Outside of your first few weeks at University you might find that contact hours are relatively low and the expectation is that you engage in a lot of self-study, in between your more structured contact hours at University.
We recently surveyed hundreds of our international students and 70% of respondents had less than 14 hours of lectures and seminars per week. 16% of these had just 4-6 hours of contact time per week, while at the other end of the spectrum a mere 8% had more than 25 hours per week of contact hours. This means that for many courses completing undergraduate studies does require quite a lot of self-motivation.
How to use your free time?
Even if you are studying hard, these limited contact hours are going to leave you a reasonable amount of free time. In our recent survey we discovered that after income from parents, money from working part time was the second most important source of funding for international students.
The amount of hours you are able to work will normally be included on your biometric visa. Generally if you are studying for a degree, this will be around 20 hours per week during term time http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Working/How-many-hours-can-you-work
The majority of students that we surveyed (just over 60%) worked between 2 and 16 hours per week. Only around 15% worked towards the upper limit of hours. The majority of these respondents worked in hospitality and leisure. The key advantage of gaining some work experience alongside studying is that it builds a more rounded CV or resume to present to potential employers when you graduate.