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Make money at uni

Ways for students to make quick cash

Whether it's to fund a night out, save for a holiday, or pay a deposit on accommodation, here are a few ideas for how students can make some quick cash. You may also improve your graduate career prospects at the same time.
Even if you're not in the market for work now, find out where your university's jobshop is in case money gets tight in future.

Many students end up strapped for cash at some point, with deposits for accommodation and travel costs for trips home in the holidays taking a toll on bank balances. Here are some options and ideas for earning ready money, fast – and you'll add vital work experience and skills to your CV at the same time.

Shop for student jobs locally

First of all, check out your university jobshop. These invaluable resources are usually attached to the careers service or Students' Union and offer a whole host of temporary, ad hoc or part-time jobs, typically with local employers.

Most jobshops have a website where you can search for vacancies and they may also have a regular newsletter that you can sign up to, to keep you informed about the latest vacancies. Even if you’re not in the market for work now, find out where your university's jobshop is in case money gets tight in future.

If you have more time to spare and can make a regular commitment, check local pubs, clubs and shops for spare shifts. Nursing homes and residential centres are often in need of staff too, which is excellent experience for those looking to go into careers in social care or the healthcare professions.

Find work on campus

Keep your eyes open as you wander around campus. Notice boards in corridors can hide a whole host of job opportunities. Psychology departments often look for people to help test out theories and experiments. You might have to commit a bit of time and make a return visit or two but it's often easy money for little effort – particularly if you have a department that runs sleep experiments! Similarly, other science departments such as food or sports may be on the lookout for volunteers.

The admin department of your university could be a good bet. Jobs can come up at times when they’re stretched, involving tasks such as data entry and mailing out prospectuses. The alumni association is also worth a try as they sometimes require current students to make calls to graduates to solicit donations to the university. These are great opportunities to develop your office admin and telephone skills, which are employer-friendly additions to your CV.

You could approach the SU. They may take on students to help with promoting events at the union, posting flyers and sticking up posters around campus. Sometimes these roles will be paid; at other times you might be offered free tickets, which, if you were planning to go along to an event anyway, could save you a fair bit of cash.

Sell your knowledge and English skills: try tutoring

If your English skills are up to scratch, you could always offer your services proofreading essays for international students for a small fee. On a similar note, you could consider tutoring your degree subject to GCSE and A level students. This can also help you in revising and explaining the basics of your subject area: handy if exams are fast approaching, and also good for graduate job interviews where an understanding of the fundamentals of your subject can go a long way.

Market research and sales

Participate in market research. You may come across the occasional opportunity on campus but the internet is the place to go to find opportunities. As with anything online, take some care to make sure it’s genuine. A quick internet search can prevent you from getting burned – there are plenty of forums and discussion boards where you can find out if the opportunity really is too good to be true.

For something longer term, you could always consider becoming a sales rep for a catalogue company, running ‘parties’ for Avon or even Ann Summers! However, these often require initial outlay and you should bear in mind that if you’re hard up it’s likely that your friends and peers will be too and so they might not want to fork out for your merchandise.

If you’re artistic or crafty you could always try selling your wares; either on campus (get permission first!), at local markets, or via online trading sites such as eBay or Etsy. If you’re not so blessed with creative talent, flogging some of your unwanted possessions could be a good stop-gap measure.