But first a bit about me. I decided to study a part time postgraduate course because I realised after I finished my undergrad degree that I didn’t want to pursue a career in that area. It was important to me to keep working full time whilst studying my masters and the distance learning course was a great way to balance my current commitments with studying.
When you first start a distance learning course, a module handbook and course handbook are made available. I found these were very helpful in planning my time and understanding what is expected from me during the course. You’ll find all vital information such as contacts for the course, module info, details of when assessments are due and a weekly schedule. The module tutors and course tutor are vital contacts to have and are happy to help you when something doesn’t make sense to you. They’ve always been understanding when it comes to external issues or work pressures.
Working a minimum of a 40 hour week can be hard to maintain a work-life-study balance, but that is why a part time distance learning course was so ideal. On my days off, lunch breaks or even when I am travelling around, I am able to watch a lecture, complete the weekly tasks and spend a day or two in my local library to complete the assessments. The luxury of the course taking three years enables me to do things at my own pace; I feel little pressure when due dates are coming up, with the knowledge that I have plenty of time to complete them. My biggest advice to other distance learning students is to look at when assessments are due as soon as the module starts, and write down in your calendar when you should start the assessment. That way you can manage your time so it doesn’t affect your work or social life.