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Top 10 free apps for students

Student life is a constant balance of studying, socialising, budgeting and new experiences. Luckily, most of us have a world of technology in our pockets that can help us with daily life.

By Cara Fielder. Published 8 April 2019. Last updated 13 July 2021.

There are millions of helpful apps available to download but today we take a look at our top 10 free phone apps to help students with their studies, finances and wellbeing.


Totum is the new name for the NUS extra card and their app is a must for all students looking to make some serious savings over their studies. If you’ve got this app on your phone, there’s no need to take the physical card with you everywhere. Get 10% off at your local Co-op, up to 40% off Ask Italian and save an extra 25% off student cinema tickets at Odeon.

Couch to 5k

While you can get some great deals on student gym memberships, they’re still a monthly expense that you might not be able to afford. Luckily there are some brilliant fitness apps out there but the free One You: Couch to 5k app from Public Health England is great for getting even the most sluggish students up and moving. From running in 60 second bursts, up to running a full 5 kilometres, this app will help you every step of the way.


If you’re better at discussing your ideas or recording discussions to research them later then Speechnotes is the app for you. Simply open the app, dictate or get chatting and the app will record your speech as text which you can later edit or copy and paste into other programs. This can be incredibly useful for group projects and discussions and can free someone from physically taking notes, allowing them to be more involved in the conversation.


UniDays is a student only discount app that your wallet will thank you for downloading. Whether your purchases are based around fashion, fitness, food or technology there’s a saving for everyone. Fashion discounts include 10% off at ASOS, Topshop, JD Sports and New Look, just to name a few. For those looking for discounts on the necessities rather than the treats, you can also get 20% of EE mobile phones or SIM plans and 40% off Virgin Trains.


Alarmy refers to itself as the ‘world's most annoying alarm clock, guaranteed to force you out of bed’. Instead of relying on a simple sound to wake you from your slumber, Alarmy gives you three different options to ensure it wakes you up. Firstly, you can take a photo of an area or room in your house, set it as an alarm and when the alarm goes off, the only way to make it stop is to get out of bed and take a photo of the registered area. If you find a mental challenge wakes you up more than anything else, then you can set the alarm to only be turned off after the completion of a maths problem. If those two options seem too harsh for you, there’s the slightly gentler shaking option, where you have to shake your phone for 30 seconds before the alarm will stop. With this app, there’s no excuse for being late to a lecture.


Balancing your finances and sticking to a budget is very important if you’re living from one student loan payment to the next. Yolt allows you see all your different current, savings and credit card accounts in one place. It also allows you to categorise and track your spending habits so you can see how much you spend on outgoings such as entertainment, transport or household bills on a monthly basis. Once you understand where your money is going, it’ll be easier to put in place a realistic budget and saving target, which Yolt can also help you do. If you want to save for an end of term holiday then this app is for you.


Ever wondered how some people manage to multitask writing, drawing and listening to such a high standard? With Soundnote you can be one of the note-taking elite. While you type and draw, the app will also be recording audio so you don’t miss any important details. If you lose your place, just touch the last word you remember hearing and you managed to write down and the app will jump back to that word during the audio. Whether it’s lectures, interviews or putting together a presentation, Soundnote is the perfect partner to help you record it all.


Charles Dickens wrote “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” And that’s what OffTime aims to help you do. Most of us will be guilty of being distracted by our phones at some point. Whether it's calls, texts, Facebook notifications, Snapchats or Instagram stories, mobile phones are the ultimate distraction. OffTime allows you to control your connectivity and get on with your work. Choose the apps or services you want to silence and make exceptions for those important contacts. Let's be honest, you can postpone your Instagram notifications but you don’t want to miss a call from your Mum.


Student life comes with bills; new threads, a reliable laptop, travel costs and so much more. Quidco’s app allows you to earn cashback through everyday purchases. Over 7 million members use Quidco to earn cashback on everything from crafting goods to changing their energy providers. Simply use the links to the website you wish to purchase from via the Quidco app and you can earn cashback or fixed amount bonuses just for making your normal everyday purchases.

Student Beans

Student Beans is a free digital student card on your phone, supplying you with discounts with more than 650 brands across fashion, technology, food, entertainment and more. Founded in 2005 in Birmingham, UK, by James and Michael Eder, the app offers some unmissable savings, such as 35% off Domino’s Pizza, 25% off at boohoo.com and discounted tickets for attractions such as Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.


With a mission to improve the health and happiness of the world, Headspace demystifies the world of meditation and makes it accessible to everyone. We all have days where the world gets on top of us and that’s where Headspace can help. Their free basic course teaches the essentials of meditation and mindfulness, which will help with stress management and your sleep patterns. You can learn through guided meditations, animations, articles and videos, all in their distinct style.

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