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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.

By Cara Fielder. Published 16 July 2018. Last updated 29 June 2023.

Recent research commissioned by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that nearly 70% of students improved their confidence and performance at work because 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, you may get involved in projects that are now open to you because of your newly acquired knowledge. If you’re working in an industry unrelated to your studies, you can bring your knowledge to the table in other ways – ways that can seriously impress the boss.

John Watkins, our Director of Employability, 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 knowledge in a practical sense while also demonstrating your initiative.”

Enhance your employability skills

Everybody can benefit from developing 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 Professional Employability Programme. This enables students at every level 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 an employability programme demonstrates to employers that you’re thinking ahead about your career and taking responsibility for your own 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. What’s more, students can apply for a an undergraduate or postgraduate student loan, and this only needs to be repaid once you’re earning more than £21,000 annually.

Support throughout your studies

If you choose to study with us you’ll be able to seek support whenever you need it from your tutors. Additionally, our Student Support team are always available to help with any difficulties you might face, whether they’re inside or outside the classroom and our Student Journey Advisers will support you throughout your course.

Stand out from the crowd

Law, psychology, and business alike are competitive fields, 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. Our alumni, solicitor, Karen Holden, and barrister, Mukhtiar Singh, 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.