Student Freelancing: Earn While You Earn at University

Prioritise Your Course

Never lose sight of why you’re at university in the first place. While freelancing alongside studies can bring in some extra cash, ultimately you’re there to get a degree. Don’t forget to actually study.

Finding Freelance Work as a Student

Sites such as Job Rapido, Brand Republic and the vast Guardian Jobs site, all offering a range of freelance positions.

Whilst you may struggle to snap up that first freelance job, once you’ve established a relationship with a client you may build up a steady line of work. Similarly, depending on the nature of your freelancing, you may be able to start building a portfolio, this in turn could lead to more work.

Here’s a few sites that hire freelance students:


Create a Portfolio Website

Freelancing is a great way to build up an impressive portfolio, but people need to know who you are, and a website can help. Whether you’re a freelance photographer or freelance journalist, create a personal website to showcase your best pieces.

Use Skills Learned on Your Course

Structure Your Time

Make Use of Student Holidays

If you’re really pressed for time or can’t get into freelancing during term, then an equally good option is offering your work during the summer holidays. With roughly three months worth of time to kill, this is another good way of building up that experience and portfolio. Sipping Pimms while finishing that commission is not a bad way of spending a summer evening.

Getting Paid

Freelancing often comes with a long-winded process of getting paid. Agree with your client beforehand when you will be paid, the method of payment, and how often you’ll receive your fee.

Invoicing is the best way to do this, but do this consistently to avoid chasing payments. There are plenty of professional looking invoice templates available online to help you get started.

Brisbane says: "It is not easy to get paid and it is not easy to get commissions, but people who really want to write should not be put off by this. Keep pitching, keep putting your neck out there and you will find paid jobs."

Register as self-employed

As a freelancer you’ll have to be responsible for your own tax and national insurance contributions. This is done via a self-assessed tax return, and you must register with HM Revenues and Customs as soon as you can. Tax doesn’t have to be taxing – visit the HMRC website for information on setting up as a sole trader.

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