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Balancing your job with your degree - the benefits of part-time study

Part-time study has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It’s often a choice made by people who want or need to work while they study, and more and more students need to fund themselves through education. And although balancing work and study can be demanding, it can also be hugely beneficial.

Part-time study has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It’s often a choice made by people who want or need to work while they study, and more and more students need to fund themselves through education. And although balancing work and study can be demanding, it can also be hugely beneficial.

Recent research commissioned by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that nearly 70 per cent of students improved their confidence and their performance at work as a result of their part-time studies.

It doesn’t stop there; you can reap rewards for your course and your career when you study part-time.

Putting things into practice

Your job gives you somewhere to test out the concepts you’re learning in the classroom. If you’re already working in a legal environment, you can get involved in projects that are now open to you because of your newly acquired knowledge. If you’re working in another industry, you can bring your legal knowledge to the table in other ways – ways that can seriously impress the boss.

John Watkins is Director of Employability at The University of Law. He says: “One of our students was working in a retail company. He asked to review its health and safety policy and went on to make some observations about non-compliance. His employer was extremely grateful and then asked him to look at more policies. You can use your legal knowledge in a practical sense while also demonstrating your initiative.”

Enhance your employability skills

Everybody can benefit with some help with their work skills – even part-time students who’ve been employed for a while. Part-time and remote students at The University of Law can use our Employability Service to help them plot their next steps. There’s even some special help on hand for them: the newly developed Professional Employability Programme. This enables students at every level in their careers to reflect on issues such as leadership and management and how to bring in business – “the holy grail for many organisations”, as John points out.

Going into an interview showing that you’ve followed such an employability programme demonstrates to employers that you’re thinking ahead about your career and taking responsibility for your own skills development.

More motivation

Part-time students are often super motivated. As John says: “They’ve made a big commitment here and they see their studies as critically important.” There’s a lot at stake for part-time students, not least money: it’s increasingly common for students to combine work and study because of their financial situation. The knowledge that you’re investing serious time and money into your future makes many part-time students determined to focus and succeed.

Stand out from the crowd

Law is a competitive field, and candidates need to find ways to get employers’ attention. Showing that you’ve worked and studied at the same time is a great way to do this. As John explains: “The combination of working and doing, putting what you’re learning into practice and gaining employability skills – it’s a great ‘double development’ that makes you attractive to employers. Demonstrating this can help you in the job market as there are a lot of high-performing and high-achieving students with good grades out there.”

Working and studying at the same time requires effort and discipline, but it can reap rewards. ULaw alumni Karen Holden, a solicitor, and Mukhtiar Singh, a barrister, both studied part-time and are now hugely successful.

 

Work while you study and build a better future for yourself. Register for an open day today.