How much time will you need?

How much time is needed for distance learning is different for everyone. The steps below will help you estimate how much time you may need to study and complete your course.

Hours per week

1. Find the credit value of your course

This is on the course page or in the 'Qualification structure' table in your qualification.

2. Work out how many hours per course

For each credit allow around 10 hours of learning. So multiply the number of credits by 10. This gives the total hours of study for your course.

3. Work how many study hours are needed

To do this:

  • Find out how many weeks your course is. Generally open courses are 32 weeks long, and trimester courses are 16-18 weeks.
  • Divide the total number of hours by the number of weeks.

This will give you an estimate of how many hours you will need to allow for study a week.

But remember that some people may take longer. For example, if you're new to tertiary study, a slow reader or have a learning disability, you may need more time. You may need to allow about 12 - 15 hours study per credit, and add two to three hours per day or more if you have an assignment due.


Part-time or full-time study?

How students organise the study time varies. Most of our students study part time. Some study while working full time. Others combine study with family commitments.

How long it will take you to finish your qualification depends on how many courses you can do each year. For example:

  • If you work full-time and study for an undergraduate degree part time, it may take six or seven years to finish.
  • If you work and study part time, a degree may take six years, while a certificate or diploma may take one to three years. 
  • If you want to get a degree and study full-time, you should be able to finish in three or four years. It is a good idea to take it a bit slower in your first year while you get used to studying by distance.

Do you have enough time?

Studying takes commitment and planning, so remember to: 

  • Be realistic about how much time you can spend studying so that you than you can cope with.
  • Think about what else you need to commit time to such as work, family, hobbies or sport.
  • Try not over commit. It's better to build in extra time for unforeseen events such as illness, family issues or a crisis at work.

Fitting study in around your other commitments

Georgia Daals - Bachelor of Applied Management

“I would typically study at mid-day because I would often have morning trainings and then night trainings daily. If I ever had mid-day trainings, I could compensate for my study and take it up again when I had time."

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If you find you don't have enough time

If you are having difficulty completing your study, get in touch. We may be able to help.

Freephone 0508 650 200
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Download our latest prospectus

At Open Polytechnic we specialise in flexible, distance and online learning that is designed to help you fit study around your work and life commitments.

For more information about what we offer when you study with us and what you can study, download our prospectus  (PDF 12MB)

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