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Finding time to study

Our unique, flexible approach to learning means you can fit your study around your job, family, friends and leisure time.

Find out how much time you will need to study with the OU. Hear from our students on how they make time for study. Use our personal Time Planner to help you work out how many hours per week you can find to study. 

Older student playing video games on his laptop

How much time do you need for study?

The amount of time you’ll spend studying each week will vary. You might, for example, need extra time just before an assignment or an exam.

Part-time study

  • If, like most of our students, you want to study part time, you'll need around 16–18 hours study time per week.
  • Part-time study means completing 60 credits worth of study per year, for example, one 60 credit module, or two 30 credit modules.
  • If you study 60 credits a year, an honours degree would usually take 6 years to complete.

Full-time study

  • We recommend that you don't study full time in your first year.
  • If you want to study full time you'll need around 32–36 hours study time per week.
  • Full-time study means completing 120 credits worth of study per year, for example, two 60 credit modules.
  • If you study 120 credits a year, an honours degree would usually take 3–4 years to complete.
  • If you have a full-time job, we recommend that you don't study more than 60 credits per year.

How many hours can you find for study?

Finding time to study isn't always as hard as it seems. Use our Time Planner to see how many credits you could study per year.

Plan your time  

How do our students make time for studying?

We asked our students for their hints and tips on fitting study into their lives.

Study doesn't always have to be in large chunks, if you can just squeeze in an hour after work or read something on the train home it all adds up.

Sarah, BA (Hons) Business Studies

I've learnt to use 'down time' as study time (that first hour after getting back from work when I just want to sit on the sofa, or that extra episode of a Netflix boxset).

Katie, MBA

What support will you receive?

  • We'll provide you with support both before and during your studies to help you manage your time.
  • You'll get a detailed study calendar for each module, that highlights key dates for assignments and tutorials, breaking down what you need to study and when. 
  • Your tutor will offer you guidance on how to stay on track if you need help.
  • Your fellow students are often a great source of help, guidance and tips too.

Find out more

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