What constitutes quality in university distance education courses? Is it professionally prepared and presented study materials? Is it high course completion rates? Is it meeting pre-specified criteria set by national bodies? While these may be important components, this paper argues that a concept central to quality in university distance education programmes is consumer satisfaction. It reports the result of a pilot study conducted in the Business Studies Faculty at Massey University in which perceptions of quality were explored in focus group interviews. A questionnaire will be developed from this information to investigate consumer perceptions of quality more widely within the university.