Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees – differences and similarities for part-time students • Challenges in common – the problems faced by all part-time students • The aim and structure of this book – and what is not included
Part-time academic study is a major life decision. It involves considerable investment both in financial and in personal terms, and the journey towards completion can be long and demanding.
Managing Part-time Study: A Guide for Undergraduates and Postgraduates is aimed at the growing number of students who are undertaking academic courses part-time, sometimes after a lengthy break from education. Unlike fulltime students, many part-timers are already juggling full-time jobs with other interests and responsibilities. Some may be early career graduates getting to grips with new roles as managers or professionals at the same time as coping with a first mortgage. Other part-time students will be contributing to general household income and might have practical responsibilities towards children or elderly parents. Some readers may have left the education system once they had finished school, this being their first experience of higher education. Many of you will have jobs requiring long hours and/or travel and part-time academic study will impact not only on your own lives, but on employers, partners and dependants. All readers might be involved in sporting or social activities, which often drop to the bottom of the priority list when part-time study is involved.
Although there are many and varied study guides presently on the market (some of which might include a short section on doing a degree part-time), few of these focus on the challenges faced by part-time students.
The purpose of this book is to offer the kind of advice and encouragement