“Studying online is easy and flexible; it fits perfectly into my busy schedule. IDI have been trustworthy, helpful, considerate and encouraging. I have no doubt that I will succeed with my degree."

Harry Needs, BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Studying art and design courses online has several benefits over studying at attendance based institutions. In case you find it difficult to picture how it all works, here is a quick guide...

Modern study website

Our unique study website, IDI-Study, has been created specifically for the delivery of visual subjects, where numerous images must be viewed and exchanged. This, combined with our understanding of how students learn, has enabled us to provide you with the experience of studying for a recognised university degree 100% online.

As an IDI student you will have your very own secure online studio within IDI-Study, where you can access your learning materials and benefit from unlimited one-to-one tuition, feedback and support. You'll also be able to communicate with your fellow students within secure online forums, and participate in self and peer-based evaluation of your creative work.

You can log in to your studio at any time. There are no real-time lectures or tutorials, instead you'll work through a variety of carefully planned practical and theory based projects and activities in your own time. At regular intervals you will be prompted to upload examples of your work in progress for your tutor to view and comment on. Depending on what the activity involves, your uploads could be digital photographs, images, screen grabs, Word documents or PDFs. We've made the upload process really straight-forward, and you'll find that your files are automatically organised into folders for the activity they relate to.

When you've finished uploading, you simply need to type a message to your tutor and they will see your work and respond to your message when they next log in. You will receive an email alert when your tutor has responded to your message. You can then log in to your studio to read their comments and feedback.

Our tutors are online regularly between Monday and Friday and will normally respond to any student messages within 24 hours.

Help and support is just a message or phone call away

We aim to ensure that everything within the study website and your online studio is as user-friendly as it can be. However, you'll be reassured to know that in addition to your ongoing interaction with your tutors, the IDI Student Support Team are here to help you every step of the way, and if you encounter any technical difficulties, the IDI Technical Support Team will be happy to advise you. You can message both Student Support and Technical Support directly from within IDI-Study, and they're also available to speak to you directly by telephone during office hours.

Structured learning paths help you to manage your time

You will have the freedom to manage your own learning around fixed semester start dates and assessment submission dates. All semesters consist of twelve weeks of study, then there are four weeks for the assessment processes. Within your online studio, you are provided with a list of all the activities you need to complete in order to cover all of the learning for each module. You are also given an indication of where you should be within the module during each week of the semester. All activities have suggested durations to help keep you on track, but you can also discuss time management with your tutors or your Student Support Advisor as often as you need to ensure you don't fall behind.

Our Student Support Team will closely monitor your involvement and be on hand to help you through any difficulties you encounter during your studies.

Coursework based assessments

IDI-Study is also where you will upload your work for assessment. There are no formal exams; all assessments are coursework based. During each semester you will work towards completing set assessment briefs. These will outline what you need to submit for assessment by a given deadline.

As a student on a BA (Hons) degree course, you will receive formative feedback on a variety of activities designed to help you develop and consolidate your learning. There are also set summative assessment briefs which constitute your module grades.

You will also be required to complete a self-evaluation with each assessment submission. This gives you the opportunity to consider what each module has taught you and what you can take forward to future modules. For all practical assessment work you upload you will have to include evidence of research, development and compliance with the module's learning outcomes.

The work that you submit for assessment is first assessed by IDI tutors before being internally moderated. You will then receive an indicative grade. Link tutors from the University of Hertfordshire and external examiners then sample the assessments to ensure parity with the University of Hertfordshire and that awarded grades are fair and meet national educational standards. Following a meeting of the Exam Board at the University of Hertfordshire, final grades are released. You can track this process within the assessment area in your online studio.

Once all results are carefully checked and confirmed by the Exam Board, they are released onto StudyNet which is the University of Hertfordshire's student intranet. At this stage Course Coordinators and Student Support are available for any assistance you require.

Study modes: Postgraduate and BA (Hons) programmes

We offer different modes of study to best suit your individual circumstances.

As a Student on the Postgraduate Programme you can choose from two modes of study:*

  • Part-time - completing an MA in six semesters/two years. Part-time study requires a commitment of about 15 to 20 hours per week for directed activities
  • Full-time - completing an MA in three semesters/one year. The minimum commitment for full-time study is 30 hours per week for directed activities

Remember, you will also need to consider the time needed to read support materials and other resources, upload your work to the IDI-Study site, complete your Summative Coursework Assessments, and communicate with your tutors and peers in the forums.

As a student on a BA (Hons) Degree course you can choose one of three modes of study:*

  • Part-time - completing an online BA (Hons) degree in twelve semesters/four years. Part-time study requires a commitment of about 15 to 20 hours per week for directed activities
  • Full-time - completing an online BA (Hons) degree in eight semesters (six semesters of study plus two semester breaks)/two year and eight months
  • Full-time accelerated - completing an online BA (Hons) degree in six semesters/two years. The minimum commitment for both full-time and full-time accelerated modes of study is 30 hours per week for directed activities

Remember, you will also need to consider the time needed to read support materials and other resources, upload your work to the IDI-Study site, complete your Summative Coursework Assessments, and communicate with your tutors and peers in the forums.

*Depending on minimum cohort numbers being reached

Study modes for Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

There is one mode of study available for the Level 3 Foundation Diploma:

  • You will complete the Foundation Diploma over three semesters/one year. The minimum commitment is 20 hours per week

Semester durations

Each semester is sixteen weeks in duration, consisting of twelve weeks of learning followed by four weeks for assessment and moderation. No teaching takes place during these four weeks.

Please note that there may be holiday weeks within the semester - you will be given details of this within you Academic Year Schedule when you begin your studies. During holiday weeks there is no teaching but they do not count towards the twelve weeks of learning.

Online course materials

IDI’s course materials are made available to you in several formats within the IDI study website. They can include flat pages of text, visual step-by-step guides, videos, documents, pdfs and links to online resources including galleries, journals and other relevant publications, as well as links to artist’s and designer’s websites.

Within your online studio you will have:

  • Access to academic year schedules and important information regarding individual modules, including delivery plans and the summative assessment brief
  • Access to the IDI student handbook
  • Access to all appropriate University of Hertfordshire documentation
  • Access to comprehensive learning materials

Your online studio will also enable you to:

  • Receive announcements from your tutors or IDI's Course Coordinators and Student Support Advisors, which include timetable and assessment reminders
  • Communicate with your tutors on a one-to-one basis
  • Communicate with your fellow students within online forums
  • Access your personal assessment documentation and complete self evaluations for submission to tutors prior to assessment
  • Receive summative assessment feedback and your module grades


In addition to the comprehensive support provided throughout IDI-Study, you will have access to StudyNet, the University of Hertfordshire’s intranet. Within StudyNet, you will have access to a variety of additional digital resources specific to your course. You will also receive your assessment results on StudyNet.

Group activities

You will be encouraged to interact with your fellow students within our group forums which are a valuable learning tool. Participation in forums can be informal, or can be part of an assessment.

Each module has at least one forum attached to it and these are open for general informal discussion between you and your fellow students. In addition, there are some more formal forums relating to the course materials, where tutors also participate, enabling you to have more formal group discussions around subject or module specific topics. You are also available to start new forums if there is a particular subject you wish to discuss with your peers. You can set up forums within modules for your entire course or within Common Room areas, where all students on a programme can interact together.

Have we answered your questions? Visit the Courses page for specific details or contact one of our Admissions Advisors for more information.