How much time will you need?

He aha te roanga o tēnei mahi?

The amount of time needed for study is different for everyone. The guides below will help you estimate how much time you have in your life to study and how much time you'll need each week to complete your course.

How much time do you have available?

Before you decide to make a commitment to study, it's good to check that you'll have the time to do it.

Distance study can be very flexible - but life can get busy. We've made a tool that will help you think about the things you do in your everyday life and if you can add study to the list.

The tool will help you calculate how much time you spend on different activities in a typical week. It also gives advice on how much study you could do in your free time. The results are only a guide, but they will help you think about how you can fit study in. 




How much time you'll need each week

On each course page on the website you'll see a grey box with lots of key information. Look for these headings:

  • Workload  - This will tell you the approximate number of hours you'll need each week to study the course.
  • Teaching weeks - This will tell you how long we teach the course.

Using the example below, you would need to set aside 13 hours a week for 16 weeks.

If you are studying more than one course in at a time add up the Workload hours from each course to see how many hours you will need for study each week.

Workload and duration image

A bit more about teaching weeks

Teaching weeks is the number of weeks that we teach a course. This differs from the enrolment period, which is based on the course start and end dates.

For example, a 20-week enrolment period will have 16 teaching weeks, followed by four weeks to accommodate marking, any extensions and reassessments, or exams.


I have a photo of my 11 and 7 year old boys I put by my laptop everyday when I'm doing my course to help motivate me and to remind me that "time goes so fast and I can't waste any of it".

Rachel Irvine - studying Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) (Level 4)


Part-time or full-time study?

How students organise the study time varies. Most of our students study part time. Some study while working full time. Others combine study with family commitments.

How long it will take you to finish your qualification depends on how many courses you can do each year. For example:

  • If you work full-time and study for an undergraduate degree part time, it may take six or seven years to finish.
  • If you work and study part time, a degree may take six years, while a certificate or diploma may take one to three years. 
  • If you want to get a degree and study full-time, you should be able to finish in three or four years. It is a good idea to take it a bit slower in your first year while you get used to studying by distance.


Fitting study in around your other commitments

Georgia Daals - Bachelor of Applied Management

“I would typically study at mid-day because I would often have morning trainings and then night trainings daily. If I ever had mid-day trainings, I could compensate for my study and take it up again when I had time."

Learn more

If you find you don't have enough time

If you are having difficulty completing your study, get in touch. We may be able to help.


Download our latest prospectus

At Open Polytechnic we specialise in flexible, distance and online learning that is designed to help you fit study around your work and life commitments.

For more information about what we offer when you study with us, and what you can study, download our prospectus  (PDF 15MB)

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