University of London Singapore SIM part time programme : Juggling work and studies

Has anyone ever wondered how it feels like to juggle work and studies, especially when you’re a working adult, trying your best to complete your studies within the shortest possible time period? I’ve experienced it, and I would say that it is not an easy feat.


I’m sure  most working adults will agree with me that we do not have the luxury to study as and when we would like to with a full time job to handle; not forgetting the interpersonal relationships to maintain. With all that, it is more than enough to make us busy to the extent where we won’t have anymore “self” time.

I was once a part-time student, studying in University of London International Programme, which was an Overseas Programme that Global SIM has established. My first thought when I enrolled into that school was that passing seems easy (just 34 marks), and I could finish my degree within 3 years with an honors. But I was so wrong. I was working with an IT firm, and I thought that I could study on my own without heading for any classes, but my first year results proved otherwise. My 2nd year proved more so to me. I realized even if I go for classes, I could not score as well as the full-time students. That is even though I took a 2 month leave from work just to do last minute revisions.

So, how does one actually balance work and studies at the same time? Here’s my tip after going through 2 years of trial and error, and of course managing to graduate in my 3rd year.

1.  Most UOL part-time students would always encounter this, which is “no time to attend classes due to work”.
I can totally understand this as I also do miss my lessons when I had urgent work to do. Do make friends within the lecture hall, and get them to help you do a recording of the lesson, and in return you could do the same for them. At least through this way, you will know what is going in.

2.  Full-time lecturers in UOL are way much better than part-time lecturers.
I have encountered this, and I think the students who took POA and Introduction to Economics in Global SIM would know who are must to go lecturers. I know that Ms. Chu only teaches full-time students, so if you could get your hands on her notes, do get it. You can get it through forums such as HWZ (there is a special forum for SIM-UOL people), and ask them for the tips. As for Introduction to Economics, I feel that the full time lecturers are so much better, so if possible, get their notes, and crash their lesson once (take a half day leave) so that you will know the difference between the full-time and part-time lecturers.

3.  When should I start my revisions?
My suggestion is that once you start your lessons, do make short notes so that you can remember things quickly. Cramming your one whole year of syllabus at the very last minute is very taxing to the brain, and you could forget some things while memorizing others.

4.  I do not have time to study at all!
This all depends on your time management. Do get some friends to study with you together on weekends, and share with them your concerns not only in studies but also at work! Most part-time students will find it real hard to study on their own, and it would be easier if you have friends to study so that you can discuss things together to make it even easier to understand.

5.  I will only rely on the lecturers’ notes
This is a big no-no. The exam focuses on the guidebook, which UOL sends to you every year. If you have yet to receive it, you could download them online, and borrow them from the school library.

6.  Preparing for exams
Before the prelims, always gear yourself up and ready by doing past year papers. But, do not do it at the very last minute. Instead, do it when you are freshly taught on a certain topic, because by doing so, the things still remain fresh in your memory.

Advantage with a textbook

I think what’s most important to juggle between work and studies is time management. Do not cram everything at one go, because it is really tiring, and you will get really frustrated when nothing goes into your head. So always start as early as possible to make sure you’re prepared!

I hope that this article would serve well to not only the part-time students in SIM-UOL, but also to the full-time students!

All the best in your studies!

From: eveychua
(ex-graduate from SIM-UOL)