Part Time Studies: Tips for Graduating Successfully

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The educational path does not necessarily have to be straight. Many people go straight to work after they graduate from school. Later some of them would like to catch up on a degree and opt for part time studies. We’ll show you what to look out for.

For whom is part-time studies suitable?

For whom the part-time course is suitable

A part time course is aimed primarily at those who have been working for a long time and now want to expand their theoretical knowledge. There are many reasons to avoid full-time studies. Financing is often a problem and working alongside your studies is therefore unavoidable. In addition, an academic degree promises better career opportunities than an apprenticeship. That is why many employees later decide to study alongside their job and still gain further work experience. For some, theoretical learning is simply a good balance to their practical work.

Pro Tip: think more positively & live happier

A part-time course is particularly recommended if it is a good complement to the previously learned profession. After a commercial apprenticeship, a degree in business administration is an option. As an IT specialist, you can acquire additional skills by studying IT. And even in a social profession, you can improve your career opportunities by studying social work. Social, technical and economics courses are often offered on-the-job in both the Bachelor and Master programs. Other fields of study, such as the humanities, on the other hand, can rarely be studied part-time.

In many cases it is time-consuming and costly to pursue a completely new professional direction in addition to full-time employment, but it is still possible. However, if the course is protracted and involves a legal traineeship, as in teaching and law courses, you should think carefully beforehand whether you have the necessary discipline. If you want to embark on a new career path in less time and with less effort, retraining is the right thing for you. This is particularly recommended in the craft and social sectors, since in these professions studying and further training usually increase career opportunities in the same way.

In general, a distinction can be made between part-time and part-time studies. While the former is completed separately from the professional activity, the latter is integrated into the professional training. This type of study is also called dual study . The aim is to combine practice with theory. To do this, when you choose the training center, you are looking for a company that cooperates with a university so that training and studies can be combined well.

Studying part-time: What are the requirements?

Requirements for part-time studies

In order to be able to study part-time, you have to meet certain requirements, just like for a normal full-time degree. However, you have the advantage that there is no NC for many part-time courses, so you have a good chance of being accepted even with poor grades. However, for certain courses you have to pass aptitude tests such as the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or English tests such as the TOEFL test. Furthermore, you have to differentiate between Bachelor and Master programs:

Bachelor : In order to start a bachelor’s degree, you usually have to be able to prove that you have a general university entrance qualification. You can find out how you can catch up on your studies while you work. A subject-specific higher education entrance qualification is equivalent. A high school diploma is usually enough to start a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, a completed training is enough to gain access to a degree. Recognized qualifications are the business administrator, technician, master craftsman and business economist. There are some detours to start a bachelor’s degree if you take a university entrance examination beforehand. To do this, you also need to have completed and recognized vocational training and two years of professional experience.

Master : First and foremost, at the beginning of a master’s degree you have to prove that you have completed a first degree, i.e. you already have a bachelor’s degree. However, for a number of years there has been a regulation that several years of professional experience can replace this first degree. However, you still have to pass an aptitude test. A high school diploma is also still a requirement.

In addition to the formal requirements, there are also some personal characteristics that you should bring with you for a part-time study. In addition to your professional activity, you now have to integrate learning times and possibly also face-to-face events into your everyday life. This requires time management , discipline and perseverance. In addition, you should be able to motivate yourself again and again to avoid sagging. Always keep your goal in mind and be aware of the career boost that you will likely receive after completing your studies.

How you can finance part-time studies

Funding part time studies

Studying can be expensive, especially if you’re studying in a private institution. However, the costs vary considerably so that an accurate estimate cannot be made. In addition to tuition fees, there are also costs for learning materials, travel costs, examination fees and possibly even costs for a semester abroad. That can be a burden of several thousand euros a year, depending on the training facility. Tuition fees make up the largest share of this. In rare cases, you may have to take unpaid leave due to your studies, for example if you want to study for an exam or a lot of time is required. That too can cost you a lot of money.

So that you are not left with these costs alone, there are some financing options that you can take advantage of. You can save money, for example, by deducting your studies from tax as income-related expenses . To do this, you need the support of your employer, because he must make the advantages of your studies clear for the company. However, this only works if your studies are related to your previous occupation. The best way to support you in this case is a tax advisor.

There are also grants for part-time studies. However, the selection is much smaller than for full-time students. The Germany Scholarship, for example, is aimed at students with particularly good performance and supports them with 300 euros per month. In addition, you can receive up to 2,400 euros a year with the advancement grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is aimed specifically at people with work experience who are completing their first degree. Under certain conditions, part-time studies can also be carried out through the advanced training grant of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This scholarship only supports young people up to the age of 25, whose studies build on their previous professional activity. Among other things, costs for work equipment, travel costs and examination costs are covered.

Inform your employer about your planned studies. You are not legally obliged to do this, but it is helpful to be supported by your job. This support can be expressed in that you are released from overtime, you are taken into account when planning your vacation and study content is implemented in the company. Above all, a promised promotion after successfully completing your studies and a financial contribution towards the study costs can be a motivation booster. With the financial support of your employer, part of your financial burden will be relieved of you.

Part-time studies: what options are there?

There are several methods you can use to complete your part-time degree. These methods differ greatly in some areas, but are similar in other respects. Each method has certain advantages but also disadvantages. We introduce you to the different methods:

Distance learning

The distance learning program is particularly well suited for a part-time study, since you can divide your time freely to you. As a rule, there are little or no attendance times. So you can work on the learning material at home alone. That can be an advantage and a disadvantage, because you don’t have a direct contact person if you have any questions. The learning materials will be made available to you online or sent to you. In some cases, you can even write your exams online, saving you travel expenses. Many distance universities are also quite flexible with regard to the study models. In this way, you can tailor your studies to your individual needs.

Face-to-face study

Part Time Studies Face to Face LecturesThe part-time face-to-face study differs from the normal full-time study in that it combines elements of distance learning and attendance times. The attendance times usually take place on weekends and enable a personal component, while the e-learning units promise to be independent of location and time. However, you have to expect higher travel costs here, as you have to pay for travel and accommodation for the face-to-face events.

Evening study

The evening course is similar. Here face-to-face events are usually held in the evenings after work, so you should make sure that the facility is close to where you live. Block seminars on weekends are also often offered. In addition, many learning materials are also provided online so that the learning material can also be prepared at home. Because there are more face-to-face events, you have a lot of personal contact with your fellow students and lecturers. Direct inquiries are therefore not a problem.

Also a normal part-time study at a university, college or university of applied sciences is suitable as part-time study. As a rule, you will take half of the modules in the semester that are intended for full-time study. However, this also makes the course twice as long. For a Bachelor’s degree, the standard period of study is 12 semesters, whereas for a full-time degree it is only 6 semesters. This method differs from the other part-time study models in that you attend the same events as full-time students. This means that these take place at inconvenient times for many working people, usually between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. In addition, this method is only possible if you have an educational institution near your place of residence, as the learning material here is mainly conveyed in face-to-face events.Part-time studies at a normal educational institution are therefore often only possible if you can organize your working hours yourself.

Such are the chances of success

Working in a job and studying at the same time sounds difficult at first, but every year numerous students graduate alongside their job. Since the universities that specialize in part-time study adapt their teaching methods to the needs of working people, the failure rates are very low. Distance universities in particular shine with graduation rates of up to 96 percent. The relatively high costs are also a great incentive to finish your studies. We have put together dos and don’ts for you so that you too can master your studies:


  • Keep an eye on the costs : You will have to face some costs during your studies. It is important that you plan enough expenses in advance. The best thing to do is to write down all the upcoming costs for your studies in order to keep an overview. Calculate additional costs so that you do not run into financial bottlenecks later.
  • Inform those around you : It is also important to inform those around you about your plan. You not only need the support of your employer, but also your friends and family, so that they too can adjust to the fact that you will have less time for them in the future and that they can relieve you of some of your duties if necessary.
  • Create space for yourself : Your free time will likely be neglected in the future due to the double burden. Therefore, you should consciously create space for yourself to switch off. If you work all the time and don’t take time off on weekends or on vacation, you run the risk of burnout.


  • There is no communication with your lecturers and fellow students : It is easier to acquire the subject matter if you get support from your lecturers and fellow students. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to speak to your lecturers. You should also get in touch with your fellow students. Learning is much easier in a learning group, even if it only exists virtually.
  • You are not sufficiently concerned with your course content : A big mistake is to take the subject matter lightly. Take enough time to deal with the content. You should also read emails and comments from your lecturers carefully to stay up to date. Especially before exams, you should plan enough time to study.
  • You don’t create a job : In order to successfully complete your studies, you should get your own job at home. If you study in the living room, on the train or even at your workplace, you can easily be distracted. Better to sit at your desk at home to be productive. This works best if you plan in addition to fixed study times.

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