MORE than 40% of students work part-time during term, according to the National Union of Students latest Hardship Survey.
Getting money for basic living and study costs was the reason cited by more than two-thirds of those asked.
But the affect it can have on academic pursuits is clear, with 59% of people claiming it affected their studies and 27% their health.
"The need to work while in full-time education puts students under considerable pressure affecting, in many cases, the quality of their academic results as well as their physical and mental health," says a NUS spokesman.
Low pay and poor working conditions were the norm, with nearly a third paid less than permanently-employed workers doing the same job.
But 25% of respondents found it a positive experience, broadening their horizons and bringing them into contact with new people.
The survey also found three-quarters of full-time undergraduates in debt, with an average figure of £3181. And 17.6% of these estimated they would owe more than £9000 by the end of their course.