Part-time work

Most students have a part-time job and some even have two. Some students work during term-time, others only work in the holidays.

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“I mainly work on Music Applicant Days, which involves giving campus tours and directing people around the department to their interviews. I also write articles for the Goldsmiths Student Blog.”

Earning money is just one of the benefits of having a job, it also adds structure to your week, enables you to meet people outside university, and enables you to gain work-based skills.

Finding a job

If you currently work for a large employer (e.g. Tesco, IKEA, Next, Superdrug), you may be able to transfer to a store/branch near your university.

If you’re looking for a new job, most universities will have a jobs fair during Fresher’s Week where you can meet employers, job agencies, and find out about the many part-time admin, hospitality and events-based jobs available at the university itself and the Students’ Union. During the year, vacancies are advertised to students either through the careers service, a Job Shop (based in Careers or the Students’ Union) or via university emails.

If you’ve moved away to university, check the location of any employer in relation to campus and to your term time address. How will you get to work (car or public transport)? What is the journey time? How much will the journey cost? In London, students sometimes accept jobs because an employer is near a tube station – but that station is 90 minutes’ travel time from their student home! Be aware of your working hours – is it an early start or a late finish? If so, how will you travel to/from work safely?

Be aware of how a job fits around your study and social commitments. For example, most sports clubs compete on a Wednesday afternoon and then have a social on Wednesday evening. If you enjoy football and play for one of the university’s teams, you would want to avoid a job that involves regularly working on a Wednesday night.

Hours of work and rates of pay

During term time, students should not work more than 16 hours per week and, depending on your course, it can be advisable to work fewer hours. In the run-up to exam time, you may want a job where you can reduce your hours to give you more time for revision and finishing essays and assignments. Your course may have work-based modules or a work placement and you may need to amend your part-time job to fit around this commitment.

The hourly rate of pay will vary depending on your employer and the type of work you do. In London, many employers pay the London Living Wage (£13.15 per hour).