Working And Studying At The Same Time: Is It Possible?

Working And Studying At The Same Time: Is It Possible?

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Balancing working and studying at the same time can be challenging but rewarding when handled effectively alongside the other responsibilities in your life… 

Many students in the 21st century find themselves overworked with the responsibilities of handling a full time job alongside a full time degree, exacerbated further if they have a family to look after as well. So, is working and studying full time in the UK really possible? In this article, we will explore how to successfully manage working and studying at the same time. We’ll provide practical tips for those studying and working full time, including strategic planning and self-care. Whether you’re wondering, can you work full time and study full time in the UK? or seeking advice on working while studying, our guide aims to help you thrive in both areas.

Studying And Working Full Time: What Are The Risks?

working and studying at the same time

Balancing work and studies simultaneously can be a daunting task, and many worry that one will receive more attention than the other. With many surveys suggesting that the majority of university students are juggling paid work and studying amid cost-of-living crisis, it is understandable why they underperform at work, or do not get the degree grades they deserve. Here are the main challenges you might face when working and studying at the same time:

Finding A Balance

When you’re studying and working full time, you’re essentially doubling your responsibilities. This can lead to fatigue and stress as you try to excel in both areas. It’s crucial to monitor your mental and physical energy levels to avoid burnout. Regular self-check-ins can help ensure you maintain a healthy balance between work and study.

Conflicting Schedules

Managing conflicting schedules is another significant challenge of working while studying. You might find yourself juggling multiple deadlines, such as an important work presentation coinciding with a major school assignment. These overlapping demands can be overwhelming. 

Even with a flexible work schedule, the collective effect of many smaller tasks can add up, making it hard to keep track of everything. Effective time management and prioritisation are essential to handle these pressures.

Being Flexible

Flexibility from both your employer and your educational program is crucial for balancing full-time work and studies. If your employer understands your academic commitments and allows for schedule adjustments, managing both responsibilities becomes more feasible. 

Similarly, choosing a study program that offers evening or weekend classes, online courses, or part-time options can significantly ease the burden. It’s important to discuss your plans with your employer and select a program that complements your work schedule. Additionally, consider potential out-of-class requirements like field research or group projects that might affect your work commitments.

Our online career courses are designed to work around your busy schedule. Find out more today.

Tips on How to Balance Working and Studying at the same time

tips on working and studying at the same time

With the right strategies, you can succeed in balancing work life and studying full time. Here are some practical tips to help you manage working and studying at the same time:

1. Consider Online Courses

Online learning courses are ideal for those studying and working full time. Without the need to commute, you can attend lectures and complete assignments at your convenience. This flexibility makes it easier to balance work and study commitments.

2. Forward Planning

Establishing a work and study schedule is crucial. Start by checking your study timetable in advance and noting important dates like deadlines or exams. Discuss your schedule with your employer to find the best way to manage both responsibilities. Reviewing the full overview of your course modules and their dates can also help you plan effectively.

3. Create Reminders

Set up a reminder system for all important dates and events to avoid last-minute stress. You can use digital calendars on your phone or traditional physical calendars. Reminders help you stay on top of your responsibilities and manage your time efficiently.

4. Being Time-Efficient

Divide your time between work and study, ensuring you also include rest and relaxation. For instance, allocate weekends for rest and weekday evenings for studying. Flexibility in your study schedule, with deadlines provided in advance, allows you to plan your time effectively. Ensure you take breaks to avoid burnout and maintain productivity.

5. Productivity 

Identify when you are most productive during the day and schedule your study time accordingly. Some people are more productive in the morning, while others work better in the evening. Aligning your study time with your peak productivity hours can enhance your efficiency.

6. Appropriate Study Space

Having a dedicated study space can help you focus better. Whether it’s a local library, a specific area at home, or even a spare room at work, a designated study area can reduce distractions and improve your concentration.

7. Problem Solving In Advance

Anticipate potential conflicts between work and study responsibilities. If a study deadline conflicts with work, communicate with your employer early to find a solution. Similarly, inform your instructors about any work-related conflicts to seek accommodations.

8. Self-Care

Balancing studying and working full time can be stressful. Prioritise self-care by incorporating stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness meditation, ensuring adequate sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet. Taking care of your well-being is essential to sustain your productivity and health.

9. Less Social Life

Balancing studying and working full time often means sacrificing some social interactions. Preparing for reduced social time can help you stay focused on your goals. Many people will move closer to their selected university, initially knowing few people. This can feel isolating, but remember that it typically improves as you build relationships with colleagues and classmates. By expecting a decrease in social activities, you can avoid feeling lonely and stressed, making it easier to concentrate on your work and studies.

Benefits Of Studying And Working At The Same Time

working and studying at the same time benefits

Despite the challenges, there are significant benefits to working and studying at the same time:

  • Reduce Debt: Students often incur substantial debt from student loans. By working full time, you can offset some of these costs, reducing the amount you’ll owe after graduation. This financial relief can make the investment in your education more manageable.
  • Better Living: Earning a salary while studying can improve your lifestyle. Unlike students who rely solely on loans or grants, having a job provides extra income, allowing for a more comfortable living situation.
  • Develop Life Skills: Managing the multiple responsibilities of work and study helps you develop valuable life skills. Time management, prioritisation, and work ethics are crucial skills that will benefit you in your future career.
  • More Work Experience: Some students choose jobs in their desired career field. This allows you to gain practical experience while studying, making you a more competitive candidate after graduation. Combining work experience with academic qualifications can significantly boost your employability.

The Eisenhower Matrix

the eisenhower matrix of working and studying at the same time

The Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool for managing multiple responsibilities. It helps you prioritise tasks by categorising them into four groups:

  1. Urgent and Important: Tasks that require immediate attention, such as crises or pressing deadlines.
  2. Non-Urgent and Important: Tasks that are important but not time-sensitive, like long-term projects or personal development activities.
  3. Unimportant and Urgent: Tasks that can be delegated or set aside, such as minor interruptions or routine emails.
  4. Unimportant and Non-Urgent: Tasks that can be minimised or eliminated, like leisure activities or unnecessary meetings.

Using this method helps you focus on what truly matters, ensuring you stay on track with both work and study commitments.

Setting study goals can ensure that you achieve better results, especially when combined alongside a full or part time job.

Dos and Don’ts When Applying For Jobs Or University

working and studying at the same time dos and don'ts

When applying for jobs or educational programs while planning to work and study full time, consider these tips:


  • Be Employable: Highlight both soft and hard skills in your job applications and CV. This makes you a well-rounded candidate.
  • Research Thoroughly: Ensure the job or program aligns with your skills and career goals.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to inquire about the job or program details to understand if you can handle the commitments.
  • Update Your Documents: Keep your CV and cover letter current and tailored for each application. Using a professional CV maker can simplify this process.
  • Tailor Your Applications: Demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate by highlighting relevant experiences and skills.


  • Don’t Overapply: Applying for too many positions can lead to stress and overwhelm. Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Don’t Forget to Disclose: Inform potential employers that you will be studying and working simultaneously. This transparency helps manage expectations on both sides.

By following these tips, you can better manage the demands of working and studying at the same time.

Working While Studying Made Possible

Balancing studying and working full time in the UK is achievable with the right strategies. From planning and prioritising to practising self-care and managing your social life, these tips can help you succeed. Remember to use tools like the Eisenhower Matrix to manage your time effectively and always communicate your commitments to employers and educators. With determination and organisation, you can excel in both your professional and academic pursuits.

You can also learn about how working part time at university is worsening inequalities.


What are the potential downsides of working and studying full time?

Increased stress, limited free time, potential for burnout, and the need for strong time management skills.

Are there any strategies to make working and studying full time more manageable?

Consider flexible work arrangements, part-time work, online classes, and seeking financial aid or scholarships to reduce the financial burden.


Busby, E., (2023) Majority of university students juggling paid work and studying amid cost-of-living crisis, survey reveals. The Independent. [online] Available at: [accessed 14/05/24]

Time Management Abilities. (2013) The Eisenhower Matrix. [online] Available at: [accessed 14/05/24]

Whitworth, D., (2023) Working part-time at uni risks worsening inequalities, warns think tank. BBC News. [online] Available at: [accessed 14/05/24]

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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