Time and study management
For many students, especially those with family or work commitments, the biggest question of all is: can I find the time?
University study is usually quite flexible compared with a full-time job, although childcare and other arrangements will need to be planned carefully.
Your workload will also vary during the year – several pieces of coursework may be due at the same time, for example. You’ll know in advance when your assignments are due and you can access study support from your lecturer and from the Student Services team.
This is a very approximate guideline to the commitment involved:
Each unit (or part of a university course) is expressed as a number of ‘credits’. A standard undergraduate module is 15 credits. The module includes your own independent reading and writing, as well as formal teaching or classroom time.
- A full-time degree course usually consists of 120 credits each year, or an estimated 1,200 hours.
- Students at most universities complete this study over two semesters of about 15 weeks each, plus about six weeks’ vacation time. This works out at roughly 30 to 40 hours study time each week. Courses for Nursing and Teaching students follow a slightly different schedule, because of placements.
Once you have developed a clear idea of your key activities and their related tasks you can begin to make plans. A plan or timetable needs to suit your personal needs. Take a look at our Time Management Checklist or download our Weekly Planner to give yourself some ideas about studying planning.