Not everyone has the chance to study and be work-free. In fact more and more people young and older too, have to fit in academic work around a part-time or even full-time job. This is partly because education now costs so much more, but also because of the growth of online courses that allow people to study from home. For various reasons people that once felt trapped in a job can now expand their skill set and look ahead to a brighter future. This goes for single parents and foreign nationals that want to make a successful home for themselves in the UK.

Getting study right is the key, a slapdash approach will not work as well as a measured and planned study attitude. The team at know a lot about helping people learn at home across the world, and it is people like that who really understand this type of learning; perhaps more so than traditional classroom teachers.

Get Out!

Before we even look at planning and all the other aspects of study, it is critical to get this point covered. No matter where you study you should go outside from time to time. It can be very helpful and actually make studying more effective. Even if you work all day and study in the evenings, try to get in a five-minute walk during that study period. Or at least make sure you get outside during your work lunch break and think about your studies as you walk. The fact that most online study courses now have video and podcast material means you can use them on the go and comfortably study outside.


It may seem obvious but planning is everything. This doesn’t mean planning to pass, or planning to do ‘lots of work’ in a week. It means picking set times to work and sticking to them. If you work all day then pick one night in the week where you study and then enjoy another night off. It might mean you do two hours before going to work one day. But however you choose to study, make sure it is well planned. There are some useful bits of software like that can really help with this.

Targets and Goals

Along with planning come targets. As part of building a weekly and monthly plan you need to set markers and goals that you can achieve. This could be finishing a book, assignment, or just a single video lesson. Take these seriously and reward yourself when you hit them. You could even use SMART objectives as a framework for this.

Routine is Good

While the word ‘routine’ makes most people feel bored, getting into a study rhythm is a good thing. Your body will know when the tough days are and you will get used to studying. Doing it in a haphazard way is never good. You can be as detailed as you like and add in a quick review of the week on a Friday, before a treat like a glass of wine. But keep to your plans and keep the rhythm going.


Not everyone has family and friends around for support but most people can find someone. With online courses it can often come from people on forums and social media groups who are studying the same thing. But try and let the people around you know what you are doing, and that you will need their support to get it all done. Even a quick message on Facebook can do wonders if you are having a tough week finishing the work you need to.

Support can also come from your employer. In many cases employers are very much behind their staff learning new skills that can help with a job. To this end you may be able to discuss some flexible working hours. Some people even compress their work into four days and have a fifth day for study. Of course, do be aware that if you are studying something not related to your job with plans to leave, then your boss probably isn’t going to be quite as supportive.

Studying is hard, there is no other way to say it. But with the right planning, support and goals you can and will do it. So if you are a single mum reskilling, someone who didn’t do well at school but is now studying to get a better job, or anyone who simply needs to succeed; then give these tips a try!