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Everyone has different ways they like to study. These ideas may help you find what suits you best:
Think about what space is available to you and whether you need quiet or can cope with having other people around.
Some of our students study at the dining room table with the children, others set up a separate study space or room, others go to the local library or a friend’s or relative’s house.
Some people like to have music playing in the background, while others find that distracting.
Some like to save the study up to do in a block, while others prefer to do it a bit at a time. Some find an hour a day fits best into their life, while others find it easier to block off 3 or 4 hours once or twice a week.
Some people like to study on their own, while others like to find other people to study with.
Tell people around you about your study and get their help. Even if they are not a specialist in the subject, sometimes someone else can see what you may not or can see it in a different way.
Your family, friends and even your boss may also be able to offer practical support. Show them the guides at the bottom of this page (you can print off a copy or direct them to this web page) to give them an idea of what they can do to help you out while you study.
There are a number of ways to deal with problems when they arise:
When you start, make a study timetable. Write in when assignments are due and plan when you will start them. We recommend you start your study as soon as your course materials arrive so you can get into a routine and work out how much study time you need.
Try to keep to a regular time slot each week when family and friends know you are concentrating on study.
Build in emergency time for when those unexpected events mean you can’t get to your study when you had planned.
Contact your tutor/lecturer for advice if you are having difficulty.
Open and distance learning is for you if you want to choose when, where and how much you study.
It’s perfect if you have a job, children or commitments that make it hard to go to a fixed place to study. It's also a great option if you have a disability.
You can take on as much study as you are comfortable with, so you can vary the pace according to your circumstances and even have time off if another part of your life gets busy.
You can study full-time or part-time, at foundation or tertiary level, and you can build your qualifications. For example, you can start with a Level 3 or 4 course or qualification and move on to higher levels, gaining recognised qualifications as you go.
Open and distance learning is a great option for you if:
Our flexible study options can help full-time carers and stay-at-home parents to study and gain a qualification, while still meeting their commitments.
We understand the pressures and difficulties that you might have and that flexibility will be important to you to allow for good days and bad days, appointments, school requirements and so on. Open Polytechnic study allows you to fit your studies in with the demands of your life.
You decide how to divide up your study hours, how much study to take on and when and where you do the study. You also have some flexibility in studying ahead of time if necessary or in catching up if something unexpected happens. Some courses offer some flexibility in study patterns so that you can do them quickly or more slowly.
Many courses have more than one start date each year, and you can take time out between completing one course and starting another.