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Do I have enough time for study?

Suggested time: 10 minutes

Finding regular time for study each week is one of the biggest challenges our students face. This activity helps you think realistically about how much time you can commit to study.

Click on the time slots in the weekly planner to indicate when you think you can study. To remove a block of time, click on it again.

When you've identified all the time you have available for study, click the button 'Is this enough time?' to find out whether it's sufficient to allow you to study a module.

If you're unable to use the cursor, try our alternative version of this activity.

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9pm - 12am (midnight)

I have  hours per week available for study.

Fewer than six hours a week

Can you find more time?

At the moment you don't seem to have enough time to study the majority of our OU modules, either at Access level or beyond.

  • A 30-credit module usually takes between 8 and 14 hours a week, depending on the length of the module. Our Access modules, for instance, take around nine hours of study a week over a 30-week period.
  • A 60-credit module takes 16 to 18 hours a week over eight or nine months.

If you can't identify enough time now, but are still interested in studying with the OU, you'll need to work out how to find the necessary time in the future. Can you think of ways to fit study around other commitments? For example could you find 30 minutes every lunch time, or potential slots when children are occupied with activities? Could you juggle things round, reducing the time spent on certain activities, or give up others altogether? Perhaps you can enlist the support of family or friends, or delegate some jobs so that you can free up time for study.

Once you've thought through these issues, you might want to revise your estimates of the time you have available for study.

Six to nine hours a week

You've got enough time to study up to 30 credits a year, depending upon your choice of module.

You're approaching the amount of time needed to study one of our Access modules, which take around nine hours of study a week over a 30-week period.

However, as you progress further, you'll need to bear the following in mind:

  • The majority of our 30-credit Level 1 modules take from 8 to 14 hours of study a week, depending on the length of the module. With careful time planning, some of these modules may be options for you.
  • A 60-credit Level 1 module takes 16 to 18 hours a week over an eight- or nine-month period. You currently don't have enough time to study one of these.

The majority of our qualifications require at least 30 credits of study per year and for many you'll need to study a minimum of 60 credits. Make sure you have enough time to study the number of credits required each year.

It's also worth knowing that the amount of time you spend studying each week does vary. You'll need extra time just before an assignment is due and just before an exam or end-of-module assessment.

If you find you're still short of the required time to study the modules you're interested in, think again about how you might free up some more time for study. Can you reduce the time spent on certain activities, or give up others altogether? What about delegating some jobs or asking the support of family or friends?

Managing your time

For the best chance of successful study, we recommend you think about:

  • how familiar you are with the subject of your chosen module
  • the time of day when you can study most productively
  • the length of time that you can concentrate effectively at a given stretch
  • creative ways to fit in your study time to suit your lifestyle and other priorities or commitments (e.g. can you listen to audio materials while travelling to work?)
  • scheduling your activities realistically according to your priorities
  • the support that you will need if, for instance, you have a disability or long-term health condition
  • the extra time it may take to develop confidence in certain study skills.

Having thought about these issues, you may want to revise your estimates of available time for study.

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Ten to fifteen hours a week

You have enough time to study up to 30 credits a year.

You should have enough time to study our Access modules, which take around nine hours of study a week over a 30-week period.

As you progress further, you should also have enough time to study one of our 30-credit Level 1 modules, which usually require 8 to 14 hours a week, depending on the length of the module.

However, you don't as yet have enough time to study a 60-credit module that requires 16 to 18 hours a week over eight or nine months.

The majority of our qualifications require at least 30 credits of study per year, and for many you'll need to study a minimum of 60 credits. Make sure you have enough time to study the number of credits required each year.

Managing your time

To make best use of the study time you set aside, you'll need to think about

  • how familiar you are with the subject of your chosen module
  • the time of day when you can study most productively
  • the length of time that you can concentrate effectively at a given stretch
  • creative ways to fit in your study time to suit your lifestyle (e.g. can you listen to audio materials while travelling to work?)
  • scheduling your activities realistically according to your priorities
  • the support that you will need if, for instance, you have a disability or long-term health condition
  • the extra time it may take to develop confidence in certain study skills.

Having thought about these issues, you may want to revise your estimates of the time you have available for study.

Sixteen or more hours a week

You have enough time to study up to 60 credits a year.

In practice, this means you'll able to study one of our Access modules, which take around nine hours of study a week over a 30-week period.

As you progress further, your estimates suggest that you'll have enough time for

  • a 30-credit module, which usually takes 8 to 14 hours of study a week, depending upon the length of the module
  • a 60-credit module, which takes 16 to 18 hours of study a week.

If you wish to study two 30-credit modules a year, you'll have to make your choices carefully, depending on your available study hours.  If you study more than one module at once, you’re likely to face deadlines that occur close together (for example, you might have to work on two assignments simultaneously).

It's also worth noting that the amount of time you spend studying each week will vary. You'll need extra time just before an assignment is due and just before an exam.

The majority of our qualifications require at least 30 credits of study per year, and for many you'll need to study a minimum of 60 credits. Make sure you have enough time to study the number of credits required each year.

Managing your time

If you're working full time, we recommend that you study a maximum of 60 credits per year. Keeping your study manageable will give you a greater chance of achieving higher grades.

To tackle your work successfully, you'll also need to think about

  • how familiar you are with the subject of your chosen module
  • the time of day when you can study most productively
  • the length of time that you can concentrate effectively at a given stretch
  • creative ways to fit in your study time to suit your lifestyle (e.g. can you listen to audio materials while travelling to work?)
  • scheduling your activities realistically according to your priorities
  • the support that you will need if, for instance, you have a disability or long-term health condition
  • the extra time it may take to develop confidence in certain study skills.

Having thought about these issues, you may want to revise your estimates of the time you have available for study.