Hei whaiwhakaaro i mua i tō ako - Some things to think about before you study

Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata
Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tīna

Pursue distant horizons so that they are within reach and those that are close, holdfast!


Studying online by distance gives you a lot of flexibility. You can study where and when you want; all you need is access to the internet and a laptop, and the time to study. 

There are a few other things you need to think about before you decide to study: 

  • If you have enough time to fit study in with the rest of your life 
  • When you’ll start studying 
  • Getting support from your whānau, work, flat mates – you don’t have to do it alone! 
  • Technology needs.


E tutuki ai āu akoranga – Time needed for study

We refer to learning as a journey, as it needs to become part of your daily life and part of you as a person, personally and professionally.

For every course you do, you need to allow at least 10 to 12 hours of study a week to fit in with your other commitments such as:  

  • Work - full or part time 
  • Tamariki (children)
  • Other whānau or community commitments such as sport, coaching, marae responsibilities, kapa haka.  

To help you think about your commitments and how you can fit study in, try the time calculator. Or you can have a look at the things to think about on the page linked to below:  

How much time will you need 


Hei āhea timata ai – When to start

It’s also important to think about when you want to start your course and how you will fit studying in with your life.  

Many of our courses are available to start every month. Once you decide what course you want to do, check the possible start dates and the length of time the course runs in the course information pages on this website.

Whakatokahia mā to rātaka – Lock it in your calendar

It can be helpful when you start studying to make a calendar of everything you’ve got on to help you plan: 

  • Note down the course start and end dates 
  • Include any events or commitments you know about 
  • Add in your assessment and exam dates.  

Put this up where you can see it, and share it with your whānau, work, flat mates so they know what you’ve got on. You can’t do it alone! 

Make a study plan 


Tonoa mō te āwhina – Ask for help 

Speaking of not doing it alone. When you study online and by distance you don’t go to classes or tutorials, so you can make your own timetable and study when it suits you. But that also means that you need to be motivated to weave study into your daily life and do the mahi (work) yourself – read and watch your course materials, do the tasks and activities, complete your assessments.  

That mahi will need support from those around you.  

  • Maybe friends or whānau could look after the kids for a bit while you study?
  • Or ask your kids to cook dinner while you do 30 minutes of work.
  • Check if your work offers professional development or study leave days. 

Every little bit of help will make your study journey easier.  

Ngā ara hei tautoko – How we 'll support you

We’re also here to support you. As well as your course leaders, our Kaihāpai Māori (Māori Mentors) will be on hand to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions and get help when you need it.  

Learn more about how we support Māori learner success


Hangarau – Technology 

Most of our courses are delivered online.

This means that you’ll access all your course material online - read course pages, watch videos, and do quizzes and activities online. You can also make your own notes within the course.  You will also have to complete and submit assessments online. They could be written work such as essays or reports, practical projects, quizzes or video or audio submissions.  

Laptops are the most suitable to do this mahi. You’ll also need a reliable internet connection.  

Learn more about the online tools and resources you may use 

Find out about iQualify – where you’ll access your online courses 

Karekau ō rorohiko? – Don’t have a laptop? 

If you are not currently in work, you may be eligible for a Work and Income – Te Hiranga Tangata Training Incentive Allowance to go towards fees and the equipment you may need: 

Learn more about the Training Incentive Allowance 

You could also talk to StudyLink to talk about what options may be available to you and applying for a student loan. Here are some useful links on the Studylink website, if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with Studylink using their ‘contact us’ page.

StudyLink – Contact information

StudyLink – Student loan information

StudyLink – Student Loan for course-related costs