UCL Careers


Part-time work while studying

Are you wondering where to start and what to consider when it comes to finding part-time work while studying? Find out how to gain essential skills and balance your time while earning some extra cash.


15 September 2022

At the beginning of the academic year, we’re often asked about how to find part-time work. Doing some paid work while studying is useful, not just to help your wallet, but also so you can learn some additional skills and help your CV. It’s great to be able to demonstrate to employers at the end of your degree that you’ve got, for example, excellent communication and teamwork skills from your job at a café, but also you can balance your commitments and time too.

Where to start

There are many jobs on campus, so keep checking the Student Union Jobshop for opportunities, including jobs in UCL bars, cafes and gym, and casual work for student ambassadors (see more on this later) will be here too. Other local employers also advertise here, so it’s a great place to start. You can also look at UCL’s main job website for other part-time work – you might find jobs in the lab or the library, for example.

For jobs outside of UCL, your first point of call should be the myUCLCareers jobs board – this is the main job site that employers are encouraged to use when recruiting UCL students and recent graduates. You can filter opportunities by keyword, occupational area, job type and location. It is also useful to register for daily or weekly vacancy updates by email based on your preferences. There are not just part-time opportunities advertised here, but also paid internships, which are great for boosting your skillset, knowledge of a given sector, and look great on a CV. These will often be flexible positions that can be arranged around your studies and are usually paid. You can also look out for Student Ambassador roles on this platform – these are incredibly flexible positions where you let other students know about a brand or employer (sometimes also for the university itself), through social media or in person, and can be fairly well-paid. We see a lot of these roles being advertised in the Autumn Term, but they are available all year round.

Other websites to check are Student Job, Just Student Jobs and e4s, all of which are great for part-time work of interest to students. Many UCL temp jobs are advertised through Unitemps – set up a profile and look for short-term roles around campus, or at one of the other London universities close by. You could also register with a recruitment agency, such as Reed or Hays, and let them know you’re only available for part-time hours. You’re studying in the busiest city in the UK, so check with staff at local shops and establishments to see if they’re recruiting – there are thousands of supermarkets, bars, restaurants, gyms and so on that are looking for staff but it’s not always signposted which is why it’s always good to ask personally. Make sure you’ve got a copy of a recent CV with you in case! You could also consider signing up to be on market research panels or to become a mystery shopper for some additional casual work.

Many students take on tutoring jobs around their studies. There are various online platforms you can join (search for “tutoring jobs for university students”) and you can set the number of hours you want to work and the education level you’d like to work at. You’ll sometimes see people advertising by posting notices up on noticeboards around campus too.

There will also be seasonal work around Christmas and summer, especially in retail and hospitality, so you could look for temp work, either in London or at home, depending where you’re likely to be. Start looking for these jobs a month or so early (November, and May/June) to be in the running.

What else to consider

You will need to be careful to balance your studies and part-time work. It is recommended that you do no more than 15 hours of paid work a week so you have enough time to focus on your studies and not to exhaust yourself. If you are finding yourself struggling with essay deadlines, revision or energy levels then consider cutting back how many hours of paid work you’re doing, or review your time management by making sure you’re putting aside enough time to work effectively on university work.

You will also need to make sure that you’re working legally. If you’re an International student, then your visa is likely to have restrictions on how much paid work you can do – Tier 4/Student visa holders are usually only permitted to work (paid or unpaid) up to 20 hours during term time. See the UCL International Student Support page for more details. You will also need to make sure that you’re paying the right amount of tax on your earnings and that you’ve got a National Insurance Number – if you’re born in the UK you should have been sent this automatically but if you’re an EU or International student you will need to register for one.

You should also know your rights as an employee – you are entitled to the National Minimum wage, statutory minimum levels of paid holiday, breaks and so on, so it’s always worth educating yourself to avoid exploitation.

If you have questions, from how to write a CV or application, to how to find part-time work, please book an appointment to see one of our advisors.

What to do if you’re still struggling

UCL offers some schemes to students who are facing financial difficulties, such as financial assistance funds, short term loans, support for research students who’ve had their funding interrupted and so on. You can also speak to a student funding advisor who can give you some specialist advice. Explore the UCL Funding website for more details – there’s many ways that UCL can help you so don’t despair on your own.