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FAQsWork-life balance

Working part-time during your studies

14 August 2017

Many postgraduates at Cardiff take paid employment as a way to help fund their studies. Find out more below about the experiences of some of our current students:

“I prefer not to work during semester when I have assignments and exams.  I instead find odd jobs to do when I am not so busy. Cardiff has a lot of sports events, festivals, and concerts which often require workers on a no-contract basis. I will be working during the Champions League Final in Cardiff for example, as I will have finished my exams by then.”
David, MSc Data Science and Analytics

“I do work part time alongside my course, however, my job is also on a part time basis and the working arrangement is very flexible so it is easy to get the work and study balance right.  I am able to work a little less nearing deadline dates and accept more work during quieter study periods and save a little money for those times I need to concentrate more on my studies.”
Emma, MA Medieval British Studies

“I work part time at a Lettings Agency alongside my degree, two days a week. I find having a part time job actually improves my studies because I have to prioritise and make sure I spend any free time I have on study. It really helps to have a flexible employer. Let them know that you are a Master’s/PhD student and therefore this will impact how much time and effort you are able to commit to a part time job. They appreciate the honesty and it makes them more understanding on the occasions which you can’t work.”
Emmeline, MSc International Planning and Development

“I am extremely lucky to work as an engineer during my studies. I lead a research team in France from a distance. I worked in a research laboratory before emigrating to the UK. I developed an algorithm at the core of an innovation process and was offered this year to take the lead over the whole program. I would recommend finding a job related to your working field. Contact companies, ask for part time jobs and work your hardest. True it may lead to some sleepless nights but postgraduate studies are a once in a lifetime opportunity and won’t last too long. This way, you’ll be both battle tested AND you will have had time to think and study by yourself to offer change and innovation to society. (Side note, it may help you fund your education 😉 ). Take the time needed to find a real job. I did work as a barman, a waiter …, It brings nothing to your CV and consumes twice as much time for a much lower wage.”
Pierre, MSc Structural Engineering

“I work alongside my postgraduate studies. I have an academic job allowing me specific time to study, and my clinical commitments are out-of-hours only (evening, weekends, nights). It means planning in advance if deadlines are looming and if clinical commitments around that time are particularly heavy!”
Shouja, MSc Medical Education

“Once I received my timetable, it was clear that I would have a few days free each week to fit in some paid work. As well as giving me enough time to keep up with my studying, I’ve found that working has made my study time more productive and I am better able to plan and prioritise my workload.”
Sarah, MSc Education, Policy and Society

“I do not work part-time during my studies however I know many people do and it’s possible with good time management skills and organisation.”
Anastasia, MSc Tissue Engineering