Flexible ways to study
There are many flexible ways to study and higher education level courses are offered at local colleges, some training providers and at universities – so you should be able to find a study option to suit your needs.
It is perfectly possible to combine study and work. It still demands hard work and commitment, but the opportunities for adults are many and varied.
Full time courses
The amount of time involved in 'Full-time' study can vary. For some courses the attendance time may only be equivalent to two days of study, for others it may be equivalent to a standard working week. It really depends on the type of course you wish to undertake. Look at the detailed course description. This will help you decide whether you could study a course full-time alongside your current job or whether you will have to make some changes in your work role to do the course.
To qualify for full-time funding support you will need to make sure your intended course has full time course status. Check this with your institution.
Part time courses
Part-time study may be an option if you wish to continue to work. Courses are often held in the evenings or on a regular day of the week. Part-time courses will take longer to complete as the course is spread over a longer period of time; this may be an important consideration if you are changing career.
Professionally related part-time courses may also be offered as a short course (perhaps just a few weeks in total) or on a block-release basis; for example, teaching may be provided on certain weekends, or blocks of a few weeks spread throughout the course. Block-release courses often support actual work practice and may be best suited to someone already working in the field.
Distance learning courses
Distance learning involves studying on your own, at home or a suitable place for you. It usually involves reading course material, working on course activities and writing assignments. Often this type of learning will include e-learning - where teaching is delivered over the internet.
Distance learning is a great way to combine childcare or work with studying as the flexibility is great, but it does demand a lot of motivation and commitment.
Electronic chat rooms and message boards keep you in touch with other learners so it doesn’t have to be lonely e.g student room and online or telephone tutorial support will help you keep-on-track too.
To see how flexible the OU is click on the link to see how Steve is cycling the world AND doing a OU degree!