How much time will you need for study?

The steps below will help you estimate how much time you may need to study and complete your course.


1. Find out what the credit value of your course is – The number of credits is included 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.

3. Work out how many hours per week - To work out how many hours that will be per week find out how many weeks your course is, and divide the total number of hours by the number of weeks. Generally open courses are 32 weeks long, and trimester courses are 16-18 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). If this is the case work the times required based on about 12 - 15 hours for each credit, or two to three hours per day or more if you have an assignment due.

Part-time or full-time study?

Most of our students study with us part-time, and some courses only accept students on a part-time basis (check the qualification you are interested in to see if this applies).

How students organise the study time varies. Some work full-time and study part-time; others work and study part-time; while others combine part-time study with family commitments.

How long it takes depends on how many courses you are able to do each year. Typically:

  • If you work full-time and study part time an undergraduate degree will take six or seven years to complete.
  • If you work and study part-time and are aiming for a degree, you’d expect to complete it in about six years, while certificates and diplomas can take as little as one year or up to three years.
  • If you study full-time and are aiming for a degree you should be able to finish in 3–4 years. We suggest you take it a bit slower in your first year while you are getting used to studying by distance.

Do you have enough time?

Studying takes commitment and planning, so it is important that you are realistic about how much time you have available to spend on your study to make sure you don't take on more than you can cope with. Consider what else you need to commit time to such as work, family, hobbies, sport, etc.


Also, remember that life happens - so try not over commit. It's better to build in a little extra time for unforeseen events such as illness, family issues or a crisis at work

If you find you don't have enough time

If you find you've over-committed your time or the unexpected happens and you're having difficulty completing your study, contact us as we may be able to help.

Related information

How we can help you plan
Managing your time while studying
How our courses are delivered