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Finding time to study

Our unique, flexible approach to learning means you don't have to put your life on hold to get a qualification. OU students structure their study to fit in with jobs, families, friends and leisure time.They study full time and part time; from home and work and on the move; on paper, on screen, online and on mobile devices.

Emma finds time for study when the kids have gone to bed.

Paul fits coursework round his shift pattern.

Heidi listens to Shakespeare in the car.

Did you know?

70% of OU students are in full time employment. Most will take six years to study for a degree, putting aside about 16–18 hours a week. You can study full time and get your degree in as little as three years, or you can take longer.

When my first box of materials arrived I felt a bit overwhelmed, but the 'start here' leaflet was very welcome and guidance from my tutor really helped to keep me on track.

You get a Study Calendar with dates for assignments, tutorials, what to watch or listen to and when, when things need to be in – so you can work out a timetable and plan if you're going to be away.

My advice is look at a typical week. See where your free time is, work out where you’ve got a spare few hours, on what days, and think 'that's when I'm going to do my studying', and start to prepare for that commitment.

Top tips for time management:

  • Use the study guide to help you plan.
  • Allocate a realistic amount of time for study.
  • Enlist the support of your friends and family.
  • If you get behind, don’t panic. We can help you find ways to catch up.

Have you got time for OU study?

  • Take a few moments to think about your average week.
  • Click on the timeslots to show times when you can study.
  • To remove a block of time, click on it again.
  • When you've identified all the time you have available, click on the 'check' button and we'll give you some advice.

Find out if you have enough time for study

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You have 0 hours per week available for study.

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