Get prepared for study

It’s great you’re thinking about studying, but 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. Time

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. Computer and internet

Most of our courses are delivered online. 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.

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 to study

With distance learning you can study wherever it suits, but here's some tips to help you think about where you might:

  • 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 nextworks

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)

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: