Guide

Finding part-time/casual work

Updated on 6 December 2022

Find a part-time job while you are a student.

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Casual or part-time work during semester time or the holidays can be great for financial income but also as a source of experience. You can develop your skills, meet people, and make contacts.

JobShop

  • The Careers Service’s JobShop is your resource for sourcing part-time and holiday jobs, as well as all other types of job and work experience.
  • We update our job vacancies daily to help you secure the best part time job for you.
  • By searching through the JobShop you’ll know the job advert is from a reliable employer with real opportunities that suit students.

Further websites, tips and ideas that can help you to find an opportunity that is right for you:

  • UK Government Job Search portal - Find a Job.
  • For a part time job in DUSA, pick up an application from the Reception or download from the DUSA website.
  • Visit your local job centre - for locations and opening hours
  • Many employers advertise vacancies in their premises’ windows. Be prepared to enter and politely enquire.
  • If you see somewhere that you would like to work, then go in and ask to speak to the employer. If they don't have any immediate vacancies, then ask them if your CV can be kept submitted in case anything comes up in the future.

Support from the Careers Service

The Careers Service can help you create an effective CV for use in your part-time job search. Our CV Guide can help you get started and you can Ask a Careers Adviser for feedback on your CV.

Our Completing Application Forms Guide can give you the know-how to really impress employers at the application stage. Ask a Careers Adviser for feedback on your application form.

To help you prepare for part-time job interviews, you can practice online, read our Preparing for Interviews Guide or book in for a practice interview with a Careers Adviser.

Healthy working balance

We suggest that you work no more than 20 hours a week during semester time, otherwise this may have an adverse effect on your studies/home life. International students may have other restrictions on working hours.

International students

To work in the UK you need a National Insurance number. 

Apply for a National Insurance Number on gov.uk

If you have moved to the UK, you may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your biometric residence permit (BRP).

Your ability to work will depend on the conditions of your visa. Learn about working during study as a Student visa holder, including:

  • hours you can work
  • work placements as part of your course
  • paying income tax and National Insurance Contributions
  • applying for a National Insurance Number

Salary/wages

You will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Check on gov.uk for current National Minimum Wage rates.

Self-employment opportunities are exempt from National Minimum Wage legislation. These can include:

  • ‘gig economy’ roles, where you only get paid for the ‘gigs’ you undertake
  • self-employed ‘commission only’ roles, where you are paid a proportion of the sales you make

While the flexibility of such jobs can suit some people, you should carefully consider the implications for your income and job security. Find out more about who is entitled to the national minimum wage.

Depending on how much you earn during the financial year, you may have to pay income tax. There is a standard personal allowance before you need to pay this.

Zero hours contracts

zero hours contract is generally understood to be a contract between an employer and a worker where:

  • the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours
  • the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered
  • while there may be benefits of this type of contract in terms of flexibility, should carefully consider the personal implication for you before accepting a zero hours contract

Employer responsibilities

An employer must provide you with:

  • a written statement of employment or contract
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • a payslip showing all deductions, e.g. National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Employers should not:

  • Ask you to undertake mandatory training without pay or ask you to pay for mandatory training required to do your job safely

Further information available on the gov.uk website.

Illegal practices

Any paid work must meet the National Minimum Wage/Living Wage legislation.

If you get tips at work (money received directly from customers as a token of gratitude for any service rendered), they do not count towards the National Minimum Wage, but you do have to pay tax on them.

Every organisation has a legal duty to have systems in place to ensure the health and safety of their workers. See Healthy Working Lives website for further information.

Discrimination

The act of employment discrimination can take many forms. Generally, it occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly because of their race, gender, nationality, religion, age, disability, or familial status (pregnancy, specifically).

Your employer and colleagues can't treat you differently from other people because of your race, your nationality, the country you come from or the colour of your skin. This is called race discrimination.

If anyone at work behaves in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable because of your race it's called harassment.

If you complain about discrimination and are then treated worse because of your complaint, it's called victimisation.

If you feel that you are being discriminated against at work, seek advice for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Disabled Students

Under the Equality Act, the term 'disability' includes a wide range of physical and sensory impairments, mental health difficulties and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

It is against the law for employers to discriminate against you because of a disability. The Equality Act 2010 protects you and covers areas including:

  • application forms
  • interview arrangements
  • aptitude or proficiency tests
  • job offers
  • terms of employment, including pay

LGBT+ Students

The Equality Act 2010 protects gay, bi, lesbian and trans people from direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation at work. The Act applies to anyone who is perceived to be lesbian, gay, bi or trans or anyone who experiences discrimination because they associate with LGBT+ people. However exemptions may apply, specifically regarding 'occupational requirements', although these are limited: