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Full-time and part-time study explained

We offer the majority of our undergraduate, postgraduate and MPhil/PhD courses, both full-time and part-time, by evening study. Deciding on the pace of study that’s best for you and fits around your life is important - and we can guide you on every step of the decision-making process. 

Your choice will depend on how intensively you want to study, what your daytime work, family or personal commitments are, and how quickly you want to complete your course. You also need to take into consideration the time commitment for attending classes and undertaking study at home. 

Whether you choose to study full-time or part-time you will receive the same University of London qualification. 

To get help choosing between full-time and part-time study, come along to an Open Evening or, if you're considering undergraduate study, our free Get Started workshops will help you decide whether full-time or part-time is best for you. 

Undergraduate degrees

  • Most of our undergraduate degrees are available for full-time evening study over three years or part-time evening study over four years. Some are also available for part-time evening study over six years. 

Postgraduate degrees

  • Nearly all of our postgraduate degrees are available for full-time evening study over one year or part-time evening study over two years. 

MPhil/PhD Degrees

  • You can undertake a research degree full-time over two to four years or part-time over four to seven years. 
  • Our Integrated PhD degrees include a compulsory year of taught modules. 

Wadha explains how she’ll use the new career options open to her from her recent MSc in Psychology alongside her original career:

Balancing study with other commitments 

Our courses are designed to help you balance your work or other commitments outside university with your studies, but there is still a lot to consider when choosing which course is right for you and whether to study full-time or part-time. 

You should take into account both the time you will need to attend classes, whether they are on-campus or online, and the time you will need for independent study. Much of your time will be spent on self-directed study at home or in the library, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. Each class will have required and additional reading, with most lecturers giving a detailed breakdown of readings in advance of each class. Sometimes links to articles will be posted on Moodle, our online learning environment. 

Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but as a guide:

  • Full-time undergraduate students will need to schedule around two hours of self-study for each hour of face-to-face teaching in class. 
  • Full-time postgraduate students will have around 25-30 hours of organised study per week, although exact hours depend on the programme and your ability. 

MA European History graduate, Timothy, explains how commuting from Bristol worked for him during his postgraduate studies at Birkbeck: