How to make money at university.

© master1305 / Adobe Stock

© master1305 / Adobe Stock

When starting university one often delayed realisation is that you will likely need more money to afford your living costs then what you will be getting from your personal savings and any loans. I was talking to my friend the other day and she was telling me that she's been sending her CV off to lots of places, and this got me thinking about other ways you can hustle for some extra finances whilst studying, which is why today's post is my guide to making money at university!


So how have I been earning money whilst studying? Well mainly through freelancing. As a photographer I have put myself and my skills out there through networking, and have received periods of events photography commissions because of this. Putting yourself out there can have surprising results and it can contribute towards your university coursework and even your professional portfolio. My advice is to have some business cards on you at all times so you can give them out to a potential employer and to also email your portfolio to anyone you would like to work for, in the form of a PDF or website portfolio that you can send them a link to. 

If you are struggling to find freelancing opportunities face to face at your university or in the local community, I really recommend browsing through websites such as which is a UK based company that advertises jobs for freelancers. Roles can include image retouching, designing logos and copywriting so there is something for everyone.. 

Other sites for freelancers: Upwork + ProBlogger + Fiverr



You can sell anything for some extra cash whilst studying through websites such as EbayDepop and Gumtree but you can also sell your own creative work through Etsy and through stock websites such as Alamy. Selling your images whether they be photographs or graphic illustrations as stock won't generate massive amounts of income but it is definitely a side hustle worth putting some time into, as overtime you can really start to generate some money. The biggest money comes through purchases from editorial clients so always be aware of what kind of images magazines and newspapers would publish. Stock selling is far more anonymous then having an online portfolio so don't worry too much about only uploading your best work and don't hold back because you never know what a potential client is looking for. 

Student ambassador work + Other university jobs

As a student you have the opportunity to apply to work for your own university which is a great option if you are looking for more flexible part time work. As a student ambassador myself I have a zero hours contract which means I can choose my hours. This is great because it means when you really don't have time to work you don't have to. Working for your university also means you will be looked after in your job role and you can often get perks from your university such as events tickets and food vouchers. Other university jobs can include working at help desks such as in your careers office and also at the student union bar and any shops on campus. Lots of other students will be applying for these jobs however so get ready to go above and beyond in your interviews. 

Brand Ambassador + Promotional Work

You know how you often see students handing out products on the high street or around campus, these people are known as student brand ambassadors and you can find opportunities for this kind of work through companies such as Campus Industries. Another good website to look at for brand ambassador, pop up shop and in store demonstration work is iD Agency, a lot of this work is zero hours which is perfect for students who need more flexible working hours, and if you are a business student this counts as marketing experience! 

Babysitting + Dog Walking 

Another potentially flexible money earner is babysitting and looking after people's pets. I have a friend who does dog walking at university and it does seem like a really nice job,  however I don't personally know how good the pay can be. Babysitting could also be a flexible job option as they often require you to work evenings rather than during the day and you can find adverts for babysitting through websites such a Sitters.


I have never considered this option myself however if you have an interest in teaching and don't mind the extra effort of organising work for your student, or the potential of dealing with what could be a reluctant learner, then tutoring could be a great job for you alongside your own studies. Popular sites for this kind of work include brightyoungthings and Keystone Tutors however you may find more opportunities for this kind of work in your area through local ads rather than larger sites. 

Blogging + Youtube

Making videos online and blogging is a great way for students to be creative whilst making money through ads on their websites and videos. Gaining a sizeable following also means you may be approached by companies to produce sponsored content and use affiliate links. It takes time to really start making an income this way but if you are willing to put the time in then you may just get lucky. Personally I don't approach blogging with a financial perspective but there is definitely an opportunity if you like the idea of having an online brand as you will need to really push it on social media etc to maintain your income. 

part time work

My last option and possibly the least flexible is of course part time work. This can include working in shops, bars and hotels during your studies and can limit how often you can visit home if you live away from university, and also how much time you will have for university work on a weekly basis. If you really need the money then go ahead if the hours can work around your studies, but don't discount any of the other options I have suggested because hustling even a little bit for your work could really pay off. 

Remember as well as earning money you want to be saving as much as you can, it's easy to get spendy happy whilst at university but you will thank yourself when you leave if you aren't in debt or have a worryingly low bank balance. Being financially independent is a great feeling so don't shy away from earning as much as you can at university, just don't neglect your coursework.  

universityEmily Allenguide