But then the effort is still greater for those students that do under such circumstances - I'd say that 'extra' writing of notes, essays, plans and reading in such a case is real independent work.
It is quite frustrating that many people are rendering non-oxbridge but ICL/UCL/LSE students 'lazier' because they don't have a tutorial essay a week, while most still feel like they are working continuously for longer essays every week and a half. I know for a fact that in an area of my subject, essays are set on much larger texts and than any deadline difference would suggest. Additionally, any non-essay time is still eaten up by contextual reading because (shockingly!) students at these universities are very motivated and interested in their subjects and want to do well. The sense of continuous work is really prevalent regardless of deadlines.