Part-time study: Pros and cons

Being a full-time student is the pathway for thousands of school leavers every year but the reality is, this isn’t feasible for everybody. Whether it’s due to employment or looking after a new baby, there are circumstances where full-time study isn’t possible, so we’ve compiled a list with the pros and cons of studying part-time.



There is no doubt one of the biggest factors in choosing part-time study over full-time is the capacity to work more often and earn more money. Full-time students often do night and weekend shift work to fit in with their busy schedule, whereas part-timers have more flexibility.


Blending part-time study and employment along with leisure time can be a pretty good mix. There is less coursework to deal with and it is unlikely that your routine will be as concentrated as someone who is full-time at university, allowing more time to do what you enjoy.


Tutors and lecturers will be familiar with students tackling part-time study and should be able to provide advice for how best to approach the course. Completing a smaller proportion of the workload will also leave more time for seeking out the assistance of teaching staff to clarify any issues.   


There is great variation in the people that choose to study part-time. They could be middle-aged already with a distinguished career, a young professional raising a family or a school leaver working casual shifts at a local café. 



Naturally, it takes longer to complete a degree or diploma when you are studying part-time. This can be frustrating, particularly when other students in your course are graduating while you are still at university.


Juggling work, study, family life and other responsibilities can take its toll. Poor time management can be disastrous, particularly if your education is neglected and you fail to meet the course requirements.


Just because you aren’t at studying full-time doesn’t mean that you won’t endure the typical stresses of university life. You will still be expected to meet deadlines, complete assignments and pass exams, regardless of your circumstances outside of university.


Some institutions simply don’t offer part-time study. This can be the same with specific faculties or courses, so it is worth investigating prior to selecting a university.

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