Online Distance Learning (ODL)
Gem-A Online Distance Learning (ODL) allows you to study Gem-A Gemmology and Diamond qualifications from home and in your own time, no matter where you are in the world.
Study online, anywhere
Our Online Distance Learning (ODL) programme is perfect for those who want to study from the comfort of their own home or for those who live outside the UK. Consisting primarily of asynchronous online study, and a practical lab class with Gem-A London, or a GAPP of your choice, our ODL programme allows you to study gemmology from the comfort of your home and fit your study around your lifestyle.
Learn at your own pace
Our ODL courses follow a structured programme with specific deadlines for tasks and activities, while providing you the flexibility to access the course at a time that suits you. The course has set start and end dates and 80% participation in online activities is required. Regular internet access and basic computer skills are essential for this type of study.
All ODL students must complete a practical lab class at Gem-A London or through one of our Gem-A Approved Practical Providers (GAPPs). Gem-A offers pre-arranged lab classes in the UK for the Gemmology Foundation, Gemmology Diploma and Diamond Diploma courses. To arrange tuition with a GAPP centre, contact your chosen location directly.
Access the stone library
For an additional fee, current gemmology students studying in London or by ODL and living in the UK or USA are eligible to join our Stone Library Loan Scheme, which allows you to borrow a diverse sample of stone sets, to aid you in your practical learning.
Upcoming online courses
Use the table below to find an upcoming online course
ONLINE DISTANCE LEARNING
Here are some useful quick links and resources for those studying online with The Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
Complete an application for our stone library loan scheme (UK only)
Book a lab class or find an Approved Practical Provider
Find an Accredited Teaching Centre in your country and discover the courses they offer
Frequently Asked Questions
All distance learning students must complete some practical tuition as part of their course, this ensures you can use the equipment correctly and safely, as well as giving you the opportunity to see a much wider range of gem materials outside of those supplied with your course materials.
If you choose to book onto a lab class at Gem-A London, or a lab class in the US, then you will pay for this as part of your course fee. If you will be attending your practical tuition with one of our GAPP centres, then you will make the arrangements and pay them their fee directly.
You can contact email@example.com for guidance on available examination centres. Please note that not all examination centres are guaranteed to be available for every exam session.
Examinations may be possible in the following locations, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Please note that Diamond Practical examinations are limited to a smaller selection of locations.
Communication on the online distance learning courses with your tutor and fellow students is through forums, and engaging in discussions and posting questions is part of the experience. Where possible you should post your questions within the course as they may also benefit other students and encourage group talking points. However, should you need to message your tutor privately, you can do this through the online campus that you will have access to for the duration of your course.
For each course, the recommended self-study hours per week, including time for the reading of the course notes, completing any homework (onsite studies only), and end-of-block reviews and online assessments, are:
- Evening: 6 to 8 hours
- Daytime: 4 to 6 hours
- ODL: 6 to 8 hours
- ODL Fast track: 10 to 12 hours
- Evening: 8 to 10 hours
- Daytime: 6 to 8 hours
- ODL: 10 to 12 hours
- Evening: 10 to 12 hours
- Daytime: 8 to 10 hours
- ODL: 8 to 10 hours
The Gem-A online distance learning courses work asynchronously, meaning that students can log on at any time to complete coursework, giving students the chance to have their courses work around their busy schedules. There is no face-to-face tuition or live interactions on the online course, but you are assigned a tutor who you will communicate with through online forums when you have questions during your studies. The course schedule is available to download at the start of the course, which provides an outline of when you should be completing each of the online lessons and includes the dates of the block review and online assessment deadlines. Gem-A requires students to complete at least 80% of the online course lessons to go forward to the final examination.
Course duration depends on the course, method of study, and location. Most on-site courses at Gem-A London are approximately 4 months. The standard-length distance learning courses are 9 months, although there is a 6-month fast-track option only for the online Foundation course for students with prior relevant experience. Contact the education team for more information, or contact your chosen teaching center directly for their schedules.
The possession of FGA membership has been recognized in the trade for many decades. The Gemmology Diploma was requested by the trade in 1908 to meet its ever more complex needs at a time when synthetic gems were becoming a greater commercial problem. Now this prestigious qualification, as well as DGA membership, is recognized worldwide as the world gem education benchmark: the necessary practical standard entry into high-level career paths and a higher education.
Gem-A courses and qualifications are both high-level and officially accredited in the UK – Gem-A is an awarding body. This is one reason our qualifications are so highly regarded worldwide. All our courses emphasise the significant importance of rapid, self-reliant observational and practical ability, using a thorough knowledge and understanding of gemmological principles. Gem-A courses also foster the ability to choose appropriate testing methods based on intelligent observation for practical decision-making. The theory part of diploma courses helps you gain a deeper understanding of your decision-making processes in practical gemmology.
There are no internationally recognised gemmological laboratory qualifications. Most professional gem laboratories around the world employ Gem-A graduates, but our qualifications are only part of the requirements. Professional testing and grading require considerable experience plus an understanding of some advanced laboratory techniques that are not dealt with in our diploma courses.
Gem-A’s diploma-level courses are internationally recognised as the highest-status gemmology qualifications and can help your career in the jewellery or gem industries, and related professions such as auctioneering, valuations, appraisals, and laboratory work.