Ten Things Every Part-time Student Should Know

Is it appealing to you to become a part-time student? Part-time student enrollment has lately declined, but the alternatives offered are becoming more flexible. More on that later…

According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), the number of students enrolled in part-time degree courses in England has decreased by 40% since 2010 – yet earning a degree does not have to take three, four, or more years of full-time study.

Universities and colleges are increasingly offering part-time, flexible choices to help you integrate your degree studies into the rest of your life. We’ve answered the most important questions here.

Checklist for Part-time Courses

Is it true that all institutions offer part-time courses?

No. The number is rising, but the options are restricted, especially if you have little flexibility in terms of location. The exception is Birkbeck, University of London, which traditionally sought part-time workers.

Do you use Ucas to Apply?

Occasionally, but not always. Although Ucas lists certain part-time degree courses (which you can also look for on The Uni Guide by filtering courses by the ‘part-time’ option), many other part-time courses are marketed and recruited by universities. So checking directly is a smart approach.

No, Ucas does not imply that you have no issues. Apply as soon as possible, ideally six to nine months in advance. You will still need to fill out an application form and maybe attend a university interview.

Will I be Required to Have A-levels or Other Qualifications?

Perhaps, but there is more latitude here as well. Many universities may consider ‘non-traditional’ students for part-time courses. Many will offer extra credit if you have relevant education, training, and experience rather than typical admission criteria. This is particularly true for mature pupils.

However, accommodating the university will need confirmation that you will complete the course. And for some topics require specific A-levels, Highers, or Ucas scores.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Part-time Degree?

It is determined by how much time you dedicate to the course and how it is organized. Think five years, but it may be as long as ten years, depending on time, motivation, and personal circumstances.

Some courses allow you to change the number of modules or credits you take each year or even take a break from studying entirely. Others have a more rigorous schedule and adhere to the same schedule as full-time students.

Can I Set My Working Hours?

Perhaps, however, it depends on the subject and the university. In many circumstances, you’ll have to attend at specific times and days and schedule your other obligations around this. Distance learning may be a better option if you want to study but don’t have the time.

Will all of my classmates be working part-time as well?

Perhaps – look at the course description to see what kind of course it is. Some are dedicated part-time courses with no room for full-time students. You might be working with distinct groups of part-time and full-time students somewhere.

When you look at a course in The Uni Guide, we list the percentage split of full-time/part-time students at that institution pursuing various courses to indicate the current student mix.

Are the Majority of Part-time Students Older?

As a broad rule of thumb, yes. If you’re still in your teens, you may be in the minority. But consider this: you may gain just as much from individuals with prior life and professional experience as you could from the course itself.

When searching for courses on The Uni Guide, check for the breakdown of young/mature (over 21) students presently enrolled in that topic.

Will You be Studying at the University?

Many part-time courses are offered on major university campuses, while others may be offered through partner institutions. Learn more about the distinctions between college and university education.

Do Employers Prefer Full-time Degrees?

No. They may view the fact that you studied part-time while balancing a job and other obligations as a plus. However, recruiters are accustomed to seeing graduates with three or four years of full-time education. It is your responsibility to explain why you do not fit into this stereotype and to sell the benefits it has provided you.

Is it Possible to Study Part-time?

Certainly not! Keywords include ‘time management, “motivation,’ and ‘determination.’ You’ll combine high-level study with other commitments such as a job, volunteering, raising a family, or other care responsibilities. Even the most flexible course will have deadlines and grades to satisfy.

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