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Working Part-Time at University

Working Part-Time at University

Working Part-Time at University

You may find that working part-time while attending university is what you need to keep you afloat during your time studying. But you will need to learn how to manage your work and your studying at university before you decide to take on a job of any kind. Student loans and student grants are a Godsend when attending university, and even though the first day of term when they enter your bank account you feel like the richest student to walk the Earth they don’t stretch that far. We have some top tips to help you make that decision.

Where you want to work

If you commute to university then a job in your local town or by where you live may be a better choice than afar. If you commute to London you need to think about whether you would want to make the extra journeys there for work and consider the travel costs. When working closer to home can have the benefits of late nights, extra overtime and be able to just go straight home after a hard shift at work.

Working the hours that suit you

If you attend university at day or night you need to make sure the job offers the right hours that suit your lifestyle. If you want to go out with your university friends every Friday and Saturday night then working all day Sunday may not be so easy after a few months. You need to make sacrifices to the working days and hours you want to do and what you want to do in your free time to make it fit in.

Check the number of hours you will spend at university

Use our course finder to search the course(s) you are thinking about applying for. Once you have found the course you can scroll down and see the percentage and time you will spend physically at university attending classes or lectures. This will give you a guide to how much time you will be at university for. After this, you can think about how much studying you want to do in your spare time on top of this, and then you can see how much time you will have spare and ideally how many hours you can work.

Juggling work and study

Working more than 20 hours a week and attending full-time university will prove to be very hard and probably show in your studies and health. If you are going to have a busy time ahead with coursework deadlines and a busy time working at Christmas then write important dates in your diary so you can plan when to get them done in enough time instead of stressing a couple of days before and pulling all-nighters.

What if I am on placement?

Some degrees, like Nursing degrees, will share the university timetable with placements. This means that you will spend some of your time working in the environment of the job instead of spending it at university. Working whilst attending placements can be difficult, especially if your placement can last up to one year. Check how long your placement is, and the number of hours you will be attending a week. If it is a full-time placement (the same as working a full-time job) then this will be extremely difficult and impossible to do! Unless you don’t need sleep! If you are thinking about a degree with a time-consuming placement involved you need to prepare for the costs and effects it will have on your budget and financial situation.

How much will you earn?

Depending on the pay, you won’t be earning a six-figure salary – and with the reduced part-time hours – nothing close to it. You need to work out how much you will earn for working the hours you do and if it balances. If it costs a lot to travel there and you have to buy lunch then how much will you take back every day? Is it worth taking out the time from your studies for a little bit extra every month?

Will it affect my loan?

No. If you attending a full-time course your loans would have been worked out with your parents’ income. This means what you earn will not affect your loans for the next term or year. However, if you earn over a certain amount you will be taxed normally and this may hurt.

What job should I look for?

If you just want a job to tie you over each month and to get out of the halls once in a while, then local opportunities and retail may suit you well. Unless you have a desired career path and wish to start from the bottom and work your way up, it is okay to not have a career-driven or an amazing job. But it proves helpful!

Remember that university is important and should take priority alongside your health and wellbeing and that you shouldn’t work more hours than you can cope with or start letting it affect your studies.

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