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Three things your employer can do your support your degree

Support from your workplace doesn’t always have to be financial. For part time students, it’s easier to balance your study commitments around your work and there are plenty of things your employer can do to help you with your education without it costing them. If you need some help managing your time, the best way is to ask!

Flexible working

The ability to manage your own time is possibly the best gift your employer can give you. If this is already a perk of your role, you’re in luck! If not, then don’t panic. As a part time student, you can still study a postgraduate degree while working without a flexible working pattern and the university can help! It’s important to remember:

Top Tip
Take a look at the law regarding flexible working and a short guide to making your application here

The facts

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working once they’ve worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.

When you can’t make it to a class, the course content will often be uploaded onto an online learning environment, which you can access from anywhere, to ensure you’re not left behind.

What does flexible working entail?

The possibility of working a four day week and making up your time throughout the week.

Granting you the freedom to manage your own time effectively (if you need to start work early in order to leave earlier, for instance).

Top Tip
Present your employer with all the options and make a good business case for your degree studies.

Study leave

Study leave is dedicated time off work to complete studies, whether this is for months or just days of the week. Give your employer an idea of how much on-campus time you’ll need to commit (generally around one to two days per week) and let them know what your timetable might look like (if you’re enquiring early, course enquiries might be able to help you with this). If you manage to negotiate study leave, remember to hammer out the terms and conditions.

Things to think about

  • Is the leave paid or unpaid?
  • What does the proposed study leave include? Taught lesson time, exams or both?
  • If the leave is unpaid, what tax or pension implications might this have?
  • Will you need to provide proof of attendance during study leave?

Just being supportive!

It’s the little things that go a long way. Even if your employer can’t offer you the help stated above, small considerations, such as not scheduling late evening meetings, allowing you to use the office computers to study during break time or just knowing and being considerate of your timetable can go a long way! Remember to view your rights here.