The Master of Distance Education program of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) is designed for individuals who would like to develop knowledge and skills in designing, implementing, and managing formal and non-formal distance education and e-learning programs.

Participants undertake 32 units of course work, take a comprehensive examination, and complete a Special Problem.

This is a fully online program offered on a trimestral basis (i.e. three 10-week terms per year). The mode of study consists of:

  • Guided independent study of specially prepared course packages consisting of modules, readings, and Web-based resources; and
  • Computer-mediated communication and collaboration at UPOU’s MyPortal and using relevant Web 2.0 and m-learning applications.

MDE students who have completed 18 units of course work with a general weighted average of 2.0 or better and who are unable to complete the program may apply to be granted the Graduate Certificate in Distance Education.


Graduates of the program are expected to be able to:

  1. Use their knowledge of theories, models, and principles of open learning and distance education (DE) to critically examine various aspects of DE programs from a variety of perspectives;
  2. Lead in designing, developing, and delivering distance education programs that are underpinned by effective pedagogy and appropriate and sustainable use of technology;
  3. Lead in managing DE programs in different contexts—educational, business and non-profit organizations—to meet the needs of target learners;
  4. Understand and critique broader policy, regulatory, and social issues related to DE; and
  5. Contribute to the body of knowledge regarding open learning and distance education by conducting research and evaluation studies, and through materials, course, and program development.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized post-secondary institution, with a general weighted average of 2.5 or better.

MDE courses may also be taken on a non-degree basis.

Non-degree students are required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment in any of the courses in the MDE program. Should they subsequently decide to enroll in the MDE, a maximum of nine (9) units of courses taken with final grades of 2.0 or better, may be credited to the MDE program.


The MDE curriculum consists of 18 units of core courses, 12 units of elective courses, a comprehensive exam, and a 6-unit Thesis.

Core Courses (18 units)

EDDE 201 Foundations of Distance Education 3 units
EDDE 202 Learning Theories and Instructional Design in Distance Education 3 units
EDDE 203 Technology in Distance Education 3 units
EDDE 204 Assessment of Student Learning in Distance Education 3 units
EDDE 205 Management of Distance Education 3 units
EDDE 206 Research in Distance Education 3 units

Must take at least one course from each cluster

Pedagogy Cluster
EDDE 210 Online Teaching and Learning 3 units
EDDE 211 Lifelong Learning 3 units
Technology Applications Cluster
EDDE 221 Design and Evaluation of Multimedia Educational Materials 3 units
EDDE 222 m-Learning 3 units
DEVC 207 Design and Production of Audiovisual Communication Materials 3 units
Educational Management Cluster
EDDE 230 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Information Age 3 units
EDDE 231 Planning and Managing Networked Learning 3 units

NOTE: Students may take a maximum of two courses (6 units) and a minimum of one course (3 units) per term. There are three terms in one academic year, as follows:

  1. August-November (Term 1)
  2. January-March (Term 2)
  3. May-July (Term 3)

The comprehensive examination is taken after completing all core courses (18 units) and elective courses (12 units) with no grade lower than 2.0 in more than three courses.

The course prerequisites are completion of 18 unit of core courses and 12 units of electives, and a pass mark on the comprehensive examination.