Advice and Counselling Service

Advice and Counselling Service menu



Do I need to work during my studies?

Many students rely on part-time and vacation work to top up their income from Student Finance and NHS funding. Work out your budget to see whether you need to work, and if so, how many hours a week you would need to work to meet your financial shortfall. Even though most students have a busy study timetable, the majority are able to successfully combine some part-time work with their studies during term time.

How many hours a week should I work?

You need to make sure that any part-time work that you do during term time does not interfere with your studies, so think carefully about how many hours a week you can work and which times of the week will fit in most easily with your studies. A Saturday job or a couple of evenings a week for example may be quite manageable, if you are able to find a job which does not require you to travel far to work.

If you plan to work, it is better to work a manageable number of hours per week throughout the whole academic year than not to work for most of the year and then have to work for lots of hours each week later in the year because you have run out of money. The most demanding time of the academic year is usually the latter part, so try not to leave working until then.

The School of Medicine and Dentistry advises you should not work more than 10 hour a week during term time so you would not be able to rely on earnings from part-time work to meet any significant shortfall in funding. For example, if you are studying medicine or dentistry as a second degree on the five year programme and are only eligible for a Student Finance Maintenance Loan in years 1-4, it is unlikely you would be able to earn enough money to cover any shortfall in your fees and living costs by working part-time. However, your earnings could be one of several sources of which together could enable you to manage financially during your course.

You might find it helpful to use a budget planner to first work out what any shortfall would be and then consider options for meeting this shortfall. We have sample spreadsheets on our website which you can adapt to create a personal budget plan.

Where can I find help getting a job?

Queen Mary University of London Careers and Enterprise Centre on the ground floor of the Queens’ Building can advise you about:

  • finding part-time or temporary work
  • gaining work experience
  • internships and work after graduation
  • CVs and job applications
  • preparing for interviews

They also advertise vacancies on and off campus.

I haven’t worked before – where can I get information about the minimum wage, tax and national insurance?

For detailed information on working, including the minimum wage, income tax, national insurance and where to look for a job, see the Advice and Counselling Service Advice Guide ‘Part-time and vacation work’.

I’m already working part-time but this is affecting my studies – what can I do?

If you are currently working but this is causing you problems with your studies or you would like to stop or reduce the hours you work but don’t think you can afford to, if you have not already done so, work out exactly what your income and expenses are, so you can see how much money you are short of. You can contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service for advice about your options. You might also want to speak to the Dean or Deputy Dean for Students in The School of Medicine and Dentistry to discuss your academic issues.

I’m an EU national – can I work in the UK?

Most EU nationals can currently work in the UK without restriction. You might find it useful to read the Advice and Counselling Service advice guide ‘Part-Time and Vacation Work’ which has full details about EU nationals’ rights to work in the UK. Please also see our EU/EEA webpage.

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

Return to top