Frequently Asked Questions About ATPL Distance Learning

Bristol Groundschool student watching one of our weekly live webinars as part of our ATPL distance learning course
A Bristol Groundschool student watching one of our recorded ATPL webinars

Since the pandemic, many schools have moved their ground school training online, including Bristol Groundschool. The feedback we’ve received from our students has been fantastic and we intend to keep offering our ATPL distance learning courses, online, with the option to attend in-person teaching during our revision weeks.

We hope this guide answers your questions about our ATPL distance learning courses, if not, please contact us and a member of our training team will be happy to help with any queries you may have.

How is the teaching delivered?

Our online courses are taught using a combination of online or in-person revision weeks and recorded webinars delivered by our expert instructors covering every corner of the ATPL, CPL & IR syllabus. Revision weeks are interactive allowing students to ask the instructors questions during the lesson.

In-person and online revision courses are perfect to prepare students for their exams. These not only count towards the required classroom hours but also help to consolidate your learning and correct any misunderstandings to prepare you for the exams.

The training is divided into 3 modules, which must be studied in numerical sequence; an exception is ATPL(H) where Module 3 can be taken before Module 2. The courseware for each module must be completed before sitting exams; bookings can be made prior to completion with BGS agreement but the courseware must be completed before the exam is taken.  Bespoke courses are not possible.

Bristol Groundschool students are also able to access a library of over 200 hours of recorded webinars (although these do not count towards required classroom hours) and our computer-based training software, ATPdigital, and a free 12-month subscription to our regularly updated question bank, BGSonline to help students learn and revise at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world.

Is the quality of teaching the same as in-person?

Yes – we believe our online courses are just as good as our in-person classroom courses, and so do a lot of our students.

As part of our modular courses, you’re able to receive similar ground school hours as a full-time, classroom-based modular course (for an ATPL course, 65 hours of live tuition is required). Students are taught by the same team of experienced instructors, be it an online or classroom course, students can ask questions during revision weeks, by email or on our private Facebook groups for Bristol Groundschool students.

Is there any travel involved with an ATPL distance learning course?

No – our entire online modular theory courses can be completed from anywhere in the world, with no requirement to visit us in person. Students are able to sit exams with either the UK CAA or an EASA member state depending on the licence they are studying for. 

What kind of learning counts towards my classroom hours?

A total of 650 hours of learning is required for a modular ATPL theory course. 10% (65 hours) of this must be live tuition. This works out at a minimum of just under 22 hours per module. Students are able to meet the hours requirement by attending an online or in-person revision week. Please note that the recorded webinars do not count towards this requirement.

How long does an ATPL distance learning course take to complete? Is it longer or shorter than in-person?

This depends on how much time you can dedicate each week to your learning. Our online courses are fully flexible so you can study at your own pace around other commitments. There is no set structure, you can sit your exams once you feel ready. Most of our students complete their courses in around twelve to sixteen months, however, if you choose to study full-time, the course can take as little as six months.

Will I get similar exam results compared to a classroom course?

Our courses are taught by the same team of instructors for both classroom and online revision weeks. You’ll also have access to the same computer-based training software and question bank for the duration of your course. Some students prefer online teaching whilst others may prefer to visit us in person, either way, you’ll still be receiving the same high-quality teaching to help prepare you for your exams.

Are ATPL distance learning courses cheaper than in-person, classroom-taught courses?

ATPL distance learning courses can be cheaper as there are no travel or accommodation costs and there is no need to visit us whilst you’re studying. You’re able to sit your exams with either the UK CAA or in any EASA member state, depending on the licence you study for.


Ready to take your next step?

With the option for online-only tuition, you can choose to fit your studies around existing commitments too – no matter where you are in the world. We turn today’s students into tomorrow’s pilots. And we can do the same for you.

Find out more about our modular ATPL distance learning courses by clicking the buttons below.

ATPL (a)    ATPL (H)/IR    CPL (A)    CPL (H)


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