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How much time do I need to study?

This article appears in: Balance work, life and study, Changing careers, Online study
Woman smiling studying from home online

Are you wondering whether you have the time to balance studying a degree or vocational training course with other important commitments in your life such as work, family and friends?

Figuring out where your time goes is the first step to seeing where study can fit in whilst still maintaining a healthy balance.

Step 1: Figure out where your time goes

One way of doing this is to make a log of the times that are fixed to specific activities. That is, write down all of your activities that you must do for every hour of the day for a week. Include things like work, sleep, meals, errands, relaxation and so on.

Now, plot it on a timetable.

Once you have worked out where your time goes and therefore, how much free time you are likely to have, you can then look at how you might best use your time to meet your goals.

Step 2: Figure out how much time you need to study

CDU student Michelle studying online

The next step is to calculate how much time you need to study.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider formal contact hours (such as lectures, tutorials and in-person training or placement commitments) as well as support hours (such as readings and revision).

For a higher education degree, we recommend you allocate 10-12 hours per subject in total. For example, assuming you allow 11 hours per subject you can expect:

One subject 11 hours
Two subjects 22 hours
Three subjects 33 hours
Four subjects 44 hours

The time commitment for vocational training vary depending on the course you choose. It could be an hour or two a week, or it could be a a five-day intensive block of study. Your best bet is to check the course specifics for vocational training courses. 

Step 3: Consider how you'll fit study in

Look at your week and figure out where you can either steal several small chunks of time, or one large chunk of time. For example, some CDU students study while their children nap, during their lunch break at work, for an hour or two early in the morning, or for a few hours after dinner every night. Others scale back their other commitments and set aside one or two full days of study a week. 

Remember to consider flexible study arrangements

Your course may not need to be studied full-time. If you need a break, you can adjust your study load as you go by reducing the number of subjects you take or even take some time off off. 

Our friendly Student Central team is on hand to discuss your options and any questions you may have courses at CDU. Contact us.

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