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How long does the NEBOSH Diploma take to complete?

How long does the NEBOSH Diploma take to complete?

18 June 2019

It's no secret that people are living busier lives. Time is precious and we all like to get things done quickly so that we can spend more time doing the things we enjoy. Unfortunately, some things can't be rushed, and developing new skills is one of them.

To pass your NEBOSH Diploma you'll need to be motivated and committed. You're going to have to find time to study around work and day-to-day activities, and sometimes you'll have to sacrifice the time you spend on things you enjoy.

That said, one of the great things about the NEBOSH Diploma is its flexibility. So although there are a number of recommended study hours, it's up to you how you complete them.

Recommended Study Hours

NEBOSH recommends between 466 - 500 study hours to complete the required learning. This is broken down into ‘taught hours’ and ‘private study’ hours. 

Taught Learning Hours

There course has a minimum of 226 - 243 taught hours. These are the hours spent learning new concepts through an online course or in a classroom.

Online courses are the most flexible. They’ll contain all of the study material you need to fulfil the required hours of study, but when you actually study them is up to you. Ideally you’ll need to spend 1-2 hours a day studying, and more on the weekend. If you can’t factor in that time, it may take you longer to feel confident enough to sit your exams.

Most course providers will give you a limit as to how long you have access to your course materials for, so make sure you check with them before you purchase.

Classroom taught hours are usually spread out across 6 weeks over the course of 12-18 months. Each classroom day will last approximately 8 hours.

Self-study Hours

You’re recommended to spend 240 - 256 hours carrying out your own private study. Private study hours are the recommended number of hours you should spend doing additional research and background reading around a topic.

These private study hours are essential to build the amount of knowledge needed to pass the exams. It involves everything from reading journals, whitepapers and websites, to attending webinars and watching videos.

With an online course, you’ll find all the additional resources you need to carry out this research. It’ll contain links to useful websites, journals, videos, and activities for you to practice what you’ve learnt.

With classroom courses, you’ll be given a set of course materials which you can take away and read through. Your tutor will be able to guide you as to where you can find additional resources, however you’ll have to go and retrieve it yourself.


NEBOSH allows you 5 years to successfully complete the NEBOSH Diploma once you have passed the first unit you take. Whether you take your course online or in a classroom, you’ll have to sit three 3-hour written exams in an exam centres. Exams are held twice a year, in the 3rd full week of January and June. Due to the amount of content in each unit, we always recommend that you focus on sitting 1 exam at a time. 

You’ll want to give yourself the best possible chance of passing your NEBOSH Diploma exams, so you’ll need to factor in time for your revision, too. Remember, your nearest exam centre may not be close to you, so you’ll also need to consider travel time and the time off work needed to sit your exams.

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