Graduate Blog

Has being at university ever been so expensive?


Tuition fees are set at £9,000 across many courses and living expenses are sky high all over the country.

It has rarely been so financially difficult to get an education and live comfortably. It’s not just students who feel the pinch – it’s across our whole society. The great news is that there are plenty of opportunities for you to earn some money while at university. It also means you can begin to add some seriously cool experience to your CV.


Look no further than your union.

Your union is an independently-funded body which ploughs profits back into the institution.

This means that there can be some really exciting prospects for making money and taking responsibility.

From kitchen staff to bar staff, there are jobs to be had in one of the most typically fun places on campus. There are also roles up for grabs on the team who run the union. Keep your ear to the ground and get involved!

Discover the marketing department

Help out at Open Days. These may be run by your university’s marketing department, recruitment team or communications department, but they really want good student ambassadors and guides. [pullquote]Universities increasingly understand the importance of great word of mouth advertising between students and prospective students[/pullquote]

You can also become a Brand Ambassador for recruiters who make regular visits to universities across the UK

This also means they better understand how to look after their student helpers, so the pay can be great. You may also meet a whole heap of new friends through an opportunity like this.

Don’t forget to check with your department too. Departments will also use subject-specific student helpers to assist with UCAS Days – they know how invaluable keen and engaged students come across to school visitors.

Use what you know to best effect


Tutoring can be a really amazing experience. It’s not just for those who are thinking about teaching down the line. It can be really helpful to remind you what sparked your interest in your subject and keep you going through any tough times on your course.

You can become a tutor through websites. This is a pretty good option as they will do the advertising and keep an eye on the Google rankings while you get on with what you need to do.

You might also want to approach a local school to see if they will promote you through their parents’ society. Word of a good tutor spreads quickly and organically, so building a strong relationship with a school can be very beneficial.

If you are an international student, you could also consider teaching your language to adults too. This can be important in areas like business, where the cultural context of what is being said is as important as what it actually being said!


Develop your customer service skills

Working in a pub, bar or restaurant may feel like just a way to earn money, but it is so much more. Taking responsibility for cashing up or up-selling puddings can mean you gain experience in the real world while you are studying. Jobs like these may well come with an affordable meal option; the job can be more than just an income.

Filler jobs – such as bar work – can be useful to fill gaps in your CV. 

Making money while at university shows to future employers that you are a force to be reckoned with and that you understand what it takes to stand on your own two feet!

Now, go get that job!

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About the Author

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StudentVine is an invaluable source of student and graduate advice. Powered by GradQuiz, we aim to help prepare prospective, current and past students for every facet of university and graduate life. Originally designed as a sister site for GradQuiz in 2013, and partnered with The Independent, StudentVine strives to tackle the key issues facing students and graduates in their push to develop their lives and careers.

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