Become Job Ready with CollegeDekho Assured Program
Learn More

Top 15 Distance Learning Universities in India for Arts and Humanities

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: August 12, 2022 05:11 pm IST

Distance education in India is growing in leaps and bounds as we saw coronavirus pandemic and also because of easy availability of the internet as well as a steady decrease in the price of smartphones. 

Distance Learning Courses in India

Distance learning is a mode of education in which you study remotely from the location of your choice. It is fast becoming the preferred mode of higher education in India, especially for working professionals, and has already caught the attention of many higher education aspirants in India. 

The students are enrolling in huge number for distance course every year. The demad for distance course is increasing day by day. Over 4 million students are enrolled indistance learning colleges in India. During the the pandemic situation, more and more colleges, both in India and abroad were looking at offering courses through the distance learning mode or the online distance learning mode.

While distance education may seem an invention of the post-internet 21st-century era, many educational institutions have been offering distance learning courses since as far back as the 19th century. However, the viability of distance education increased exponentially in a world focused on connectivity and staying online. It can be argued that only after the advent of the internet were the advantages of distance learning in India, a country with an education sector that is still miles away from achieving its full potential, truly realised.

Distance Education Advantages and Disadvantages

There are two sides to every coin and distance learning is no exception. While it does have its advantages, several downsides have also been noticed in this mode of education. While these may not directly apply to everyone, it is important to keep them in the back of your head when you are debating whether distance learning courses are the best choice for you.

Advantages of Distance Education 

  • Convenient: Since there is no set time or place for the classes, the course can be completed at a time that is convenient for you.

  • Cost-Effective: Distance learning course fees are generally much lower as compared to their regular counterparts. Plus, most of the study material during these programmes is electronic, which cuts short the price. And there is no transportation cost either.

  • Diverse: With location not being a limiting factor as there is no need to physically visit the campus, during enrolment and even examinations in many cases, students have a much wider range of distance learning colleges and course that they can take admission into.

    Plus, the online discussion forums offer scope for healthy discussions with your teachers as well as colleagues.

Disadvantages of Distance Education

  • No Classroom Environment: The flip side of not having to visit a class is that you may feel a lack of companionship and healthy competition that can only be felt by being in a room with your friends and colleagues. Some students may also find that they learn and perform better in a face-to-face environment.

  • Lack of Companionship: Even though this may not be applicable to everyone, visiting the college and spending time and bonding with your friends is relaxing and can help students cope with the pressures that student life puts them through.

Also Read: Vocational Courses Available at 10th, 12th and Graduate Level

Once you have decided to take admission into a distance learning course, it's time to talk colleges.

Best Distance Learning Universities in India

As mentioned in the AISHE report, there are 110 Dual-Mode Universities (offering both regular as well as distance learning courses) operational in India. Tamil Nadu, with a total of 16 universities, is the state with the maximum number of distance education universities in India. With such a large number of options on the table, it is easy to get confused.

So, to make things easy for you, these are the best distance learning colleges/universities in India.

Name

Location

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

New Delhi

Symbiosis Centre for Distance LearningPune

Sikkim Manipal University Distance Education (SMU-DE)

Gangtok

IMT Distance and Open Learning InstituteMeerut

Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University

Nashik

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning

Pune

Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open UniversityBhopal

Dr B R Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU)

Hyderabad

Netaji Subhas Open UniversityKolkata
Jamia Milia Islamia’s Centre for Distance and Open LearningDelhi
School of Open Learning, Delhi University (SOL DU)Delhi
Amity University ODLNoida

Karnataka State Open University

Mysore

Maharishi Dayanand University

Rohtak

Tamil Nadu Open University

Chennai

Annamalai University

Annamalainagar

Maulana Azad National Urdu University

Hyderabad

Osmania University

Hyderabad

Also Read: How to take admission in IITs after 12th in Commerce and Arts

Arts/Humanities Courses Offered by Distance Learning Universities in India

Arts and humanities courses are some of the most popular in India. Bachelor of Arts (BA) courses alone make up for over 25% of the total enrolments in India. The second most popular course, Bachelor of Science (BSc), is not even close and has just over half the enrolment as compared to the admissions into BA colleges in India. And while the total number of enrolments falls sharply in Master of Arts (MA) courses as compared to BA enrolments, it still leads the number of enrolments into postgraduate programmes in India.

To cater to this demand, universities offer a wide range of arts and humanities distance learning courses. Here are some offered at the top colleges for distance education in India.

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

Established in 1985, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had humble beginnings. It offered two Diploma programmes, one of which was a Diploma in Distance Learning. Now, it is one of the biggest universities around the world with over 3 million Indian and foreign students enrolled in the 200+ programmes offered in its 21 School of Studies. IGNOU also has the largest share in enrolment to distance learning programmes in India.

The Arts and Humanities distance learning courses offered by IGNOU are listed below.

Course

Eligibility

Duration

Fees

Certificate Courses

Certificate in Library and Information Science (CLIS)

Class 12 in any stream /

Bachelor Preparatory Programme (BPP) from IGNOU

6 months - 2 years

Rs. 2,000

Certificate in Disaster Mangement (CDM)

Certificate in Environmental Studies (CES)

Bachelor's Courses

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Class 12 in any stream /

BPP from IGNOU

3 - 6 years

Rs. 6,000

Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS)

Bachelor's degree with 50% aggregate marks /

Bachelor's degree + Diploma in Library Science (1 year) /

Bachelor's Degree + 2-year work experience in a LIS

1 - 4 years

Rs. 5,000

Master's Course

MA Economics

Bachelor's degree or higher from a recognized university

2 - 5 years

Rs. 12,000

MA Political Science

Rs. 9,000

MA Public Administration

Rs. 9,000

MA Gandhi and Peace Studies

Rs. 9,000

MA Sociology (MSO)

Rs. 9,000

Masters in Anthropology

Rs. 16,800

MA History

Bachelor's degree

Rs. 9,000

MA Psychology

Rs. 15,800

Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)

BLIS or equivalent degree

(Related work-experience is given weightage)

1 - 4 years

Rs. 9,000

Postgraduate Courses / Certificate Courses

PG Diploma in Library Automation and Networking

BLIS degree

1 - 4 years

Rs. 18,000

PG Diploma in Mental Health

PG in Psychology, Nursing or Social Work

Medical degree in Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Unani or Siddha

Rs. 9,000

Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management

Bachelor's degree

Rs. 5,000

PG Diploma in Gandhi and Peace Studies

Bachelor's degree or higher

1 -3 years

Rs. 3,500

PG Certificate in Gandhi and Peace Studies

6 months - 2 years

Rs. 2,000

Also Read:Comparison of Political Science and Public Administration Courses

Sikkim Manipal University Distance Education (SMU-DE)

Sikkim Manipal University Directorate of Distance Education was established in 2001 with the main motive of providing an opportunity for career growth to working professionals. SMU-DE is counted among the top distance learning universities in India and offers UGC-accredited distance learning programmes at the bachelor's as well as the master's level.

The distance learning courses at SMU-DE that are eligible for Arts and Humanities students are as follows.

Course

Eligibility

Duration

Fees

Bachelor's Courses

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Class 12 in any stream /

3-year Diploma

3 years

Rs. 30,000

Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA)

Rs. 97,500

Master's Course

Master of Computer Applications (MCA)

Graduation or equivalent

Maths as a subject in Class 12 or graduation

3 years

Rs. 1,09,500

SMU-DE offers scholarships for distance learning programmes to the candidates who fall under the following categories:

  • Physically disabled

  • Belonging to Sikkim and North-East Region

  • In-service or retired personnel of the Indian Armed Forces

Also Read:Entrance Exams and Career Options for MCA Aspirants

Yashwantrao C. Maharashtra Open University

Named after the state's first Chief Minister, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University was established in 1989. It offers degrees, diplomas and certificates via is distance education programmes and is known for keeping a strong focus on maintaining high standards of education in all its courses.

It is also one of the few distance learning universities in India offering Marathi medium courses.

The distance education programmes open to Arts and Humanities students include the following.

Course

Eligibility

Duration

Fees

Bachelor's Course

BA Urdu

--

3 years

--

BA Mass Communication and Journalism

Class 12th or equivalent

3 years

Rs. 9,300

Bachelor of Library & Information Science (BLib & ISc)

--

1 year

Rs. 8,600

BBA Aviation, Hospitality and Travel & Tourism Management

Class 12 in any stream

3 years

Rs. 1,20,300

Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA)

Class 12 in any stream

3 years

Rs. 47,300

Master's Course

MA English

Graduate from a recognised university

2 years

Rs. 8,200

MA Education

BA degree / B.Ed degree /

BA B.Ed degree / B.P.Ed degree

2 years

Rs. 18,075

Master of Library & Information Science (MLib & ISc)

--

1 year

Rs. 12,100

Diploma / Certificate Courses

Certificate Courses in Computer Science

(Knowledge of computers.

Min. 18 years of age completed.

Knowledge of C/OOPS/C++ may be required in some courses)

6 months - 2 years

Rs. 3,600

Diploma in Aviation Hospitality & Tourism Management

Class 12 in any stream

1 - 3 years

Rs. 40,100

Diploma in School Management

Bachelor's degree from UGC-recognised university /

Having an appointment letter for the post of Headmaster or Deputy Headmaster

1 year

Rs. 3,100

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL)

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) has been offering a wide range of Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate programmes via the Distance Learning mode since 2001.

Here are the courses available at SCDL for students with an Arts and Humanities background.

CourseEligibilityDurationFees
Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Courses
PGD Labour Laws and Employee RelationsGraduate/Bachelor's degree in any discipline1.5 - 2 yearsRs. 35,000
PGD in Human Resource Management
PGD in Media and Event Management
PGD in Customer Relation Management
PGD in Business and Corporate Laws
PGD in Supply Chain Management
PGD in Business Administration2 - 4 yearsRs. 46,000
PGD in Baking and Finance
PGD in Technical Writing in Business Management1.5 - 2 yearsRs. 35,000
PGD in Data Sciences and Statistics
PGD in Educational Administration2 - 4 yearsRs. 46,000
PGD in Instructional Design1 - 2 yearsRs. 29,000
PGD in School Counselling1 - 2 yearsRs. 23,000
PGD in Pre-Primary Teachers Training1 - 2 yearsRs. 29,000
Postgraduate Certificate Courses
PG Certificate in Digital MarketingGraduate/Bachelor's degree in any discipline1 yearRs. 17,000
Diploma Courses
Diploma in Taxation LawsClass 12 in any stream1 - 2 yearsRs. 17,000
Diploma in Creative Writing in EnglishClass 12 in any stream with 50% marks in EnglishRs. 29,000
Diploma in English Language TeachingRs. 14,000
Certificate Course
Certificate in Blockchain TechnologyGraduate/Bachelor's Degree in any Discipline1 yearRs. 17,000

Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU)

Set up in 1982, BRAOU was a one-of-its-kind university set up by the Andhra Pradesh government to make higher education accessible to all sections of the society. Here are some of the courses at BRAOU for arts and humanities students.

CoursesEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream3 - 6 yearsRs. 6,000
Postgraduate Courses
MA in HistoryBachelor's degree2 - 4 yearsRs. 8,600
MA in Economics
MA in Political Science
MA in Public Administration
MA in Sociology
Ma in English
MA in UrduBachelor's degree with Urdu as a second language
MA in TeluguBachelor's degree with Telugu as a second language
MA in HindiBachelor's degree with Hindi as a second language

School of Open Learning, Delhi University (SOL DU)

Established as The School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education in 1962, SOL DU is one of the oldest establishments offering distance learning courses in India. It offers a number of courses for arts and humanities students, which are given in the table below.

CourseEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream with min. 40% marks3 - 5 yearsRs. 3,430
BA (Hons.) EnglishClass 12 in any stream with min. 65% marks
Direct admission to students with 70% marks in English in 12th
Rs. 3,530
BA (Hons.) Political Science (PS)Class 12 with 60% marks (if without PS), 45% marks (if with PS)*Rs. 3,630
Master's Courses
MA in SanskritBA (Hons.) in Sanskrit*2 yearsRs. 4,990
MA in HindiN/A*
MA in HistoryBA (Hons.) in History*
MA in Political ScienceBA (Hons.) in Political Science*

*Refer to the official website for detailed School of Open Learning eligibility criteria.

Also Read:Colleges and Eligibility of Nursing Courses after 12th

Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU)

Its foundation laid on the birth centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1997, NSOU started functioning in 1998 with more courses being added over the subsequent years. Some of the distance learning courses eligible for arts and humanities students are:

Courses EligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses 
BA in EnglishClass 12 in any stream with 40% marks in English3 - 6 yearsRs. 6,300
BA in BengaliClass 12 in any stream
BA in Sociology
BA in Political Science
BA in Public Administration
BA in History
BA in Education
Master's Courses 
MA in BengaliBachelor's degree in related stream2 yearsRs. 15,200
MA in English
MA in English Language Teaching
MA in Political Science
MA in Public Administration
MA in History
MA in Education

Karnataka State Open University (KSOU)

KSOU is a reputed open university offering degree, diploma and certificate courses via the distance education mode at affordable prices. It aims to make higher education accessible to all and contribute towards building a strong educational sector in India.

Here are some of the arts and humanities courses offered at KSOU.

Courses EligibilityDuration    Fees
Bachelor's Courses 
Bachelor's of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream3 yearsRs. 13,300
Master's Courses 
MA in Kannada/English/Hindi/Sanskrit/UrduBA / BSc / Degree holders who have studied related topics*2 yearsRs. 11,100
MA in HistoryBA / BA Performing Arts degree holders who have studied related subjects*
MA in Political Science
MA in Public Administration
MA in Sociology
MA in Ancient History and Archeology
MA in Journalism and Mass Communication3-year degree course in any subjectRs. 19,300
Postgraduate Diploma Courses 
PGD in English50% marks in graduation or postgraduation with English as a subject1 yearRs. 3,000
PGD in Communicative EnglishGraduation or postgraduation with English as a subject
PGD in Journalism and Mass CommunicationGraduation in any disciplineRs. 5,800

*Refer to the prospectus available on the official website for detailed eligibility criteria and additional details.

Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU)

With roots going as far back as 1988, MDU is an establishment that offers the opportunity of higher education to a population that cannot enrol in regular courses due to financial or any other restrictions. The affordable cost of education has made its courses quite popular esp. among the rural and economically weak population of Haryana.

MDU offers the following bachelor's and master's programmes in arts and humanities streams.

Courses EligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses 
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream /
Diploma in Pharmacy course
3 yearsRs. 7,000
Master's Courses 
MA in Hindi3-year bachelor's degree or equivalent2 yearsRs. 7,500
MA in English
MA in Sanskrit
MA in Political Science
MA in Public Administration
MA in History

Also Read:Rank-Wise List of Indian Institutes of Management

Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU)

Established in 2003, TNOU is a Government Open University offering a large catalogue of bachelor's and master's programmes in various disciplines. Working with the motive of providing education to anyone, anytime and anywhere, TNOU has so far helped over a million students attain higher education.

Listed below are the courses available for arts and humanities students at TNOU.

Courses EligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses 
BA Urdu

Class 12 in any stream /
TNOU BPP /
Class 10 + 3-year Diploma /
Class 10 + 2-year ITI /
Class 10 + 2-year TTC

3 - 8 yearsRs. 6,600
BA English
BA English and Communication
BA History
BA Criminology and Criminal Justice Administration
BA History and Heritage Management
BA Tourism and Travel Studies
BA Economics
BA Business Economics
BA Public Administration
BA Political Science
BA Sociology
BA Human Rights
BA Islamic Studies
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Master's Courses 
MA HistoryBachelor's degree in any discipline2 - 8 yearsRs. 6,600
MA Public Administration
MA Sociology
MA Political Science
MA Translation Studies
MA Tourism and Travel Studies
MA Linguistics
MA Women Studies
MA Criminology and Criminal Justice Administration
MA Human Rights
MA Development Administration
MA Police Administration
MA International Relations
MA Anthropology
MA Gender Studies
Master of Social Work
MA English
MA Islamic StudiesBachelor's degree in any discipline
(Arabic fluency required)
MA TamilRefer TNOU Prospectus

Annamalai University

Established in 1979, the Directorate of Distance Education at Annamalai University offers over 200 Degree, Diploma and Certificate programmes. It has one of the most comprehensive ranges of distance learning courses in India, including programmes from Engineering, Law, Journalism etc.

Here are some of the popular arts and humanities distance learning courses at the university.

CoursesEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
BA EnglishClass 12 in any stream /
Pre-University Course /
2-year Diploma in Teacher Education /
3-yeard Diploma or equivalent
3 yearsRs. 7,350
BA English & Communication
BA History
BA Police Administration
BA Political Science
BA Sociology
BA Social Welfare Administration
BA Tamil
Bachelor of Literature (BLit) Tamil
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Master's Courses
MA Disaster ManagementGraduate / Postgraduate Degree in any discipline2 yearsRs. 6,300
MA English
MA History
MA Human Rights
MA International Relations
MA Labour Management
MA Linguistics
MA Philosophy, Religion & Culture
MA Police Administration
MA Political Science
MA Public Administration
Master of Social Work (MSW)Rs. 12,300
Master of Tourism and Travel ManagementRs. 6,300
Diploma/ Certificate Courses
Diploma in English JournalismClass 12 in any stream /
Pre-University Course (PUC)
1 yearRs. 3,800
Diploma in Human Rights
Diploma in Public Administration
Diploma in Mass Communication

Class 12 in any stream /
Class 10 + 3-year Diploma

Diploma in Tamil Journalism
Diploma in YogaClass 12 in any stream

Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU)

MANUU is NAAC A-grade Central University set up with the motive to develop the Urdu language as a medium of vocational teaching and technical education. It is a dual-mode university and offers many regular mode courses as well.

The distance learning courses at MANUU for arts and humanities students are listed in the table below.


CoursesEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream3 - 6 yearsRs. 3,200
Master's Courses
MA History3-year degree or equivalent in any stream
(Urdu as a subject in school or graduation mandatory)
2 - 4 yearsRs. 4,800
MA Islamic Studies
MA Urdu
MA English3-year degree in any stream
MA Hindi3-year degree in any stream
(Hindi as a subject in school or graduation mandatory)
MA Arabic3- year degree in any stream
(Arabic as a subject in school or graduation mandatory)
Diploma / Certificate Courses
Diploma in Journalism and Mass CommunicationClass 12 in any stream1 - 2 yearsRs. 3,300
Diploma in Teach EnglishBachelor's degree
Certificate in Urdu Proficiency through EnglishReading and Writing knowledge of English
Minimum 18 years of age
6 months - 2 yearsRs. 2,100
Certificate in Functional EnglishClass 10 in any stream

Also Read:10 Best DU Colleges for Arts Courses

Osmania University

Established in 1977 as the Institute of Correspondence Course, Prof. G. Ram Reddy Centre for Distance Learning at Osmania University aims to democratize education. It offers several bachelor's and master's arts and humanities programmes, which can be found in the table below.

CoursesEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream*3 yearsRs. 7,700
Master's Courses
MA English / Hindi / Telugu / Urdu / SanskritBachelor's degree (except BE, BTech and BCA)
(Concerned Subject must have been a part of the curriculum)
2 yearsRs. 8,200
MA HistoryBA degree relevant to the picked specialisation
MA Political Science
MA Philosophy3-year bachelor's degree in any stream
MA Public Personnel Management (PPM)
MA Sociology
MA Psychology3-year bachelor's degree with Psychology as a subject /
BSW / MA Education / MSc Home Science /
Diploma in Child or Industrial Psychology
Rs. 13,600

*Additional conditions may apply based upon the electives you choose. Please contact the university for more details.

Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University

This state open university named after King Bhoj was established in 1991. It aims to make higher education available to as large a section of the society as possible to promote growth and well-being of the community.

The following arts and humanities courses can be taken up at MPBOU.

CoursesEligibilityDurationFees
Bachelor's Courses
Bachelor of Arts (BA)Class 12 in any stream3 - 6 yearsRs. 7,500
Master's Courses
MA HistoryBachelor's degree or equivalent2 - 5 yearsRs. 13,200
MA Political Science
MA Sociology
MA Ancient Indian History, Culture & ArcheologyRs. 19,920
MA GeographyBachelor's degree with Geography or equivalentRs. 17,280
Master of Social Work (MSW)Bachelor's degreeRs. 23,040
Diploma / Certificate Courses
PG Diploma in Remote SensingBachelor's degree1 - 3 yearsRs. 10,800
Certificate in Human Rights6 months - 2 yearsRs. 3,312
Certificate in Rural DevelopmentClass 12 or equivalent

Also Read: Field and Scope of the Top Indian Research Institutes

That education is an important factor on which the prosperity and growth of a society depend was first recognised in the National Policy of Education 1986. Under this policy, a huge boost was given to distance learning programmes and due to the efforts of state and central governments and due to the unavailability of good higher educational institutions in many parts of India, these programmes have gained significant popularity, especially among the rural and economically-weaker sections of society.

However, as the trend changes and more working professionals start opting for distance learning courses to boost their career, more colleges and courses will be opened for online education in India.

For more information and updates, stay tuned to CollegeDekho!

/articles/top-15-distance-learning-universities-in-india/

Be the First to Know

Get Access to Latest Updates

Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now

Join us and get exclusive education updates!

Top