Advice on Course Selection

Distance Learning Students Course Enrolment   Advice on Course Selection  

Advice on Course Selection

As a distance learning student, you have the flexibility to manage your own study pace.

If you are a new student studying a distance learning programme, we advise you to start with a course at pre-foundation or foundation level under the 5-credit system or at 1000-level under the 3-credit-unit system. Courses at these levels are designed to help you re-establish good study habits. Most of the University’s course materials and set books are also available for reference in the University’s Library and at some public libraries.

You should make reference to the respective programme regulations each time before course enrolment to ensure that sufficient and appropriate credits are obtained to fulfill the programme requirements.

Usually, the course registration periods for different terms are:

Autumn term: June to July
Spring term: November to December
Summer term: April to May

Some programmes/courses may have a different schedule due to available quotas.

Study Load

New students and students entering distance learning programmes for the first time can register for courses with a total maximum registration value of 15 (under the 5-credit system) or 12 (under the 3-credit-unit system). For continuing students, the maximum registration value is 30 and 24 respectively.

The registration value of a course is the credit value of the course divided by the number of terms it takes to complete. It is an indication of a student’s study load. For example, under the 5-credit system, a 20-credit course of two terms’ duration has a registration value of 10, while a 5-credit course of one term’s duration has a registration value of 5; under the 3-credit-unit system, a 18-credit-unit course of two terms’ duration has a registration value of 9, while a 3-credit-unit course of one term’s duration has a registration value of 3.

Prior approval is required from the Dean of the School concerned in order to exceed these limits.

Study Period

With the exception of programmes being phased-out, most of our distance learning programmes set no restrictions on how long you can take to complete your qualification. If you wish, you may take a break of any length after completing a course, and resume your study in a future term.

Under the 5-credit system, if you study for the maximum of 15 registration value in the first term, and 20 registration value in the following terms, the approximate time you would need to obtain a 120-credit ordinary degree would be three and a half years (the time would be shorter if you achieve advanced standing/credit exemption/study through pathway). In general, you are expected to study between 30 to 40 hours a week for a 20-registration-value study load. This would be similar to being a full-time student. For students who may have full-time jobs, they may tend to spread the study load for a degree over a period of five to six years.

Under the 3-credit-unit system, if you study for the maximum of 12 registration value in the first term, and 15 registration value in the following terms, the approximate time you would need to obtain a 90-credit-unit ordinary degree would be three and a half years (the time would be shorter if you achieve advanced standing/credit exemption/study through pathway). In general, you are expected to study between 30 to 40 hours a week for a 15-registration-value study load. This would be similar to being a full-time student. For students who may have full-time jobs, they may tend to spread the study load for a degree over a period of five to six years.