Choosing whether to study a full-time postgraduate course or a part-time postgraduate course can be a tough call.
The type of course that will be best suited for you depends specifically on your lifestyle and the goals that you wish to achieve. You have always got to remember that whichever type of course that you decide on the end result will still be the same type of degree.
In order for you to make the best decision you need to weigh up the pros and cons of both types of courses. Just to make it easier for you, we have gone to the effort of providing you with a detailed comparison of all the advantages and disadvantages of both part-time and full-time postgraduate study
FocusFull-time postgraduate courses allow you to dedicate 100% of your focus on your academic study without any interruptions at all. This can be very beneficial as you will be able to concentrate on your studies more than you would for a part-time course. Maintaining focus, depending on your unique learning style may help you to achieve better results in your postgraduate degree.
Although part-time courses won’t give you as much time to focus on your studies as a full-time course would they may still suit your lifestyle more. Some people just aren’t able to study full-time due to other commitments such as caring for children or relatives or due to job commitments. Also your learning style may be more suited towards part-time study it’s all just a case of individual preference. Sometimes supplementing your working life with part-time study can work to your advantage as experiences gained in your working life can add depth and relevance to your academic work, which is a great advantage and can lead to fantastic results.
CostThe cost of part-time and full-time courses vary greatly. Tuition fees for full-time postgraduate study are much higher than part-time tuition fees. This fact is a determining factor for many people wishing to pursue postgraduate study, especially now that the costs have risen a lot this year due to new legislation.
But cost also refers to the cost of living as well. If you are studying a full-time postgraduate degree you will once again have to delve into the student lifestyle of spaghetti bolognese and microwave meals and maybe into costly student housing. On the other hand if you chose to study part-time you wouldn’t have to do this as you could work alongside studying providing yourself with some extra income so you wouldn’t have to revert to living the full student life.
TimeTime is a big factor for many when it comes to what type of postgraduate degree to choose. Full-time study will allow you to complete a postgraduate degree in the fastest possible time whilst part-time study will take a little longer.
There are many different reasons to why you may want to do your postgraduate degree faster or slower. Maybe you are having a career break and want to enhance your employability and return to work as fast as possible or maybe you are trying to balance family life with your studies. Choosing how long you want to study for depends on your own lifestyle and your lifestyle alone.
AvailabilityMany people think that have a choice to whether to study a part-time or full-time course, but this isn’t always the case. Some postgraduate degrees are only available for full-time study so there is no option for studying part-time. In order to make sure you have the choice you should check out the university and course first. Only certain courses are available part-time as some degrees require greater time commitments. For example science subjects may require a lot of lab work that just could not be done in a part-time course.
One more thing to consider if you are thinking of studying part-time is whether the course you are thinking of will fit around your life. I say this because many prospective postgraduates looking at part-time study tend to think that part-time study means studying in the evenings. This is not how it is, part-time studies have timetables just as full-time courses do and sometimes it just isn’t possible to integrate part-time study with say a 9-5 job.
StressWhichever type of course you choose there is no escape from stress at some point along the way (unless you are superhuman)! Depending on your personality depends on which type of course would cause you the most stress.
The intense focus of a full-time course may be overwhelming and cause you high amounts of stress or juggling a job and study whilst doing a part-time course may be a more stressful experience. Only you can really make that call, as again its based on you individually.
By taking all of these factors into consideration you will be able to make the decision of which type of postgraduate course suits you. I hope this helped!