How much study is expected?

Full-time courses
Whether HN or degree level, should take around 1200 hours per year to complete. This includes any teaching and assessment time (contact hours) as well as time spent in private study and preparing for assessments. Although contact hours can be low, signing up for a full-time course really does mean full-time study; you should expect to spend between 35 and 40 hours per week on your full-time course.

Structured part-time courses
Usually involve half the number of modules or units as full time courses, so should take around 600 hours per year to complete. If you are studying a structured part time course expect to spend around 18 hours per week on your course.

Unstructured part-time courses
Do not have a fixed number of modules or units per year as they allow students the flexibility to study at their own rate. If you are studying on an unstructured part time course you should expect to spend 6-10 hours per week on each HN unit or degree module that you are studying.

Most of the time you spend on your course will be spent in private study. This will involve activities such as:

  • Writing up notes from lectures, practicals and seminars
  • Reading in preparation for lectures, practicals and seminars
  • Preparing for assessments (exam revision and essay and report writing)

Because of this split between contact hours and study hours, many UHI students have enough time to work while they study. These students might have jobs during normal working hours and study on days off and during the evenings and weekends. Splitting your time between work and study in this way requires a lot of organisation and discipline. You have to be prepared so you know when work on your course will be at its most intense, such as in the run up to an assessment. You also have to motivate yourself to study when you may be tired after a day at work. Combining study and paid work makes for a busy life, but the rewards are all worth it!