Education Frustration

As a university student, I often find myself becoming overwhelmed with the vast amount of study that is required for my course. Every spare moment I get becomes consumed with reading and studying and working on assignments. As a full time student, there isn’t a day that goes by where catching up on uni work isn’t on my agenda. Is every other university student in the same boat as me?

Just recently, I’m finding myself becoming increasingly curious as to how long students actually spend at university each week. I personally only have 12 hours of classes (which does feel like about 67 hours I must admit), but is this the average for every student studying full time, or does it depend entirely upon which course they are studying? Furthermore, is there a correlation between hours spent at university and the difficulty of one’s course?

I have chosen to further research this topic to gain insight into the university attendance requirements of students. The question I have chosen for my research project is; “on average, how many hours do students spend at university each week?” This question will focus on the time spent in a physical classrooms by full-time university students studying various courses. I also intend to determine whether there is a link between hours spent in class and the difficulty of one’s studies, for example, a creative arts student may spend less time at university than a mechanical engineering student would.


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My research will focus on a small sample of students from the University of Wollongong but will examine students from a number of different courses. I intend to engage in primary research by using online surveys and in-person interviews with students at the University of Wollongong. I will be interviewing numerous students from different faculties to determine whether students undertaking more difficult courses spend more hours per week in university classrooms. I also intend to carry out secondary academic research to offer a comparison to my findings, with statistics and information from previous investigations. I will be presenting my results for each faculty as separate figures then also presenting a figure for the average amount of hours spent in class by University students as a whole. This will allow me to show the link between the course type and the hours spent at university by students taking that particular degree.

In my preliminary research I have come across various articles that will be of great use in my research project. A British study shows that University students are only spending an average of 13 hours per week in classrooms (Shepherd, 2012). Could this figure be the same for students at the University of Wollongong? This study will beneficial to me as a comparative investigation that I can link to my own findings as I engage in my primary research.

Another article I came across that is interesting to note, found on the UOW website, stated that for each hour of face-to-face classes i.e. lectures and tutorials, a student is required to do 3 hours of extra study in their own time (University of Wollongong, 2016). Meaning for myself, I not only have to go to university for 12 hours per week, but am also required to do 36 hours of study per week on top of that. What does this mean for students who spend more time in face-to-face classes?

As I continue to research and investigate my topic I will gain more insight into my whether my question is appropriate or whether I need to reconsider my topic. I will also learn whether I have chosen the correct research methods to provide me with the answers I need in relation to my question. Overall, I aim to gain a greater understanding of the attendance requirements of university students and whether the difficulty of one’s course determines this.


University of Wollongong 2016, Mature Aged Students, University of Wollongong Australia, viewed 24 March 2016

Shepherd, J 2012, ‘University student spend no more time with lecturers than six years ago’, The Guardian, 17 May, viewed 24 March 2016



3 thoughts on “Education Frustration

  1. First off an excellent start to what looks to be a promising and informative research project. On my own initial research of your topic/question I found this resource that you might find useful: (
    This reading is a report constructed out of results from an Australasian Student Experience Survey, hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). It shows key statistics based on a sample result from undergraduate students from 35 Universities across Australia. It details that in 2009 ‘students (spent) 17 hours per week on average on Campus’. You could use this information either as a basis for researching updated information, or furthermore as a comparison to the results of your research project.
    One suggestion that may come as useful when furthering your research, is streamline your intentions into the one question, for example you mention the correlation between different degrees and average hours spent in classes. If that’s where your curiosity lies then it will be far easier for you to focus your question on that and have the average hours in total as supplementary data. This however is entirely up to you.
    Overall you are on the right track and this blog is and always has been informative and insightful and I look forward to following your research journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great topic, that data collected should be easy to quantify and the results/outcome of your research will be clear.

    I found this article which directly relates to your topic;

    It also talks about time spent working as well. This could be a factor you could also bring into consideration. If they are at university for said hours, what are they doing with their other available time? Just something to consider.

    It would be interesting to see the hours spent by students doing ‘professional degrees’ (Engineering, law, teaching, nursing, etc.). I imagine the hours spent by those students to be three times the amount that you do.. Maybe make a point of it?

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d be really happy to see this project completed without adding the significant variable of different degrees. I think you could focus just on one degree, and not seek to generalise to university students as a whole, simply because you have small space to do this in. Better to dive in deep with this cohort, and think carefully about how their pattern of engagement might map onto expectations of work in media & communications professions. Is there a high expectation of self-management or freelancing in these careers? I do also think Jack and Taner are right to get you thinking about existing datasets, and also about correlating with how much time students spend in paid employment. There is a primary time conflict between these two areas of student activity (full-time study and full-time work), and the result is increasing levels of stress.

    Liked by 1 person

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