View Full Version : Two Modules or Three?

22nd Jul 2006, 17:22
Having completed my PPL I' now moving onto doing the ATPL's. I need to carry on working full time because 1) I need the money and 2) I enjoy doing my job! So I've decided to do the ATPL's via distance learning.
There is a wide choice of outlets that provide distance learning:
1) Bristol
3) London Met Uni
4) GTS
5) Glasgow

I've searched on pprune and read all the reviews. My question is do I do a course with two modules or three? As I work a eight hour shift pattern I'm more inclined to do the three module route because then I can spread my available time out.
Has anyone got any advice?



22nd Jul 2006, 17:33
Difficult I question I guess to answer, as unlikely that any of us will have done both routes. When I came to decide it was due to a similiar set of circumstances to yourself.

The other biggie was that it was a single week consolidation with the 3 modules rather than two lots of two weeks. Made it easier to fit in around work. Yes, you have an extra few days to take off for the exams but overall if you get through first time like I did then you do save a few days holidays!

That way you get to spend more holiday time actually in the air rather than sat at the books :ok:


22nd Jul 2006, 17:39
Sorry TJF, this isn't an answer to your question, but i have one along the same lines so i thought that i would join you in you quest for knowledge!

I have had Bristol recommended to me on more than one occasion and i reckon that is where i am going to do my distance learning.

Question i have is, roughly speaking how many hours a day are you guys studying? How many days a week? How often do you allow yourselves breaks? How regularly do you have to go over previously studied material to keep it all there? How good are the cram weeks?

I have loads more, and if anyone has anything good to say about other schools then please, enlighten me! And any other useful info would be a bonus too.

Many thanks.........

22nd Jul 2006, 19:38

I'm currently half way through my time with Bristol and am sitting the Mod2 exams in September.

To give you an Idea.

I am not working and doing the study on a full time basis from Home.
For Mod1 I started the course work at the Beginning of April this year, worked 5/6 days a week for about 7 hours a day. Mainly reading through the course work, doing the tests at the end of the chapters. Reckon this took me about 4 weeks. Then for the next 3 weeks hit the online question bank before going to the refresher course at the end of may and sitting the exams in june this year. So in all Mod1 took me about 8 weeks ( 2months ) and I passed all mod1 exams ( 8 ) with a V.high average.

Mod 2 has been a little easier and this time I've given myself 3 months to do the work. 4/5 days a week 7 hours or so again, but I am trying to do more flying as it's summer hence why I'm doing it over 3 months not 2 as before.

I would say that if I had to do a job as well, I would have struggled to do it in this time frame, but if I had I would have still done it in 2 modules.

22nd Jul 2006, 22:07
TJF Hope you dont mind me slightly high-jacking this thread.

Littco. Did Bristol give you a training plan to follow? Im just interested how you find Bristol as im planning to use them for my ground school. Is the support good? Is it via e-mail? Whats the online study material like?

Any other stuff you think worth me knowing,

Many Thanks

23rd Jul 2006, 03:23

Personally I can't fault them. From the moment I called them up to register/pay for module one they've been great. They send you all the course work, which is divided into 14 modules fo each section. You basically work through them at your pace and when you get to around mod 10 you sign up for the refresher course and the exams. The support is great to, any questions I had I either found had already been answered on the forum or I posted a new one and either another student or teacher answered it.

Having done mod1 and about to do Mod2 I really can't fault them, quite a few of my friends have used them and recomended them and I would very happy do the same. It is top ... And if nothing else Tom for his Fillet steak, Ken for his 747 stories and not least Alex for his TCAS impressions make the whole ATPL course more than worth while....

To give you an idea of the sucess out of the 12 people in my Refresher class only 3 exams where failed in total. Thats 96 exams (12*8) 3 failed... Speaks for it's self really.

What ever you decide, good luck..

23rd Jul 2006, 06:48

Personally I would opt for the 2 modules route, purely because if you did 3 modules you will probably feel like there is no end in sight, it's alot of hard work, even with Bristol only having 6 subjects in Mod2 it alot, but having to do 5-5-4 or however many are in each module would be very tedius, this is only my view, and you may say a tad contradictory saying it's alot of work but opting for 2 modules, but at least with the 2 modules you feel you have broken the back of it after Mod1.

Regarding Bristol.gs
Again, I cannot fault them one bit, superb instructors, notes excellent, support great via the forums, evidently I cannot compare to other providers as I have only ever gone with Bristol but they will get you through, the 2 week crammers are fantastic and prepare you for the exams very very well, you're in good hands :D


25th Jul 2006, 16:39
People thanks for the replies some good information there. As I said in my original post I know its very difficult to give a independent opinion on ground school providers because 99% of people only use one.

I was just trying to gauge how working full time fits in with the study time, hence my leanings towards three modules. My current shift pattern of earlies, lates and nights is not very good plus I have an additional hour each side of work of travelling.

I've also had three seperate people recommend Bristol to me including my instructor. However I intend to go to Stapleford to do the rest of my training and I know they recommend London Met uni, which is only a short train journey away.

Decisions, decisions! Although this does all hinge on the assumpition I will pass my class 1 medical in a couple of weeks!


25th Jul 2006, 22:55
In answer to your question, I think that 3 is a better bet than 2 especially if you intend to carry on working throughout, which is what I did. The reasons for this are that it helps break the course in to "bite size" chunks and given that you only have to attend a week (at the most) long revision week per module then it is easier to fit it into work/leave schedules.

i can't speak for the Bristol Groundschool, but from my experience of London Met, they got me through all my exams first time no problem and were supportive and helpful when required.

It is a long hard slog and you have to prepare yourself mentally completely before you undertake the course. I had a start date and finish date clearly in my mind and stuck to it. This meant in the end averaging about 15 hours a week study outside normal work/family commitments. Difficult put not impossible. And by doing it in the three modules it made it easier in my opinion. Hope this helps...

26th Jul 2006, 13:01
Realistically? Probably doesn't matter either way!

There are other larger factors to consider when choosing your FTO.

Three sounds hypothetically better to me because you minimise the time between each subject and its exam so the content stays fresh. However ask me again in six months time ;)

29th Jul 2006, 13:20
Hey all,

After a lot of consideration I have decided to forget about distance learning and give up my job, rent out my house and move to florida and do the full time groundschool with Naples air centre. Im currently doing shiftwork and dont feel that I will be alert enough after doing a 5am start to come home and study 3 - 4 hours, also I can get it all done in 6 months as opposed to a year DL.

What is peoples opinion of this decision?? I have done a few searches here about naples and there seems to be mixed opinions some very good and some bad, but going there, i can also do a bit of hour building while studying and not to mention the florida sunshine and low cost of living!!

Its a big step but hey, im serious about flying!!:sad: :sad: :oh:

30th Jul 2006, 00:30
Jealous that you will have a small income to help you out. Will the let be properly managed in your absence? Tenants can be a royal p.i.t.a.

30th Jul 2006, 18:59
I can only echo the posts re: Bristol GS. Top school with quality instructors.

The first module I studied part time for about 6 to 8 weeks. Went to the brush up, worked like a bitch and sat the exams. For module 2 I studied in the states whilst instructing, realistically I didn't get too much study in, came home 3 weeks before the brush up course and studied hard for 3 weeks then went down to Bristol to finish off the ATPL's.

If you really would like to study full time at a school, I'd stay in the UK/Ireland. I've heard good things about the school in Bournemouth (sorry dont know the name or details) but I think heading to Naples to do full time ATPL's isn't an option I would of taken. Good luck what ever you choose :ok:

Walk the line
30th Jul 2006, 23:24
I would do it over three modules if you want to continue working-two modules would be unmanageable with a full-time job. I would agree with the others-Bristol is best!

31st Jul 2006, 00:50
Jealous that you will have a small income to help you out. Will the let be properly managed in your absence? Tenants can be a royal p.i.t.a.

That income will just about cover the mortgage while im gone:eek:
Wish i didnt have to do it, but needs to be done!!

Ill look into the other schools in the uk also. Thanks for the advice!! :ok:

31st Jul 2006, 09:18
Just my thought here. I used three schools. I originally started the studying with PPSC(now defunct) but their notes were good for the technical exams. I passed all first time after studying part time for 4 months. Couple of hours a day when I could be bothered after work.
Then I did all of the Nav exams using Bristol Distance Learning, which I found effective. Passed all except Law (didn't do any study for it) again and used the two week brush up course. Only problem with the brush up course is the large class sizes and the speed they cover stuff. If someone in the class is slow, it takes up time. Resat the Air law and passed using Bristol Law study booklet.
I then used GTS in Bournemouth last year for IR theory. (basically like doing 7 of the CPL exams again). Oh, and some of the Instructors are ex PPSC.
The class size was small, instructors very very knowledgable and the feedback from the exams second to none. I'm not putting down Bristol GS in any way. They do a great job, but I just felt I should mention that GTS have a great pass rate. The fact that Bristol GS have such a lot of high praise is because they are a big school with lots of students going through, so get much more publicity.
Give GTS a call before making any final decisions. Also Bournemouth is a great place to stay.
PS No I don't work for GTS. Just studied with them and passed all first time.
Hope this helps in the decision making process.:ok:
PM me if you have any specific questions.

31st Jul 2006, 09:54
Thanks for the reply, I'm glad there has been an opinion on another school. I have spoke to GTS and I'm very impressed. They seem very down to earth and as you mentioned the class sizes are smaller. Again my only doubt is that they do two modules as opposed to my preferred three. I'm just concerned that with my shift pattern I won't study enough.
I'm kind of drawn to London Met (location) and CATS (price).


31st Jul 2006, 13:36
When it all comes down to it, most of the schools mentioned get the results required if 'you' put the work in. 2 Modules isn't that difficult. You don't have to sit all of the exams at once either. Enter for whichever ones you want. You get a few attempts.

Just make sure the course provider know their stuff. Guys I know did the IR theory course with a Midlands based training provider and failed a few exams due to not being taught certain aspects of the course. Not good when you pay a couple of grand to them!

Good luck with your decision, whichever way you do it.

ps, don't be disheartened when the first module arrives on your doorstep and you open the box. There's a whole load of stuff to learn and can seem daunting at first sight. Don't worry, it all comes together.:ok:

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