Get prepared for study

Whakaritea koe mō te ako

It’s great you’re thinking about studying. As well as deciding what to study here's a checklist of things we suggest you think about before you enrol to help you get prepared for online distance learning.

1. How much time you have for study

How much time do you have to study? For every course you study you need to allow around 10 hours a week for the duration of the course.

So whether you decide to do one course at a time or more, it’s important to think about how study will fit in with the rest of your life. Our Time Calculator will help you calculate how much time you may have for study. 

Try our Time Calculator

The amount of time needed for study is different for everyone. Use our Time Calculator to help you think about how much time you have available.

Learn more


It’s also good to think about how long the qualification may take to complete and how many courses you might study at a time. Find out how our qualifications are structured and how long they could take: 

2. Access to a computer and internet

Most of our courses are delivered online in iQualify, our online learning platform. This means you will access the course content online, which will include a mix of reading, video and interactive activities. For online learning you need:

  • Regular access to a laptop or desktop computer
  • Reliable broadband internet and a data plan so you can access the course, stream videos and download content. 

If you are unsure if your computer or internet access will work for online learning, please contact us to check before applying to enrol.

Try iQualify for free

If you would like to see what online learning with iQualify looks like, you can try it out with our free 'Introduction to Learning with iQualify Skills Course'. It will give you the chance to explore our online learning platform and a better understanding of how you will  study. 

Just click the link below, enter your name and email, and you’ll instantly be added to our sample course and sent an email so you can access it.

Computer skills

Once you know how, our online courses are easy to navigate (and we can help you get started if you need it), but there are a few skills you will need to feel comfortable with, such as:

  • Finding your way around new websites, and reading and completing activities online
  • Asking questions and contributing to discussions in the course
  • Downloading and opening PDF documents
  • Knowing how to save and find electronic documents for future use
  • Being able to write assessments using a word processing application such as Word
  • Opening audio and video files, and sometimes you may need to record and upload files.


3. Where you will study

With distance learning you can study wherever it suits, but having a regular spot to study can help you get your head into study mode.

Here's some tips to help you think about where you might do your study:

  • Study where you feel comfortable – at a desk, the table, the library. 
  • Try to find somewhere quiet so you can concentrate.
  • If you don’t have a dedicated study space you could store everything you need, such as your laptop, notebook and pens, in one place. That way it’s easy to set up and start studying. 


4. Your support networks

Study takes work and commitment. Whether you’re studying full or part-time, or have work, whānau, church, community or sports commitments, you will be busy.  

Let your friends and whānau know you may need support. Every little bit will help you achieve your goals. 

I tended to do my study in the weekends and my wife was great as she would take our two kids out so I could have time to study. My family was very supportive, that was the key.

Richard Miller, New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Level 6) (Quantity Surveying)


5. What to study

Deciding what to study is an important decision. You need to think about:

  • Your goals - where you want your study to take you.
  • How you will get there - what qualification you need to do.

If you need help to figure this out you can check our tips for deciding what to study or talk to one of our student advisors. 


We’re here to help

If you have any questions about what you need for study, or want help to plan your study load to make sure it suits how much time you have, feel free to talk to one of our Student Advisors: