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There are advantages and disadvantages to studying for your ACCA online versus in a traditional classroom. Find out which is the best choice for you.


  • Is ACCA distance learning a good way to study for the ACCA?
  • What about traditional classroom learning?
  • Online classes vs. traditional classes: which style better suits me?
  • Am I more likely to pass with ACCA online learning or classroom learning?

Those are all questions you’re probably asking if you’re thinking about taking the ACCA. Or maybe you’ve started but keep failing the ACCA exams – and know something needs to change.

This article will help you decide whether ACCA distance learning or classroom learning is a better choice for you – and give you some steps to help you choose a provider once you’ve decided. Let’s look at classroom learning first.

ACCA Classroom Learning: The Traditional Way

While large classroom learning providers have dominated the ACCA space for many years, the tide has definitely turned. Here’s why.

ACCA Classroom Learning Pros

Studying for the ACCA traditionally doesn’t have many advantages, which is why it’s becoming less and less popular amongst students.

Saying that classroom learning could suit you if you’re located close to a centre with one of the major providers. One of the biggest downsides of classroom learning is having to travel, often after work to long, slow lectures. If you’re close to a good centre, that mitigates some of the disadvantages. Studying with a reputable provider means you can trust you’re getting a good standard of education.

A final advantage can be the sense of community you get with classroom study. Taking the ACCA can be a lonely journey, and finding people to study with can help ease the pressure and motivate you when times are tough.

ACCA Classroom Learning Cons

ACCA classroom learning is a huge time commitment – much more than it needs to be. The ACCA is designed to benefit your career, but it doesn’t feel like it when you have to leave work early constantly for lectures.

And lectures really are not the optimum way to learn, and learning science today has developed a long way beyond that. And they’re not efficient either. You’re in a class with tens of other students who set the pace, so you’re often going much slower than if you studied solo.

Plus traditional classroom learning is almost always very expensive. Bricks and mortar institutions have large overheads to cover, so student fees are higher to compensate.

ACCA Distance Learning: The Better Way

More and more students choose ACCA distance learning as a convenient, faster, cheaper and overall better standard of teaching than classroom learning. Here’s why.

ACCA Distance Learning Pros

Studying the ACCA online means you can study in comfort, wherever and whenever you work best. That means you’re more likely to absorb what you learn, which is definitely a good thing. It’s also much more convenient for most students, who often don’t live or work near a good centre.

ACCA distance learning also means you learn more in less time, instead of wasting time in unnecessarily long lectures.

That’s especially pronounced if you study with LearnSignal, thanks to our scientifically-backed bitesize videos that help you study on-the-go in short segments.

You also mostly get a better standard of teaching if you choose an online ACCA course, as tutors can teach without the distractions of tens of students in a classroom. You get more streamlined teaching you can follow more easily.  Plus you don’t have to settle for the nearest training centre to you – you can choose the provider that best meets your needs.

Then there’s the cost implication of studying the ACCA online. Distance learning is generally much cheaper than classroom learning, as the only major overheads are great tutors. For students, this means you get better teaching for less.

Many students tell us they prefer studying the ACCA online as they feel they can ask questions without feeling silly in front of a class. You can go at your own pace with ACCA online learning. Plus you’re not competing for attention with a whole class of students.

Read our complete analysis of the benefits of taking an ACCA course online.

ACCA Distance Learning Cons

Some ACCA learning providers simply record ACCA classroom lectures and deliver them for online students. While this still saves time in comparison to physically attending the classroom, it’s got all the same disadvantages.

Plus those recorded lectures are even less impactful at distance because you can’t even ask questions. If you’re going to watch full online lectures, you might as well study in the classroom.

If that’s unappealing, choose a learning provider that’s designed using the latest learning science to optimise for online ACCA learners. Get your LearnSignal free trial now.

You might also miss the real-life community you’d get with classroom learning. However, the ACCA is a global qualification and building relationships with the online ACCA community opens doors to many more students on the same journey as you.

You might also miss the opportunity to ask face-to-face questions to your tutor, although every good learning provider will have personal tutor support so you can get your questions answered. (LearnSignal offer 24/7 tutor support, for example).

Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes: The Verdict

Let’s not completely write off traditional classes. For some students, mostly those based near a major learning centre, classroom learning can be a viable method to learn. The tutors are generally experienced and the content good, even if the medium of a classroom isn’t the best way to get that content across.

ACCA distance learning is a much better option for most. Studying the ACCA online is a more time and cost efficient way to learn because it leverages the full potential of online medium. Other industries have embraced digital transformation for years, now professional education is finally catching up – and so are smart students!


So make the smart choice and give yourself the best chance to succeed with an unlimited ACCA Subscription Plan from learnsignal.

Not ready to commit? No problem, you can check out our platform and access a limited selection of course materials with a free Basic Plan – no credit card required.


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