Balancing further study and part-time work

Balancing further study and part-time work

Many postgraduate students need a part-time job to cover basic living costs – and to enjoy themselves! But how do you get the right balance between study and work?

Evaluate how you spend your time and make sure you manage it well. For instance, if you travel to work, could you change shifts so that you don't have to make the journey quite so often or get a job nearer home or the campus? If you have to pay for travel then you may be better off working fewer hours at a job nearby.

Organise your time. Carry a diary or enter information onto an e-diary so that you know when important course dates are coming up, what dates and times you have agreed to work and what key social events you don't want to miss.

Try to have a structured work pattern and don't agree to work at a time when you have lectures, exams or tutorials scheduled. Give your employer as much notice as possible that you will need more time during key parts of the term and try to negotiate a solution.

And don't forget time to play

There are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week and you need time to unwind and relax. Be realistic about what you can do and don't promise something that you can't deliver or people will be less sympathetic to your needs another time. You can rush around from pillar to post for just so long but eventually you need to get enough sleep. In the end, your health is the most important thing. If you do find yourself struggling to produce coursework on time seek advice and support as early as you can from your tutor. Deadlines can be extended in exceptional circumstances.