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5 unusual ways to make money

quick cashStaring at a full timetable as well as an empty wallet? Read on for our top tips on how to get some quick cash without sacrificing your studies.

If you haven’t got the time for a part-time job at university, there are other ways you can make some money in your spare time. Whether it’s helping lecturers or other students with research projects or acting as an extra in a film, university noticeboards will often have adverts for opportunities to make a quick buck, and you can look on the internet. Just check that the adverts are legitimate first and – although you won’t find your fortune – you should find ways to keep you from the street corner begging for change.

Medical trials

Lots of drug companies pay volunteers to test out new drugs and medicines before they go on sale. The chances of side-effects are minimal, but if you are worried about waking up with something weird growing out of your head, there are other things you can do without taking anything, such as being part of a control group for sociology experiments. Look out for opportunities advertised around your campus.

ID Parades

Rather than getting people to come into the station for identity parades, these days the police use a computer system called VIPER containing digital photographs of people’s faces. They still pay around £15 to volunteers for their mugshots however, and you don’t have to worry about getting dragged off to jail if a witness mistakenly picks you out!

mystery shopperMystery shopper

A dream job for shopaholics – and wannabe secret agents - mystery shoppers are paid to visit shops undercover and report back about customer service. You will normally get paid between £5 and £20 per visit and the company cover the costs of anything you buy. The downside is that you then have to give the stuff back, but if something particularly catches your eye you might be able to keep it instead of payment.


Everyone has an opinion – and some people are prepared to pay you for yours. Market research companies like YouGov and One Poll will pay you to take part in online surveys on everything from new products to politics. You normally earn about 50p for each poll you complete and receive a cheque when you hit a certain amount. 

TV and film extras

OK – you’ll be more in the background than the spotlight but TV and film extra work could bring you closer to the stars while making some cash. Uni-versal Extras is a company which specialises in finding students to be extras in adverts, films and TV shows. You can normally expect around £50 plus your expenses for a day, although probably not an Oscar.

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