Part time work can be a real distraction from your studies, but not if you choose your trade carefully. Why work late nights in a busy bar, with student loans and miss your morning lectures when you can earn good money at a time that fits in with your student schedule? Here are five ways you can improve your cost of living with minimal time and effort.

Student Loans: 5 ways to earn money

1. Share your wisdom

If you’re a whiz at your subject, private tutoring can earn you serious cash while you study. And for foreign students, teaching your native tongue is surely a no-brainer. You won’t need any teaching qualifications, but you will need oodles of patience and good study skills to pass on. The rewards could be as high as £30 per hour once you’re established and have glowing references to recommend you. Tutoring also demonstrates entrepreneurial get-up-and-go and will supercharge your CV.

2. Take part in research

From sports science to statistics, various departments at your university will be on the look out for students willing to take part in their experiments. For example, Sussex University’s psychology department are currently offering £10 to complete a 90-minute questionnaire assessing your moods. Or £15 to drink alcohol and get hypnotized. If that’s not easy money, we don’t know what is. So scoot over to your university job page to uncover any number of surprising opportunities. Off campus, you’ll find market research companies willing to pay students between £20 and £50 a week to understand their consumers better. You can register to take part in as many or as few surveys as you like, most of which are carried out by phone or online – so you don’t even need to leave the house.

3. Become a librarian

Here’s a job that will actually help you study, and it usually pays pretty well too. University libraries offer flexible hours and a chilled out pace that means you can take advantage of the quiet environment and knowledge at your finger tips to crack on with your course work or revision. Your responsibilities will include logging books in and out, helping students and academics navigate the shelves, and ordering in any titles that aren’t available on campus. Oh, and probably a fair amount of shushing.

4. Work with brands

Big brands know the value of peer-to-peer recommendations and are crying out for student ambassadors. With you on board, they can deliver tightly targeted messages to an audience whose loyalty is worth big bucks over a lifetime.

Your job is simple: positively promote the company and champion their products. Which could mean taking part in branded events on campus, representing the brand at university fairs, or handing out product samples to fellow students. The money can be pretty good and you can choose your level of time commitment. If you’re outgoing and a great communicator, this job can be a fun and flexible way to top up the coffers. From Smirnoff to Microsoft, you can find a range of brand ambassador vacancies at campusindustries.co.uk.

5. Sell stuff

You could be sitting on a small fortune. Those CDs you haven’t listened to since the year 2000? Music Magpie could pay you around 50p on average for each one. And if you happen to have something rare in your collection the amount could be much higher. They’ll also take computer games off your hands for an average of £1.50 a pop. But why stop there? Dig out those shoes you’ve only worn once because they give you blisters and sling them on eBay. Same goes for unwanted gifts, the speakers you’ve since updated, jewellery that’s no longer your taste, and any other decent quality items you don’t need. As for those old mobile phones you’ve been collecting in a drawer, send them to Mazuma Mobile, who will pay for postage and then deliver a cheque a few weeks later. Ka-ching!