Lack of time in distance learning

students meeting in the hallway studying hr-psychology

Recognition of previous achievements

Distance education at conventional universities in Germany is usually 2,700 hours spread over 9 semesters. And how nice would it be to complete the distance learning course within that time frame. However, the reality hits different as only very few manage to complete their distance learning studies within the standard period of study. Distance learning students face the difficulty of balancing work, family, partnership, hobbies and studies. Unfortunately, lack of time, unrealistic expectations and excessive demands on one’s own performance can quickly lead to feeling overwhelmed. Today we are talking about the lack of time in distance learning studies and how to plan your time.

How much time should you plan for distance learning?

It is impossible to provide a universal response to the question of how much time should be allocated for distance learning. But we do have some tips for you which should help guide you. 

The number of so-called credit points is used to determine how much time should be planned in order to understand the material in a distance learning course. The higher education system in Germany is organised using the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). One credit point corresponds to 30 working hours

If a module, for example, human resources management in the distance learning degree in business administration (BA), is specified with 6 ECTS, you should plan 180 hours for the successful completion of the module. These 180 hours include class attendance, as well as time to study for the respective exams. 

Most bachelor’s programmes are listed as 180 ECTS. That means you should plan 5,400 hours. While this number might seem impossible at first, you should keep in mind that it must be accomplished over a minimum of 3 years. That is 900 hours per semester - still a lot, but very doable. The great thing about distance learning is that it can be very flexible. There are no attendance requirements and the learning materials can be used anywhere and at any time. 

To summarise, you should plan to study a few days a week if you want to finish your distance learning studies in the allotted amount of time. You should consciously make time and space for studying. These can be arranged however your choose. Many distance learners devote 2-3 hours a night to study. Others, on the other hand, use the weekend. It is yours to decide how, where and when to study.

Time management in distance learning

The ability to manage your time efficiently is crucial for distance learning. That is why we recommend fixed study times. During these times, you should not allow yourself to be distracted or disturbed by others. Keeping a schedule will also help you keep track of things. 

Another key to efficient time management is setting priorities because not every task is as important. Ideally, your priorities should be broken down into 3 priority levels. The first priority is where you complete the most important tasks within a few days of receiving them. The second priority tasks within two weeks and the lowest priority ones within the current semester. However, remember that putting off tasks because they are too difficult at the moment can cause you to feel more pressure in the long run when it comes to really important tasks. It is also worth mentioning here that motivation is much higher after completing a difficult task

If there is a time when you feel pressured, try to balance your everyday life and your studies. This can mean meeting up with friends, doing sports, or anything else you might enjoy. Enjoy your time spent doing what you like and not thinking about your studies. 



Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post on the lack of time in distance learning studies. Should you choose to start your studies here, take a look at the different distance learning studies we offer. 

At PFH we make sure you receive a high-quality education while fully experiencing being a student