Full-time or part-time study?

Ako ā-ukiuki, ā-hamanga rānei?

With distance learning you can set your own pace and develop a study routine that works with the rest of your life – work, whānau and community commitments.  

You decide how many courses to study at a time. 

Read on for some tips of what to think about when you are deciding whether to study full or part-time.

Your study workload

Check the qualification page for how many courses you will need to do to complete the qualification, then as a guide allow around 10 hours to study a week for every course you do, and you may need more time around assessments and exams.

To check how many hours are needed for a course:

  • Go to the course page on this site 
  • Look for ‘Workload’ in the grey box
  • Add up the hours needed for the number of courses you want to do.*

Image showing workload hours information example for a course of 10 hours

*Note - If you study more than one course at a time you could have assessments due around the same time, so you will need to manage your study closely.

If you choose to enrol in a full-time study load, you need to allow around 40 hours a week for study. This is around six to eight hours a day, five days a week for each week of the course.   

I was working full-time and needed something that I could fit around a 40-hour week and the rest of life, so distance learning worked much better than having to go to classes and being able to submit assignments online was so convenient.

Elizabeth Johnson, Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Management

How much you have available

As well as how much time you will need, it’s also important to think about what other commitments you’ll have while you are studying. Do you work full or part-time? What other commitments do you have? Use our Time Tool to help you think about your weekly commitments and how much time you will have for study.  

How much time will you need

When you will study

When to start

Check the course’s start and end dates to make sure you can commit to the workload within that period. Many of our courses are offered monthly, so you have flexibility in when you can start your studies. 

Staggering your course start dates

You may decide to stagger your course start dates to help you ease yourself into study and manage your workload.

If you do, remember to think about how much time you will need when your course study periods overlap. For example, if you want to complete a certificate that includes four courses and start one course each month, the workload will be around 40 hours each week in month four.  

Diagram showing an example of how weekly workload increases if a learner staggers their course start dates and enrols in oned course in month 1 (which is 10 hours study per week), then course 2 in month 2 (so now has 20 hours study per week) and so on. This peaks at month four, when the learner enrols in course four and has 40 hours study workload per week.

It may be better to have longer breaks between starting each course. For example, you could start a new course every two months. This would mean the peak workload will be around 20 hours a week. 


Get help to plan your study

If you need help to decide what qualification to study you can contact a Student Advisor to talk about your goals. They can help you:

  • Decide which qualification best suits your study and career goals and what course to start with
  • Plan your study load to make sure it suits the time you have available, so you can balance all aspects of your life such as work, whānau and any other commitments you may have
  • Work out if you have any study or experience can be cross credited to one of our qualifications.

Contact a Student Advisor: