What level of commitment is required to study online?


11th Aug 2017


When you join a course with University of Essex Online you are asked to commit 15-20 hours per week of “study time”.

Firstly, we should qualify what “study time” consists of. It may include:

  • Reading relevant course materials
  • Research
  • Contributing to online discussions
  • Writing assignments
  • Communicating with your tutor
  • Watching lecturecasts (online lecture videos)
  • Attending live discussions
  • Practical implementation of learning

As you can see, “study time” consists of a wide variety of activities, many of which don’t require you to be sat at a desk “studying” as you probably imagined.


Time is all relative

15 hours per week sounds like a lot of time. It works out at 2 hours and 30 minutes per day (6 days per week). What simple changes could you make to fit your study in?

  • According to the latest figures, the average UK resident spends 2 hours and 50 minutes per day watching television. Therefore, if you gave up 2 hours and 30 minutes of TV viewing per night you could achieve your qualification and still fit in a quick episode of your favourite soap opera each night!
  • Research1 also suggests that Britons spend an average of 16 hours and 20 minutes per week on the internet. If you spent just half of this time participating in an online course, you’d have completed 8 hours of your weekly study already.
  • The average UK resident also commutes, on average, for 57.1 minutes per day. If you’re lucky enough to do this by train or bus you could use this time for reading course materials and research.
  • Why not make use of your lunch break too? Just spending 30 minutes per day will soon add up!

Studying online does take commitment and an alteration to your daily routine will be required, but as you can see from the suggestions above, there are plenty of small changes that can free up time to achieve that qualification you’ve dreamed of.

Want to learn more about how you could manage your time? Discover some of our tips and tricks.


A sound investment

The benefits of a degree are undeniable; they open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

  • Recent reports state that graduates earn £500,000 more than non-graduates over their lifetimes. This means that even if you complete your degree later on in life, there’s still a good chance it will be a profitable choice.
  • Employment surveys have also reported that the number of jobs that require a degree has now overtaken the number of jobs that do not require qualifications. This means that more employers than ever before are valuing a degree highly, limiting career progression for those without.
  • If you live in England then you are more than likely eligible for an undergraduate or postgraduate student loan from Student Finance England, which can be used towards the cost of an online degree. Student loans are one of the most effective forms of funding available, as you are not required to start repaying it until you earn £21k per annum (for postgraduate students) or £25k per annum (for undergraduate students), it is low interest and is written off 30 years after you become eligible to repay it.


What are you waiting for?

The benefits for attaining a higher education qualification are irrefutable; whether you’re looking to improve your salary, improve your self-confidence or change your career, the chances are it’ll be a valuable addition to your CV.

Most of our students find the experience a rewarding one and find the 15-20 hour commitment challenging initially, but manageable. Read their testimonials here.

We offer a wide range of qualifications, including Certificates of Continued Education, Bachelors degrees and Masters degrees in a range of topics including business, law, psychology, criminology and health.


Contact our Admissions team to discuss your options on +44 (0) 1206 489 358 or apply online.