September 28, 2023
Precious Odunaiya studied law at Warwick University, and now works as a tech consultant at KPMG. She loves all things law and tech, with experience in those areas spanning over 4 years. Precious also has a personal blog ‘pnotsosecret’ where she shares her university experience and career insights.

Every student’s university experience is different, and one thing that can determine this is money. Some students are fortunate enough to not have to worry about that, whilst others struggle with it every day. Some students just need a little more to be comfortable. Here are some tips on how to earn money as a student.

Student Ambassadors

At university, you will find that there are many student ambassador roles available. A student ambassador is someone who represents a company, cause, event, etc.

Your tasks typically include:

  • Social media engagement
  • In-person and online marketing
  • Networking
  • Recruiting

Many students try to become student ambassadors for law firms because it can help you get exclusive insight into the firm and its applications, as well as give you career progression opportunities at the firm. It is also good work experience to add on your CV.

That is actually how I became a writer for TLP. I was originally a Bird x Bird x TLP ambassador, and this opportunity was offered to me, as a result. Your university will also have ambassador roles available, like during Welcome Week. You could also represent your department during open days.

During my time at university, I was also an ambassador for Sanctuary Graduates (advertising graduate job vacancies on their behalf) and a ThinkHigher Ambassador (encouraging high-school students to pursue various higher education and career paths).

Side-hustles & Freelancing

The number of side hustles run by students in university has been on the increase. Within your university, you will find multiple people who do nails, hair, and lashes, make food, run clothing brands, etc. With a side hustle, you can be in complete control of your hours and do it from the comfort of your accommodation.

However, there are many things to consider before doing this:

  • Personal safety
  • It may be beneficial to look up if you require qualifications or if you will have to report tax depending on the money you make, etc.
  • Not compromising your academic performance
  • Avoiding burnout in all areas of your life

You will also find a large number of people start a side hustle and abandon it soon after. For many, their hustle becomes too much to handle, or they weren’t actually passionate about the actual craft – which is fine! You will just need to think hard about whether or not you want to do this and to what extent. I had a roommate who did hair every now and then from our living room, when she wasn’t doing school work and it seemed to work for her.

In the digital age, social media platforms offer a fantastic opportunity to develop your online presence and monetize your passions. By creating and curating engaging content in areas you’re passionate about, you can attract a loyal following.

Building a personal brand can open doors to sponsored posts and collaborations but also enhances your networking abilities. You can connect with professionals in your field, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions, which can lead to freelance opportunities. Writing articles or creating graphic design content that showcases your skills can attract clients seeking your expertise.

Check out our guide on how to leverage LinkedIn as an aspiring lawyer.


Tutoring is another popular option for students to earn money while studying. If you excel in a particular subject or have a deep understanding of a topic, you can leverage your knowledge to help university or college students succeed academically.

Whether you’re skilled in mathematics, languages, or specific university courses, you can offer tutoring services through your university or use platforms like Superprof UK, which connect students with tutors. Tutoring  allows for flexible scheduling so you can easily accommodate your tutoring work alongside any academic commitments. Tutoring also demonstrates strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a commitment to your topic of expertise – all of which can be used to strengthen your CV.


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University Scholarships, Grants & Loans

Depending on the criteria, you could apply for scholarships, which is a form of financial aid provided to students to further their education. This can be thousands and thousands of pounds. Here’s a more in-depth guide for university scholarships

Depending on your circumstances, you can apply for grants to further assist you during your time at the university. In this instance, you do not have to pay the money back, but you may have to fulfil some requirements like completing the academic year.

Many universities have emergency funds that are available to students in financial crisis. You will have to find out if this has to be paid back or is a free grant.

Part-Time Work

You will find that most students typically do some form of part-time work. This is a good way to earn money, and even better if you are on a zero-hour contract. Whilst shifts for zero-hour jobs can be competitive in university cities, it allows you to be in control of your time and choose when you want to work. You usually bid for shifts once they become available or accept offers for work. The typical industry students work in is hospitality as either a waiter, bar staff or retail staff – usually in the city’s stadium.

Naturally, hospitality shifts can be gruelling but if you need the money to help cover your living costs, this could be a good option. There may be other part-time work available to you are interested in admin roles, but typically this is the type of work that is available to students due to their lack of work experience or clashing schedules.

University Jobs

With that being said, you may have better luck with finding part-time work at your university. Most universities offer various roles as a receptionist, librarian, bar staff, retail staff, food server, etc.

Check for roles available on your university website or on sites such as  ‘Unitemps’. Make sure to find out where your university advertises vacancies, or you can just ask around.

Graduate Roles & Internships

Finally, you can also earn hundreds of pounds from paid internships, virtual internships, vacation schemes and graduate roles. For many students, this is the most ideal situation as it allows you to make money whilst gaining impactful work experience, which can contribute to future career success.

I was sceptical to mention this because I do not want to put pressure on any student to secure a training contract or graduate role. If you make applications based solely on this reason, you will ultimately crash and burn. Attaching an internship to your sense of achievement will negatively impact your mental health, especially if you’re not as successful as you hoped.

You can read more about when it is the right time to apply or to take a break here

To conclude, there are a good number of opportunities available to you as a university student to earn money. It is actually quite easy once you know what’s available and where to look. Gaining work experience – be it from a legal internship to working a part-time job as a tutor, can also help you to gain valuable skills which will help you in your future career. One important thing to remember is that you should never compromise your academic work or your physical and mental health. Good luck!


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