Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I haven't done it personally, but have known people to study similar courses.
Often the first year has a few general science units - such as biology, chemistry or specific basic animal things. These units can be pretty tedious, and can require a lot of study to a learn a lot of rather broad things. Second and third year units are generally better, not because they're easier (although often they can be) but because the subject matter can be a lot more interesting. Even if they require a lot of work, it can be easier as their often fewer but more focussed assessment pieces (although not always).
A lot of it is going to depend on how you study. Some can get by with very little, other need a lot. Some people would out a study plan and are very efficient and effective, where as others sometimes just wade through the material aimlessly and procrastinate. So its hard to give an estimate of workload, especially as each individual unit will be different.
I don't think distance education is inherently harder than any other, but all studying requires a lot of discipline. That's where I always fall apart.
You can always give it a go for a semester or two. The only thing I worry about is practicality of the degree. You're looking at CSU?