Balancing your work and studies

Many of you look for paid work to help with your course and living costs.

It can be a great idea, as long as it doesn't take up too much of your study time.

Why work?

  • More money for the essentials.
  • To reduce borrowing/debts.
  • A more active social life.
  • Plus you'll gain extra skills you can mention on your CV.

Make sure you get the balance right

  • Don't take on too much – it's not worth getting too tired or under pressure on your course.
  • Most course providers recommend you don't work more than 15 hours a week.
  • Make sure the job's flexible around your lecture timetable etc.

Find the right job

  • See if your course provider has info on good jobs to get while you study – maybe on-campus jobs at open days or in the Students' Union or library.
  • Check Job Centre Plus too, or employment agencies and job adverts online and in newspapers.
  • You might find something on student jobsites like e4s or Student Job.
  • Retail's a popular choice because it has the most flexibility for part-time workers.
  • Try something like admin, IT, bars or restaurants, telesales or market research.

Whatever you go for make sure it's a safe place to work. And if it's a large company, you might want to check if you'd be able to work in your home town during the holidays too.

Check the tax details

The amount you'll be earning while you are a student might mean you won't get taxed at all.

  • Each tax year (6 April – 5 April the following year) you can earn an amount of income you don't have to pay tax on.
  • This is your personal allowance, and with just a part-time job you might be under the limit – so no tax!
  • Also, as a student you shouldn't be taxed on grants, scholarships, bursaries, research awards or housing benefit – and they won't count as any of your personal allowance either.

More info from HM Revenue & Customs