How to help your child find the right balance between work and study | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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How to help your child find the right balance between work and study

For many university students, working part-time is a necessity to cover living expenses, including having a social life. However, finding the right balance between work and study is crucial to academic success and overall wellbeing. If your child is wondering how they should balance their part-time job with university, our tips below may help you to guide them with their decision making.

How many hours to allocate for work and study

The amount of time your child spends on their university study can vary depending on their course load. The general guideline suggests that full-time students should dedicate around 40 hours per week (roughly 10 hours per course or subject) to their study, comprising of in-class, online, private study and assessments. UniSC students learn through a range of materials that are relevant and more meaningful to conveying the learning outcomes, including podcasts, interviews, simulations, screencasts, recorded discussions and formative quizzes, along with some lectures and seminars. Factoring in travel time to and from campus, it becomes evident that students already have the workload of a full-time job, so full-time students should consider limiting work hours to around 10-15 hours per week.

Assess financial needs

Your child should calculate their monthly expenses, including rent, groceries, transportation, and other essentials. Determine how much income they need to cover these expenses and prioritise finding a balance that meets their financial needs without compromising their academic performance. Encourage your child to seek financial support from their university. UniSC’s scholarships and bursaries can provide the support your child needs to achieve their full potential through study. Scholarships are awarded to students based on a variety of factors, from equity to regional scholarships, so it’s worthwhile submitting the application form to see if your child is eligible for assistance.

Evaluate time management skills

Your child should consider their ability to manage their time effectively. Some students may be able to handle a heavier workload, while others may find it challenging to balance work and study commitments. Encourage them to think carefully about their capacity to take on additional responsibilities and remind them that their primary goal as a university student is to succeed academically. Taking on too many work hours could impact their ability to attend classes, complete assignments, and study for exams. Your child always has the option of reducing their study load, but they’ll need to keep in mind that this will lengthen the time it takes them to complete their studies.

Seek support and guidance

Encourage your child to seek advice from the university’s support services. UniSC’s Student Success Advisers connect current students with resources and services to support them and their studies, including things like how to balance uni and life and dealing with unexpected circumstances. They can also ready out to Careers Advisers, who can provide guidance based on your child’s individual circumstances and help them make informed decisions about their workload.


Finding the right balance between work and study is a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors, including your child’s course load, financial needs, time management skills and academic goals. By carefully assessing these factors and seeking support when needed, you child can better determine how much they should work while studying full-time to achieve academic success and maintain your well-being.

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