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Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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4 Planning your time

When you enrolled with the OU you might have thought about how much time you have available for study and you also looked briefly at time management in Session 1 of this course.

You’ve now had a taste of studying by doing this course, so now is a good time to consider how you’ll manage your time going forward.

You’ll probably have noticed that the activities in this course have suggested timings – how closely have you stuck to these? Have you generally needed more or less than the suggested time to complete an activity? This might give you an indication of whether you typically need more or less time than the suggested amount. Perhaps you have occasionally done more than you needed to? This can be quite easy – so try and remind yourself to stay with the task set.

As mentioned previously, you’ll find you work through some activities quicker than others, but it’s worth considering whether you’re someone who likes to take their time or who typically works quickly. It’s really important to note that your module will be more academically demanding than this course, so will require more time and concentration, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if you’ve found this quick and easy. Thinking about how you’ve managed your time on this course is still a useful guide though.

Activity 1 Planning your time

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

On our website where you might have browsed courses and signed up to study there is a time planner activity [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Open it in a new tab or window.

You may have already used the time planner before you registered to study and if so you may have saved your answers. If this is the case we’d still like you to revisit it and make sure you are happy with your original answers.

If you haven’t already used this planner then work through it – setting up what times you wake up and go to bed, how much time you spend on other activities and what times you plan to study.

If you are an apprentice, your Training Plan part one: commitment to learning details the planned hours for your study. You need to agree with your line manager how you will take these planned hours within your normal working week. Your modules are a mix of academic and work-based study and so the calculation of hours of study is different to our standard qualifications.

Click ‘View your results’ to see how much time you have available for study.

As a reminder, you need:

  • 16–18 hours for each 60 credit module
  • 14 hours for each 30 credit module if it runs over 22 weeks
  • 8–9 hours for each 30 credit module if it runs over 30 weeks

If the planner is saying you don’t have enough time to study 60 credits then you’ll need to consider how you’ll find additional time for study. You’ll find some tips on the time planner activity.

If you’re planning to study more than 60 credits at once and it doesn’t look like you’re going to have enough time you might want to consider reducing the number of modules you’re starting with.

If you would like change your study plans or are really concerned about finding time to study you can contact your student support team (SST).

We all struggle to find enough time sometimes, and the next section will give you ideas for successful time management.