Deciding whether to pursue further education in a full or part time capacity is a big decision and the ultimate choice can be made for a whole variety of reasons.

Depending on the circumstances of the individual involved, both avenues can be beneficial and saying that one way is better than the other is impossible without considering everything.

Of course, some disciplines work better in a full time setting but when it comes to fashion and design courses it is really down to what best fits the individual as to how they should go about choosing the length of their studies.

Full time courses

The obvious main advantage for choosing to study full time is that the qualification can be achieved in a shorter time. There is also the feeling that with such an intensive workload in a relatively small period, students will be taking more in and surrounding themselves in their subject. Whether it is textiles, graphic design or fine art, being immersed in the subject means that an individual is less likely to be distracted by outside interests.

However, opting for a full time course can have its downsides as well. Due to the everyday nature of the course, any students wanting to work and earn money at the same time may find it very hard to combine the two. Some visas and grants only apply to full time courses but having the opportunity to study in a longer period could really benefit some people who have different lifestyles to the stereotypical 18-year-old undergraduate.

Part time options

For anyone who either needs to work, or just wants to spread out the course of their study, choosing a part time course in any of the fashion or design disciplines can seem a happy halfway house. A greater percentage of part time students are older, and the main reason is that they have more things going on in their lives and perhaps cannot devote all their time to a full time course. And it is not as if potential employers look down on students who have completed their studies on a part time basis. In fact, it can sometimes be seen as the sign of a more rounded individual who has more life skills to go along with their qualification.

However, there are inevitably also downsides to choosing part time education over full time studies. Apart from taking longer for an individual to graduate there is the complex nature of juggling responsibilities. Not being able to concentrate on one thing might not be for everyone. Time management is not everyone’s strong suit after all.

The best of both worlds

To have the best chance of working out the correct option, potential students should consider institutions such as Bolton University who offer a wide variety of courses on a full and part time basis. Many of the subjects—including a degree in Graphic Design and Photography, or Textiles and Surface Design—are available in both formats. Having the ability to cater a course to an individual’s personal needs gives much more choice and freedom to anyone wanting to pursue these kinds of studies. Being able to gain valuable work experience in the fashion industry too could be the pathway to future employment.

What works best

When it comes down to it, an individual will decide what is best for them depending on their own unique circumstances. Whether it is full or part time education, being able to pursue their dreams is the most important part and in the end the result will still be the same whichever way is chosen.