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Working at university

Working at university

Part-time work opportunities

Taking on some paid employment is not only good for your bank balance but can also help you gain valuable experience and skills which will look great on your CV. Remember that if you are getting a student loan from the UK government, they won't take into account any income you earn from part-time work.

Check out the tabs below for part-time work opportunities.

You may find that working during vacations can help you to build up some savings or reduce your overdraft so you have additional funds available during term time. Try local shops, bars or restaurants for job opportunities. Local tourist attractions may also be looking for staff to help out during busy holiday periods.

If you already have a job in a chain restaurant or shop in your home town, why not see if you can transfer your contract to a branch near the university? Alternatively, you could see whether it is possible for you to have a vacation contract to allow you to return to work during vacation periods.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The Government specifies a minimum amount that workers can be paid through the National Minimum Wage (school leaving age - 20 inclusive) and National Living Wage (aged 21 or over). The minimum wage rates for the April 2024 - April 2025 tax year are:

  • £8.60 per hour for workers aged 18-20 (National Minimum Wage)
  • £11.44 per hour for workers aged 21 or over (National Living Wage)

You can use the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage Calculator For Workers to work out if you are being paid correctly with regards to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and whether you have been underpaid previously. For more information about who is and who isn't entitled to National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, please see the webpage, The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - Who gets the minimum wageLink opens in a new window.

If you think you are not being paid the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage but are entitled to it then please see the webpage, The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - Workers disputes over minimum wageLink opens in a new window. You can also seek support with this, and other employment-related rights from the Student Union Advice Centre:

Please note, Apprentice National Minimum Wage rates are different and more information about rates can be found at the webpage, Become an apprentice - What you'll get.Link opens in a new window

Income Tax and National Insurance

Students who work whilst studying are still liable to pay income tax and national insurance contributions.

Remember, if you are leaving a job you should receive a P45 form from your employer, which must be given to your next employer. If you are employed on 5th April, you will be given a P60 which summarises earnings and tax and National Insurance deductions.

For more student-specific information about Income Tax and National Insurance (including information about working abroad), check out the webpage, Student jobs: paying tax. You might also like to check out the Low Incomes Tax Reforms Group's guide to Student Tax.Link opens in a new window

VISA Restrictions

If you are an international student looking for work opportunities, you will have to consider additional factors, such as whether the work meets your VISA restrictions. The Immigration and Compliance team at the university has put together an informative webpage, Employment during and after your studies, which outlines important information including:

  • What type of work you can and cannot do
  • The number of hours you can work
  • What happens if you break your restrictions
  • National Insurance and income tax

If you have any queries regarding working as an international student, you can contact the Immigration and ComplianceLink opens in a new window team.

Manage Your Time, Expectations and Wellbeing

It's important when trying to maximise your income that you don’t do this to the detriment of your mental health and wellbeing. Only take on as much part-time work as you can manage, remember that you need time to relax as well as work on your degree. Save the Student have created a good article about How to balance a job and study at university.

You may also find that you are being pressured to make money to send home to family and friends, but you should prioritise yourself and ensure you have enough money first before sending money to others or putting yourself under pressure to earn more.

Financial worries can impact mental health and wellbeing and so it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you are struggling there is support available from the University's Wellbeing and Student SupportLink opens in a new window portal. Here you can access help and support from the Wellbeing team, as well as find an abundance of Self-help ResourcesLink opens in a new window. The Wellbeing team have also put together a list of Emergency ContactsLink opens in a new window in case you require them in an urgent situation. If your mental health and wellbeing are impacting your studies, it is also a good idea to reach out to your personal tutor as they can also support you.