In higher education, it is commonplace that many students take on part-time jobs or a form of student work experience during the academic year. These jobs are important to help you develop the skills and commercial experience that graduate employers look for.

Managing your time while working to ensure your job doesn't adversely effect your academic studies is a good idea. Below are some practical suggestions that we were told at university that helped many of us to combine part-time work and study.

Student Job

Combining work and study at university

Plan Ahead

Try to plan ahead if you know a busy time is coming up on your course or where you work. Schedule in advance as much as possible and try to re-organise events and work around deadlines to create a balance.

Keep Organised

Always make a note of upcoming deadlines so you know when coursework and assignment hand-in dates are. This will help you to keep on top of things and avoid missing those all important deadlines.

Communicate with your employer

Employers will be more sympathetic if you tell them as soon as you can that you can't work on a certain day for academic reasons. If you are able to suggest practical solutions and take responsibility for the change in the rota then this will demonstrate using your initiative.


Try to keep to structured work patterns to help focus your time.

Be Realistic

Be realistic about you can fit in. Guidelines recommend you work no more than between 12 to 15 hours per week.

Prioritise Exams/Revision

Try to cut back on part-time work during exam times. Although work might provide you with a break from your study or revision it is a good idea to book some time off before your exams and not to agree to extra hours over this period

Speak To Your Course Tutor

If you are struggling to balance both work and study seek advice and support as early as possible from your course tutor or equivalent. In exceptional circumstances deadlines may be extended.

Make Time For Relaxation

Don't forget to find time in your schedule to unwind and relax after work or study.

Go To Your Lectures

Don't miss lectures to undertake work. If you miss classes and submit work late or of poor quality will seriously damage your chances of getting a good degree.

Evaluate Your Time

Evaluate what you are spending your time on to identify areas where you can make changes.

If you can manage your time while working and studying this will benefit you later on at graduate interviews. Employers will want to hear of examples of how you have organised and managed your time - so impress them with your newly acquired graduate skills!

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