What does part-time mean? How long will it take?

Higher education (HE) courses are often described as "full-time" or "part-time", although the number of hours a student needs to devote to a course can vary enormously. Generally, a full-time course will involve around 21 hours of study per week.

What about part-time?

A part-time course:

  • requires fewer hours per week
  • might be studied completely online
  • may require daytime or evening study attendance
  • may require attendance at a summer school
  • can usually be taken while working full or part-time
  • may be entirely work-based

There is often no time limit for completing part-time degree courses. Many work-related courses are especially designed to fit in with the needs of people in employment, and employers will have been involved in developing the courses.

What about funding?

You only need to be completing a minimum of 25% of a full-time equivalent course per year to be eligible for the part-time loan.