Does the idea of becoming a part-time student appeal? Part-time student numbers have taken a hit recently, but the options available are increasingly flexible.
- Do all universities offer part-time courses?
No. The number is growing but choice is limited, especially if you have no leeway on location.
- How do you apply?
Usually directly via the universities themselves. It’s a good idea to check. Dont leave it too late, ideally applying six to nine months ahead. You will still have to complete an application form and perhaps go to auniversity interview.
- Will I need any other qualifications?
Maybe but there tends to be greater flexibility here, too. Many tertiary institutions will consider ‘non-traditional’ students for part-time courses, and they will give you brownie points for relevant education, training and experience, rather than traditional entry qualifications. This is especially true of mature students.
4. How much longer does a part-time degree take?
It depends on how much time you have to devote to the course and how it’s structured. Think typically five years, but possibly as long as 10 years, depending on time, motivation and personal circumstances. Some courses let you vary the number of modules or credits taken each year or even have a break from studying. Others have a more rigid schedule, following the same timetable as full-time students.
- Can I choose my hours to suit myself?
Maybebut it’s very much dependent on the course and the university. In many cases youll have to attend on pre-set times and days and work your other commitments around this.Distance learningmight be a better bet if you are keen to learn, but time poor.
- Will all my classmates be part-timers too?
Maybecheck the course description to see what type of course it is. Some are dedicated part-time courses, with no full-timers allowed. Elsewhere, you might be working with different groups of both part-time and full-time learners.
7. Are most part-time students older?
Yes as a general rule of thumb. If youre still in your teens, you might find yourself in the minority. But think: you could learn just as much from those who already have some life and work experience as from the course itself.
8. Will you be based at the university?
Plenty of part-time courses are run on main university campuses, but some might be delivered through partner colleges.
- Do employers prefer full- time degrees?
No. Actually, they might see the fact that you have studied part-timejuggling it with work and other commitmentsas a value-added factor. Recruiters are just more used to seeing graduates whove taken a three or four year full-time degree. Its your role to explain why you dont conform to this stereotype and to market the advantages its given you.
- Is part-time study an easy option?
Definitely not! Keywords here are ‘time management’, ‘motivation’, ‘determination’.Youre going to be juggling high-level study with other commitments work, possibly volunteering, perhaps raising a family or undertaking other care responsibilities and even the most flexible course will still have deadlines to hit and grades to meet.