Weekly commitment: Part time vs full time university hours
The number of hours in part time courses can vary greatly. On average, a full-time university course requires around 21 hours of study per week, whereas a part-time course requires fewer hours of study per week.
The key benefit to part-time study is that there is often no time limit for completing the course. This is ideal if you wish to study alongside working, as you won’t have the additional pressure of the time constraints associated with a full time course.
Another key advantage of part-time study is that it is often more affordable than the full time alternative. A three year part-time degree at the University Campus of St Albans will cost you 50% less than the cost of an equivalent full-time degree at most universities.
There are many benefits to part-time study, including:
- Courses can often be completed entirely online
- You can study while you work, so you won’t be left with large student debts
- Courses can sometimes be completed by attending evening classes
- Courses can usually be completed alongside a full or part-time job
- Courses may be totally coursework based, with no exams
- You can spread the cost of tuition fees
- Course entry requirements may be more flexible compared to full time study
- You won’t have to take a career break as you can study alongside your job
- You won’t have to relocate
Part-time vocational courses will often have been developed by experts within the industry and they will factor in time for work experience. In cases like these, working alongside study to put theory into practice will be often be important for success of the course.
How much longer does a part-time degree take to complete?
This depends on how the course is structured and how much time you have got to factor in studying. If you are working full-time, you will naturally have fewer hours to be able to devote to completing your course. Typically, part-time degrees take around 5 years to complete, but they can take as long as 10 years.
Some courses allow you to choose how many credits or modules you can take each year, whilst others follow the same timetable which full-time students study.
Can I choose my hours on a part time course?
In most cases you will still have to fit your other commitments around a timetable of set classes and lectures.
Distance learning is more flexible, whereby you can complete your study requirements at home and choose your hours. For example with distance learning, you can complete an hour’s studying in your work lunch break if you choose.
Virtual learning is becoming increasingly popular, with online interactive learning allowing you join class discussions if you want to. Many universities will also offer face to face time with your course lecturers, along with regular phone calls and emails.
Would an employer be put off by taking longer to complete a degree?
Future employers should see that by working part-time alongside your study commitments, you have proved yourself to be dedicated, flexible and conscientious – all of which are essential transferable skills in the workplace. You will also have evidential experience in time management and self-motivation – all of which you can highlight in future job interviews.
If you’d like to learn more about part time study at the University Campus of St Albans, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.