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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
A study desk space

Are you wondering whether you have the time to balance study 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.

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 etc.

Now, plot it on a timetable.

Once you have worked out where your time goes and thus 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.

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 (i.e. lectures and tutorials) as well as support hours (i.e. readings, revision).

We recommend you allocate 10-12 hours per subject in total.


  • One subject = 11 hours (i.e. 1 x 11)
  • Two subjects = 22 hours (i.e. 2 x 11)
  • Three subjects = 33 hours (i.e. 3 x 11)
  • Four subjects = 44 hours (i.e. 4 x 11)

Remember, we offer flexible study arrangements to help make study work around you lifestyle. If you find that you need a break, you can choose to reduce the number of subjects you take within a semester or even take a semester off. You can also take advantage of summer semester to spread your study load across the year or even get ahead to finish your degree sooner.

Talk to CDU's Student Central team to discuss your options. 

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