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Part-time MSc whilst employed

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    I know this is quite a vague question - but what sort of hours do people work whilst doing a part-time MSc? I'm looking at a course at UCL, which I'm hoping my employer might even part fund, but I'm finding it hard to get an idea of how many hours I could actually spare for work if I did the course part-time over two years...

    I'm 28, trying to buy a house, thinking of having kids in a few years, so leaving my job completely is not really on the cards, especially in the current climate.
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    It depends on your lecture schedule of course (e.g.: are all part-time lectures evening ones or are there some during the day which would mean taking time out of a normal workday?), but the question is usually asked the other way round: how much time can I spare for study if I have a full-time job? I, and most people I know who did master's part time, had a full time job while doing it.
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    Unfortunately UCL don't do evening classes for part-time students, meaning that I would have to go part-time at work. The problem is that the days you are required to attend classes is dependent on the modules you select, which makes calculating everything pretty tough as there are so many unknown factors.
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    (Original post by Socmyoligy)
    Unfortunately UCL don't do evening classes for part-time students, meaning that I would have to go part-time at work. The problem is that the days you are required to attend classes is dependent on the modules you select, which makes calculating everything pretty tough as there are so many unknown factors.
    Oh, that is tough. I presume your employer is prepared to be flexible with working hours. I'd suggest as a start, contacting your department and finding out how many contact hours are typical per module as well as if they have some kind of indication of how many hours per week you could be expected to spend doing reading, assignments etc and start working back from there. Obviously these things vary from student to student (some read faster/absorb better/do assignments/essays at different speeds etc) but it will be a benchmark. So if you end up with a suggestion of (say) 20 hours a week you can figure out how much time you'll have to work. You'll also need to factor in time for exam prep and thesis writing.
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    I'm going to be doing my MA Human Resource Management part time as of September and having spoken to different people have decided on working around 16-20 hours/week during the semester and then full time during vacation. Unfortunately I'm going to have to be doing a job unrelated to what I am pursuing, due to the relative scarcity of office jobs with flexible hours.

    I wanted to work full-time as well, but I faced the same problem as you have with UCL that the classes are during the morning/early afternoon, which would make a full time office job impossible for me. I would say with a pretty heavy course load though, you shouldn't be thinking of working more than 25 hours/week or you'll be absolutely exhausted. If you have a relatively light course load you may be able to manage 30, but I think that maaay be pushing it. Also, make sure to keep your vacation time for exam periods, so you have time to prep without worrying about work at those times.
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    It is hard to do a PT Masters - I'm 2/3 of the way through mine.
    You need the support of your employer to do it if it isn't a distance learning course. Mine is a block release course with 8 x 5 day modules plus a thesis, but my employers have been happy to give me the time off to attend. My course has advantages for them and I'm paying for it, so they get a bargain really.
    Do not underestimate the time it takes to study. It can be hard to just get that couple of hours a night to study with a real job, but it is worth it.

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