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Skint? Make money doing what you love as a student

An illustration of someone surfing on a credit card
An illustration of someone surfing on a credit card
Illustration: Money by Gabriele Lorusso
Written by
Careers & Employability
Published date
26 October 2020

To kickstart the new term, we hosted our online event 'Skint? Make Money Doing What You Love as a Student' which was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves and what we do. For those of you who missed it, we’re sharing our top 5 ways to make money and how we can support you!

Please note that if you’re an international student on a Tier 4 visa, there are restrictions to the work that you can undertake whilst studying in the UK as stipulated by the Home Office, which we mention later on.

5 ways to make money

1. Get a job

2. Freelance or work for yourself

3. Sell stuff/ your work

4. Get funding

5. Competitions

How can UAL help me to get a job?

Arts Temps

UAL's temp agency Arts Temps provides a variety of creative and non-creative jobs across UAL to students and alumni. It's a great way to earn extra money, work flexible hours that fit around your studies, gain work experience and build your CV.

Creative Opportunities

UAL's jobs board advertises external jobs and paid internships to UAL students and graduates, including entry level jobs, freelance, international, part-time and temporary roles.

What if I don’t feel ready to get a job? 

We offer support in developing your employability skills through our talks and workshops. You can also book yourself onto an online Career Discussion for one-to-one advice about all things relating to your employability. If you're looking for advice on how to make your CV stand out, need support finding paid opportunities, or advice on how you can turn your passion project into a business, we will do our best to support you.

We also have a range of online resources and we recently created some useful 'how to' videos on our Youtube channel.

Other ways that you can look for jobs beyond our own resources are looking at external recruitment/temping agencies, searching for companies and viewing their vacancies, using job listing sites and considering non creative jobs as a way of getting experience.

What if I want to work for myself?

There are lots of benefits to working for yourself:

  • Use your creativity and be inventive
  • Do what you want, when you want
  • Be your own boss
  • Decide your fee
  • Don't wait for a job, create a job
  • Create your job title
  • Use your friends and family as clients

We offer a range of online resources on freelance and business advice and we host events in our enterprise learning space, not just a shop and online throughout the academic year.

How can I showcase or sell my work?

UAL students and graduates can sell work through not just a shop, UAL’s retail and enterprise space. Plus, we regularly run paid design competitions.

Other ways you can sell your work are online market places such as Etsy and Ebay, setting up your own online shop, using Arts SU’s platform Made in Arts, London or booking a space at one of London’s many markets and fairs.

How can I apply for awards and funding?

Careers & Employability manage a number of awards:

The Creative Enterprise Awards which allow you to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 plus a share of prizes including: showcasing, industry mentoring and business training. Deadline: May/June 2020.

Pitch-it: pitch a business idea to a panel for the chance to win £100 - £500.

Mead Awards: £10,000 Fellowship Awards for creative projects after graduation. You can apply in your final year of study.

How can I make money through competitions?

Here's some things to consider if you're trying to make money or promote your work by entering creative competitions:

  • Is it skills based or random selection?
  • Try to think about how much time it will take to enter, the benefits of winning and the chances of winning.
  • Why do they want you to enter? What are you giving to them?
  • Make sure you check the criteria, terms, prize details and protect your Intellectual Property.

What if I’m an international student?

If you’re an international student on a Tier 4 visa, there are some work restrictions which you can find out more about on UAL’s website and on UKCISA. Full-time Tier 4 students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week and full-time during the holidays. Part-time students can’t work. The limits on your working hours will depend on when you applied for permission to come to or stay in the UK, the type of course you study and what type of sponsor you had so be sure to research the conditions of your visa.

If you’re an international student studying full time and you want to undertake up to 20 hours work per week, you’ll need to apply for a National Insurance Number. You can call the application line on 0800 141 2075 (Mon-Fri, 8am- 6pm) to make an appointment.

Unfortunately students on a Tier 4 visa are not allowed to be self-employed in the UK.

However, if you do wish to remain in the UK after you’ve graduated to develop a business, UAL endorses up to 30 businesses each year with the International Start-up Visa. You can apply in February and June of your final year of study.

As an international student, you can still attend Careers & Employability’s full range of events and workshops. You will also be eligible to apply for many of our opportunities and competitions.

How can I keep up with what's on? 

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