Earning while learning

Discover how we support you to find part-time work in Portsmouth while studying

If you haven’t had a job before, a part-time job is a great way to gain skills and experience. Many students look for part-time work while studying to earn extra money or to get additional skills. We can support you in finding part-time work in a number of ways, from providing information and support with your CV to using our jobs board, MyCareer, to find jobs in the area.

Finding a job

Part-time jobs could be anything from bar and restaurant work to retail and customer service roles. This may involve working during the evenings, on weekends and on free days during the week.

Our jobs board, MyCareer, has hundreds of part-time vacancies across different sectors. You can also find details and information about graduate jobs, volunteering opportunities, employment events and more.

You can login with your University username and password. Once logged in, you'll be taken to your own dashboard. From here you can update and personalise your profile to get notified about jobs and events that interest you.

There are other online job sites where you can search for part-time jobs such as Indeed, Reed, and Totaljobs which are open to everyone, including students and non-students.

Login to MyCareer

Speculative Applications

A speculative application is when you approach an employer to check whether they have a job for you, even though they have not advertised a vacancy. Speculative applications can be made in person, for example going into a shop with your CV to ask whether there are any vacancies, over email and over the phone. 

Making a speculative application requires a CV and covering letter. Tailoring the CV and Covering letter to the company you are applying to will increase your chances of a reply. You also need to have carried out some thorough research on the organisation. You need to decide what you can do for the potential employer based on your knowledge of what they do.

When you’ve found out all you can and considered the skills, aptitudes and experience you have to offer, you’re ready to contact them.

For more information on making a speculative application, check our applications guide.


Where can I find part-time work locally?

Gunwharf Quays is a local shopping centre in Portsmouth, and has its own jobs board. This has lots of different types of employers, like cafes and restaurants, shops, and a cinema. 

You could also look at essential retailers such as supermarkets, they are often looking for part time staff, and you could search for vacancies on their websites.


The University also offers part time jobs, including roles such as Student Ambassadors, which give good experience in communicating with a wide range of people. You can find out more about these roles and how to apply by checking our page on part-time jobs with the University.

Not sure where else to find part-time work in the local area? Check out our video guide of some of Portsmouth's hotspots, all within walking distance of the city centre campus!

Networking and Social Media

Social media can be a great way to search for jobs. Companies may promote their vacancies on their social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, as they can gain a lot of attraction. Local independent companies may even advertise their roles on Instagram! 

As well as social networking, even chatting to your friends, family and lecturers can help you find part time work. For example, you may have a friend who already works in retail and they know about a part time role being offered soon.


For more information, take a look at our networking with social media guide.


Writing a CV for part-time work

Having a CV that showcases the skills you have developed through studying and from previous experience, helps to make you an attractive prospect for a potential employer.

You should make sure your CV is targeted to part-time work. Thinking about the skills the employer is looking for can help with this. Part-time vacancies may not always have a full job description, so you may need to find a generic job description for that kind of role. It can also be helpful to include your availability in your profile, especially if the employer has specified shift requirements.

Take a look at this example CV for part-time work.

Stay safe from scam jobs

Unfortunately, some students have been the victim of fraudulent job offers. We've been working with the Hampshire Constabulary, who have shared the following advice on what to be wary of and how to stay safe when job hunting.

Advice from Hampshire Constabulary

Be wary when you see a job advertised on social media, as it may be a fake job posted by potential scammers hoping to secure your financial information.

To prevent scammers from getting your personal information, follow our 3 top tips:

  1. Do your research – be sceptical when someone approaches you with a job offer and always research a potential job and its source to make sure they're genuine
  2. Use the University's online jobs board, MyCareer – the Careers and Employability Service make sure all jobs they advertise are authentic
  3. Protect your bank details – an organisation will only need your bank details once they've given you a guaranteed job offer, to make sure you get paid, so never give your bank details to someone over social media and be wary of jobs that ask for a fee or money upfront to apply

Part-time work for international students

If you're an international student on a Tier 4 student visa/Student route visa you can do paid, unpaid or voluntary work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and your vacation period. Restrictions on your working hours will depend on whether you're studying an undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research postgraduate course. You can find the specific restrictions throughout the year on our 'Working during your studies' page.

For more information on your Tier 4 visa/Student route visa working restrictions for term-time and vacations, please see the MyPort article: Working hours guidance – International/EU/EEA/Swiss students or UKCISA’s ‘Student Work’ article.

National Insurance

If you are an international or EU student on a visa then you will need to apply for a National Insurance number. Your National Insurance number is unique to you and makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. All UK employers require you to have a National Insurance number so if you're an international student or an EU student on a visa, you should apply for one as soon as you decide to look for part-time work.

Applying for a National Insurance number

You can apply for a National Insurance number online. You will be required to prove your identity and may be required to attend an appointment to discuss your application. It may take up to 16 weeks for you to get your National Insurance number after you have proven your identity. For more information on this refer to the government guidance: Apply for a National Insurance number and how to prove your right to work to an employer.   

For more information on working in the UK, see our guide: Careers advice for International Students.

Income tax

International, European and UK Students need to pay Income Tax if working a part-time job and earning over the Income Tax personal allowance

You can get more information and advice by visiting the Tax Guide for Students website.

Get more guidance on jobs and work experience

You can also visit us at the Careers and Employability Centre for further advice on finding a part-time job or using MyCareer. We'll be able to clarify job details and any regulations that exist around working part-time.

You can drop-in to the Careers and Employability Centre Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm.


Get involved in volunteering

Discover how we can help you find and apply for volunteering opportunities to enhance your employability and get experience to add to your studies.

Person hanging up label in the shape of a flower with writing on it about work experience at the volunteering fair
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Get experience working abroad during your vacations or when you graduate with our international job-hunting resources.

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