The Student Room Group

working whilst at university

Hey!

Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?

thanks in advance
Hi. I'm a Music Graduate who graduated from Cardiff University a few years ago and worked alongside my studies. I found it quite managable with Music degree as contact time was only 9 hours or so a week, but am aware that for other courses (Medicine for instance) it's a lot harder, so factor that in. At Cardiff there was a Job-Shop (it would be worth checking if your SU has something similar) that I signed up for who send out emails for jobs (first come, first served usually) and picked up some shifts there; quite a variety of work from warehouse picking to modelling for University publications!

The most common source of employment for students is working as Student Ambassadors on open days. This mainly involves giving tours, meet and greet, and acting as a mobile signpost at the train stations. All fun work and helps to bring in the pennies, and it shouldn't be to hard to get a shift covered if you have a deadline looming.

Sixteen hours sounds like a lot but should of managable if your only concern is work and studying, it might be hard to find time to get fully involved in the full university life, do you play sports/music/hiking, how's you're health etc,, but you'll know you're own limits best! For context as a music student we have sixteen hours of rehearsal per week, and it ended up feeling like I lived there, and only there. Also it would be worth finding a part time job that is at least semi related to your career aspirations. Coffee shop work is great but it in an ideal world it would also give you some useful experience to take forward.

I guess for psychology it would be worth checking part time library jobs and roles in your department as these would be ideal. As I'm sure you know Universities often pay for gunnie pigs for lab experimentations so keep your eyes skimmed on the university notice boards for these, as they often pay quite well!

If you are afraid of falling behind it might be best to look at temporary sources of employing that you can easily dispense with if you run out of time. It would also be worth dropping an email department to the Careers service of the uni you're attending for more information on temporary jobs (email should be on there website), and don't be afraid to make first contact, University welcome it!

Also as a final note there's work and then there is work. If you enjoy your job it might give you energy and be a pleasant sojourn from your studies, or it could be the sixteen hours you dread... I guess it fundamentally comes down to how you feel about managing it? It can be easier to leave a job then pick one up, but not always. Sixteen hours is two eight hour shifts but you'll need to be present for lectures so it doesn't impact your studies, so that will most likely mean evenings and weekends,

Just some thoughts here. Let me know if you have any questions,
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi @Gabbiey,

In my first year of university, I worked 10-16 hours a week during term time, and currently in my second year, I've worked between 16-24. 16 hours worked fine for me, but I'll admit I did find the occasional 20-24 hour weeks that I worked a bit stressful, so I personally wouldn't suggest going above 16 hours. (Make sure to check your own university's recommendations!)

Whilst having a part-time job is a great way to supplement my maintenance loan and pay towards my rent/food costs, I would recommend trying to work the majority of your hours on weekends. This way, even if you do experience any unexpected changes in your university timetable, they shouldn't frequently clash with your part-time shifts.

If you're good with time managament and are generally fairly proactive on getting coursework/assignments done, part-time work shouldn't be too difficult to balance alongside your university studies. And remember that if you do find yourself falling behind after a few weeks, you can always ask to reduce the amount of shifts/hours you work.

Do you know what your timetable might look like for your psychology course? Are you expected to be in university five days a week, or do you only have lectures over two/three days?

Eve (Kingston Rep).
Ok
Reply 4
Original post by Kingston Reps
Hi @Gabbiey,
In my first year of university, I worked 10-16 hours a week during term time, and currently in my second year, I've worked between 16-24. 16 hours worked fine for me, but I'll admit I did find the occasional 20-24 hour weeks that I worked a bit stressful, so I personally wouldn't suggest going above 16 hours. (Make sure to check your own university's recommendations!)
Whilst having a part-time job is a great way to supplement my maintenance loan and pay towards my rent/food costs, I would recommend trying to work the majority of your hours on weekends. This way, even if you do experience any unexpected changes in your university timetable, they shouldn't frequently clash with your part-time shifts.
If you're good with time managament and are generally fairly proactive on getting coursework/assignments done, part-time work shouldn't be too difficult to balance alongside your university studies. And remember that if you do find yourself falling behind after a few weeks, you can always ask to reduce the amount of shifts/hours you work.
Do you know what your timetable might look like for your psychology course? Are you expected to be in university five days a week, or do you only have lectures over two/three days?
Eve (Kingston Rep).


Hello! Im not too sure about my timetable yet unfortunately though i do reckon ill do most of my work on weekends or im also considering getting a job in campus if possible as my friends have said theyre quite flexible too! Thanks so much for the helpful insight tho, I'll definitely try to stick to 16 hours and nothing above!
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi @Gabbiey

From what you say, I can definitely say that you have your priorities straight and you will be primarily focused on your course, so I don't see why you wouldn't manage a part time job as well.
Also, the hours you set aside for it, 16h would be the perfect amount. You'll see that when they get divided into 2 or 3 days, with a few hours of work, it really isn't that much at all. Your part time job can also be a form of stress relief, a way to get a bit away from your studies.
Don't worry about falling behind.

All the best luck with it
Milena
MA Creative and Critical Writing at Uni of Suffolk
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi there!

I think that having a job for around 16 hours per week is definitely doable! I would say that good jobs to look into getting are casual jobs as they are usually pretty flexible around when you are at uni which is great. I would look into getting a job at a bar or restaurant as the hours are often evening hours when you will be finished uni or at the weekends too. I would recommend if you are working weekends to try not to work both days every week and try and work a couple of evenings instead as this helps you to still have a day off to do things for yourself and get work done!

You may also not have to be in uni every day so if you have a day off in the week which is consistent each week, you could try and get shifts on this day too to spread out the days in which you are working. 16 hours isn't too much - usually 2 8 hour shifts or three shifts a week at the most so if you spread this out over weekends, evenings and if you have a weekday off you should still have time to complete all of your work and have time for yourself to do fun things!

I would also recommend looking into getting a campus job as these are usually very flexible as they do not want to interrupt your studies so they wouldn't expect you to work instead of gong to uni or if you have a big deadline or exams coming up, they would be flexible if you did less hours in this time. I am a student ambassador and its great because of the flexibility- they send shifts out and you just say yes or no if you can do it and there is usually quite a good amount of shifts you could do!

I hope some of this helps!

Lucy -SHU student ambassador :smile:
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi there,

I've worked throughout my degree and have found this it is perfectly manageable. However, 16 hours might be a lot during exam season etc - it might be best if you can find a more flexible job? Could that be possible?

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi!
Having a part time job while at university is definitely manageable and very common. You have a lot of independent time at university and as long as you manage your workload and ensure you stay on top of reading etc this is definitely doable.

Hope this helps!
Faye :smile:
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

HI there,

As a medical student, it can be really hard to balance. I personally do have a part time job and I also signed up to be an ambassador for the university which gives you more flexible hours so you can apply for specific assignments when you are available. I have found that to be really good as I can pick up shifts around my studies and have no obligation to work at exam time etc. It can be really difficult with finances and things and many people do have to work alongside their studies. I do think that it is possible to work alongside studying, as long as you manage your time effectively and are organised.

I really hope this helps,

Ellen
Y4 Medical Student
University of Sunderland Digital Ambassador
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance
Hey @Gabbiey,

Like others, I worked part time throughout my degree and found it manageable. I made sure to communicate with my manager about when I would be free to work during my interview. It's important to choose a job that will allow you flexibility around your studies and I wouldn't recommend you do any more than 16 hours a week as you might find it impacts your social life and you may start to fall behind on your course as you will have less free time. Have you started your psychology course yet? If not, once you have your course timetable you will have more of an idea on the days and times you will be able to work.

Having a part time jobs as a student can be a great financial help and it's definitely doable as myself and many others have shown. 😊

Wishing you all the best.

Sarah
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!

Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?

thanks in advance


:hi: hey!
I worked throughout seco d and third year and it was pretty manageable :smile: I was able to keep my shifts to the weekends - this was mainly because my coursework had quite a bit of groupwork and it was just easier not needing to worry about work in the middle of the week.

I would say 16 hours would be about right :smile: However, trial and error also works. Some employers have flexible scheduling so if I know I'm going to be busy I can schedule less shifts, or if I'm on top of my work /have a quiet week I can do more. Also you can always pick up extra shifts even if you're not scheduled (e.g. people call in sick so they might need more help).

Third year was slightly harder I was only able to work 1 shift, but yea between all the coursework, dissertation etc. some days you do just need to rest and switch off /have fun, so that's also worth bearing in mind.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi!

My recommendation would be to get a job with your university if you can. They're super great because they really understand coursework deadlines and exam seasons and tend to be a lot more flexible. However if you can't get one with your university no worries, loads if not most university students have part time jobs and (hopefully) make it work, you seem to really have good boundaries about wanting to keep your university work a priority so I think you'll do great!

I hope this helps!

- Jessica
2nd year, Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence)
Original post by Gabbiey
Hey!
Just a question for those who have a part time job whilst at uni, how manageable is it? Im looking to work around 16 hours every week whilst doing my full time psychology course. Im also living off campus and have a half an hour commute. Im quite good at time management and focusing on getting coursework done, though i am a little worried about falling behind, how manageable was it for all of you?
thanks in advance

Hi Gabby,

My name is Ridhika, and I am a student rep for Bournemouth University. I am going to give you my experience whilst at university. I work a zero hour contract with 15 hours that are minimum during term by working for the university at various roles. I create a timetable sheet that allows me to do the activities and then learn to manage my time effectively. I also created a list that helped me with prioritising with task within a deadline i.e if a seminar task was due on Monday I would consider this number 1 for tasks to do. I also find having a healthy balance helps with mental well being and starting assignments early helps with less stress on actual due dates.
When you are studying it is important to make sure you are not overworking because if you sign a contract for 16 hours at week at a retail company you would need to commit to 15 hours a week.

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