual learning environment that includes live online classes, group projects, and personalized coaching from professors.

20. RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University is one of the leading technical universities in Europe. When it comes to delivering top-quality programs, RWTH is one of the schools you can count on to deliver world-class education. Recently, the school started to offer MOOC programs via a collaboration with the e-learning platform, edX.

RWTH does not offer online degrees at the moment, but they have micro-courses and diplomas littered all over edX for anyone to access for little to no money, and from anywhere in the world. Some of these courses touch on innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capitalism, religion, marketing, flood risk management, and many interesting topics. You can visit their profile on edX to get a full view of the courses they offer.

FAQs About the Best Cheap Distance Learning Universities in Europe

Which are some other top choices for the best cheap distance-learning universities in Europe?

While the 20 schools we have listed in this article are some great choices for CHEAP distance learning universities in Europe; this, however, is not an exhaustive list. There are several affordable distance-learning universities in Europe that are worth researching. Such as the University of London International Programmes, University of Liverpool, and International Telematic University UNINETTUNO. You can draw up a solid list of schools, write down your goals and objectives, and find the school that closely fits your study goals.

How do I apply to distance learning programs?

The application process for distance learning programs varies by university. Some institutions may require you to fill out an application form online or by mail, while others may require additional documents such as transcripts or letters of recommendation. Check the specific university’s website for its admission requirements and procedures.

Are distance learning degrees respected by employers?

Yes, distance learning degrees are just as respected by employers as traditional on-campus degrees. Especially online degree programs.

Can I get financial aid for distance learning programs?

Yes, some distance-learning universities offer financial aid and scholarships to eligible students who meet the requirements set out for them.

Wrapping It Up 

In conclusion, distance learning programs are becoming increasingly popular among students who want to earn a degree without having to attend physical classes on a traditional campus. Albeit, before making the big decision on whether you want to study from home or not, it is ideal that you consider all the benefits of studying in person too, weigh your options, and opt for what you consider best for you.

We wish you the best of luck in your studies.