Two people serving drinks in a bar

October 1, 2021, by stykjsk

Head in the Books, Body Behind the Bar…

By Katy Skillen, nutrition and dietetics student blogger

Rent, sports memberships, nights out… the costs of being a student can rack up fast and before you know it, you’re £500 deep in an overdraft and eating super noodles for the fifth night in a row. So, how can we find a way to better manage our budgets?  Well, it may sound obvious, but you can get a part-time job!

I’ve had a job since I was sixteen, so I knew that I would continue working in some shape or form when I came to university. But, looking for a job in a new city can be daunting and it’s difficult to know where to start! So, here are some tips that I’ve learned through my experience about how to earn money as a student, while still being able to work hard, and of course, play hard too…

Zero hour contracts

These are, in my opinion, the dream university job. I worked as a casual bar staff for the university hall bars, and it’s so handy to be able to choose how much or little I work. If I had a big deadline coming up, I would reduce my hours, and I would ask to work on certain days so that I didn’t have to miss any social occasions due to work. I would highly recommend looking for casual hour jobs before signing up for any fixed hour contract that you may find too much as the year goes on.

University run jobs

I worked for the university, both as a bartender and a student ambassador, and I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough! Working for the university means your colleagues are mostly other students, so it’s a great way to make friends. Also, the university as an employer is more understanding of having to fit work around studying. I found them to be super accommodating regarding not working on nights before deadlines or exams.


I’ve signed up with a company called MyTutor, an online tutoring website where you can help GCSE and A-level students with their school work and revision. Again, it’s really convenient because you can choose your hours, work from home and it can help you with going over basic elements of the subject you study! It’s also a really good idea if you’re thinking of teaching as a career. Other than this, there are local tutoring businesses around Nottingham that hire students, so it’s worth checking these out!

Take part in studies

This is a bit of a quirky one, but sometimes PhD students will recruit participants to take part in their research in exchange for vouchers or actual cash! I’ve done a few of these and can honestly say I’ve been paid to drink elderflower juice and eat chocolate and crisps! CeDEx is an economics research group that recruits people for experiments, where you can earn up to £20 for just one hour of taking part in one of their studies. Keep your eye out for posters advertising these opportunities, they are so worth it!

Ready to get earning some money? Check out Unitemps, the university’s Students’ Union, and CeDEx to start you off. Good luck!

Posted in Student Bloggers