Discover Studying Abroad

How to earn money while you're studying in the UK

Parties, living expenses, travel the pennies add up quickly when you are an international student. Here are some tips to help you earn some extra cash while on a student visa.
BY Sylvia Nankivell |   15-09-2017
Working at a tech help desk (photo by Teaching and Learning with Technology, used under CC license)

It can be useful to have a bit of spare cash while studying at university. Life as a student in the UK can be expensive. From weekend-long parties to lengthy book lists, to trips and balls and society fees, the pennies of university life really add up. The great news is there are plenty of jobs out there to help with the strain. Read ahead to find about more about earning money as a student in the UK.

Good things come to those who wait (photo by Alan Light, used under CC license)

Part-time job

If you’re living and studying the UK, and you have the right type of working visa, you can get a part time job. Research shows that at least one-third of students work while at university. One of the most popular jobs, requiring little responsibility and experience, is being a waiter or waitress. University cities commonly have centres full of restaurants, hotels, and cafes perfect for student employees. You are usually required to work evenings and weekends, making shifts easy to schedule around your studies.

By getting a part-time or zero-hour contract, you have more control over how much you work. When you really need that extra money, ask for more shifts. When you have deadlines coming up, tell your boss in advance that you need less work. To find a job, try printing off CVs and giving them in to places around town. Look on job search sites like Indeed, Reed or Total Jobs, or those catering to students like e4s. Alternatively, check out more local sources like university boards and nearby job centres.

Students working online (photo by James, used under CC license)

Online Work

If you’re not a fan of customer service, online work is a great option. You don’t need to travel anywhere, deal with annoying customers or even leave the comfort of your room. By getting online work, you can make extra money with more flexibility and freedom than a typical job. All you need is a laptop, free time and enough motivation to work for yourself.

Many people promote tutoring as a great way for students to make money. It allows you to put all that left over A-Level knowledge to good use. By teaching college and GCSE students, you can earn money and keep on top of your own academia. You can gain valuable teaching experience and actually enjoy a job you’re good at, discussing the subject you study at university. 

Especially if you’re good at IT, have creative skills or are a quick typist, freelancing is a great option for students. The work is flexible, continuous and can pay well if you find the right work. Joining freelancing website like Guru, Upwork or Freelancer is a good start. Then you can start to make money on your laptop. Search around for the perfect fit; whether it’s content writing, website design or creating artwork.

Check out these tips from Student Money Saver about making money online, covering all those secret ways to make money that others might forget about.

Library help desk (photo by European University Institute, used under CC license)

Student Jobs

Student jobs can be a great way to gain experience related to your degree. Studying English Literature? Check if any jobs are available in the library. Studying biology? Take an assistant’s job in the research labs. Studying politics? Work as a student ambassador. Studying drama? Work at the campus theatre. You can even get full-time work as a member of the student guild or unions. Every year, universities elect a president and various other roles to represent students. They pay a salary, give great, professional work experience and can be a great way to spend your time following graduation.

However, if you need that extra cash urgently while still studying, consider other on-campus jobs like working in a café, the student pub or union clubs. You can usually get decent pay and student-friendly hours. It can be helpful to have an employer who knows that your studies come first, one of the benefits of working at the university itself. Plus it’s easier in general; you are closer to lectures, closer to the library and come up to campus all the time anyway – why not throw in a couple of work hours while you’re there?

So make the most of your UK university experience – find a job, gain experience and fund those student stories!

More money-saving tips for international students:
How to budget for your expenses as an international student
How to convince a bank to give you a study loan
Financing your education abroad
How to get a scholarship to study abroad
$6 million in undergraduate scholarships available for 70 students
Need-based scholarships for Indians applying to study in the UK
Up to 20% drop in tuition fees for international students in the UK


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