We can confirm that currently there is a 10% student discount at Waterstones with a Unidays code. To get it just head to the special page on waterstones.co.uk, validate your student ID and you’ll be issued with a code. Purchases need to be over £25 to qualify.


There is also an in-house Waterstones student discount scheme called Student Plus. However, you only get 5% off so the Unidays code is better.

Also students should check out the Waterstones clearance page where you can get the biggest discounts of up to 50% off.


If you take a look at the new books page too there were some discounts of up to 50% last time we looked!

The savings don’t stop there. Take a look at our quick savings section below to help students save even more with the latest voucher codes, special offers, sales alerts and deals:

Waterstones Discount Deals Discount Expires
50% Off Sale Items 50%  30 May 2024
10% Student Discount 10% 31 December 2024
20% off new books 50% 30 May 2024
10% Unidays Code 10% 31 December 2024

“Make sure you check out the sales page, where there are big discounts on 500 plus items! Also the student rewards scheme”

Get a Student Discount at Waterstones

As mentioned in the introduction, the excellent news is that there is a standard student discount for Waterstones for those who attend university, college or school. There is either a 10% Unidays code (spends over £25) or 5% on the Waterstones Plus student app. To get the Unidays code, follow these instructions:

  • Go to the student page on waterstones.com
  • Follow the simple instructions and verify your student status via UNiDAYS.
  • You’ll be issued with a unique Waterstones student discount for 10% off.
  • Purchase your fantastic books or gifts.
  • Laugh all the way to the bank!


There are limited periods throughout the year that the official student discount increases to 20% so keep your eyes peeled for that. We’ll be updating our savings section here, so please do check back before buying for the latest special offers. Also, make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date with current updates as they come in, you can also join our mailing list, simply leave your email address for weekly updates.

But did you know there are ways to get even bigger Waterstones discounts at waterstones.com than the standard reduction above? No? That’s what the Student Squirrel is here for and why we are one of the fastest-growing student discounts sites in the UK. Check out some great money-saving tips below:

waterstones student discount
Get a student discount at Waterstones today.

The Waterstones Unidays Code

The student discount schemes are now quite dispersed and it can be confusing seeing what you’re entitled to. The biggest 3 in the UK are:

  • Unidays
  • NUS Totum
  • Student Beans

Well never fear dear students, that is why we wrote this guide and all will be revealed.


Waterstones Unidays Discount?

Great news, as explained in the introduction, there is a Unidays Waterstones code. To get it, go to the special Unidays page on waterstones.com, validate your student id and you’ll be issued with a bespoke code. Use the code at the online checkout and you’ll get a minimum 10% discount on purchases over £25.

Waterstones NUS Totum Discount?

So there is no official NUS Waterstones discount BUT NUS students will qualify for the standard student discount. This is because you will have an educational email address. So just make sure you go to this page on Waterstones.com to validate your status. And just to be clear there is no Waterstones NUS Extra code either. We hope that makes sense. If in doubt, just validate your status at the page above!

Important news, the Waterstones Unidays discount has been suspended. Students used to be issued with a unique code but it’s not available at the moment. We think this is because Waterstones are developing their own student discount offering and pages.

Are there Student Beans Discounts at Waterstones?

Unfortunately, there is no association between Student Beans and Waterstones, we think this is because the standard student discount is good enough.

“Waterstones also have their own Plus student app. It gives 5% off purchases plus exclusive offers and discounts. We recommend you download the Waterstones app today to keep up to date with all their offers”

Waterstones Discount Code, Promo Codes and Vouchers

So the marvellous news is that there is a standard 10% students discount code. To get it, just follow the steps mentioned in the section above using your student id. But did you know that Waterstones releases promo codes throughout the year and also do free UK delivery?

The great thing about these is that they sometimes have a bigger discount than 10% and you don’t need any time-consuming student validation process to get it. The one drawback is that these codes have a time limit on them, usually between 1-2 weeks.

How to Use a Waterstones Codes

Not sure how to use a promo code? No worries, we’re here to help. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be saving like a pro!

  1. Get your code from the top of the page if available.
  2. Click and copy the code on the button.
  3. Go wild in the virtual aisles at Waterstones and add the amazing fashion items to your online basket
  4. Get to the checkout and there will be a box. Enter the code.
  5. The discount will be applied and you will save.

Easy peasy huh and don’t forget free UK delivery. Well, we love discounts and we are here to help!

Other ways to save aside from the Waterstones student discount include:

  • The Waterstones Plus student app
  • One-off Waterstones promo codes and discount codes
  • Offers with gift cards
  • Waterstones voucher code release
  • Offers on the Waterstones website

If you’re looking for similar discounts, why not check out our WHSmith student discount page, or the guides to Paperchase and Ryman.

Waterstones Sales, Students Save More

One of the best ways for students to get the biggest discount and save money is when there is a big Waterstones sale. The big ones are around the same time each year. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of free UK delivery.

We’ve found out that there is an offers page on Waterstones.com which is worth a look at any time of year. Also, make sure you take a look at the home page, as the latest sales, deals and offers are always promoted here. However, the best savings is when there is an official sale. Take a look to see if there is one due. We also recommend downloading the Waterstones app and don’t forget they do a fab click & collect.

Waterstones Black Friday and Cyber Monday

There tends to be a huge Waterstones Black Friday sale. They have reductions of up to 50%. We like looking at Waterstones.com as it’s easy to search by size which is handy and there were good reductions on dresses, shirts, trousers, shoes and much more. If it’s coming up to that date (last week in November) then it’s worth hanging on to.

Christmas, Boxing Say and Waterones January Sales

Around Christmas, Boxing day and then into January, there are some amazing reductions and deals to be had but they usually go quick plus student discount can be added on top. Online is a great place to go but we recommend snapping it up if you see something you like as they tend to sell out fast.

Spring, Mid-Season and Easter Sales

Around mid-March Waterstones have a mid-season sale and also something for Easter too. We’ve found that they have a good 50% sale on selected items, and then add additional discounts of 20% on sale items so you can get up to 70% off. This is one of THE best times for students to bag a bargain.

Summer Sales

Ready for your holidays? Then the summer sales are the perfect time to get a make-up bargain at Waterstones. There are good discounts on a range of books and unique gifts which is handy to help you save money.

2024 Waterstones Store Overview

Waterstones is the last surviving sole bookseller on the British high street; no mean feat given the fate of competitors such as Borders, Books Etc, Foyles and Ottakars. Unlike most other high street chains, each branch is managed with a high degree of autonomy and staffed by expert booksellers who are passionate about reading and are always on hand to share with customers recommendations. This means that walking into one Waterstones store may be a very different experience to another. University campus bookshops are more likely to be full of non-fiction and split into subject shelves (roughly to match areas of study available at that uni), but stores in shopping malls, airports and train stations may offer an entirely different range based on its target and usual consumer.

If you’ve ever needed to track down a niche textbook, you’ve likely managed to do just that at Waterstones; and if they don’t have what you’re after in-store, it can be ordered in for swift delivery. As well as non-fiction and curriculum books, you can also find fiction, children’s books, stationery and a small range of gifts available.

Waterstones stores host a range of literary events, including signings, talks and lectures, and the shelves are often annotated with staff’s top picks or recommendations based on their current and favourite reads. If you’re more of a digital or e-reader fan, you can pick up a Waterstones-exclusive Kobo reader and download titles directly from the online shop to that (or to another compatible e-reader), as well as MP3 audio files.

The Waterstones official discounts for students program is known as ‘Waterstones Plus’ and offers a loyalty scheme tied in with money-off. You can sign up in-store or online, and enrol in the programme to earn a ‘Plus stamp’ for every £10 spent. Every 10 stamps are worth £10, which can then be spent on Waterstones items. You’ll also receive 5% student discount on every purchase! Remember to use your student id. Whatever genre you’re into, and whatever format in, you’ll find it in Waterstones: on-campus, click & collect, online, or in-store and you can even download the Waterstones app. 

With a £6,000 redundancy payment from WHSmith, Tim Waterstone set up a bookshop in Old Brompton Road back in 1982; the first-ever Waterstones. Taking inspiration from bookshops he had browsed in the US, he set about placing literary authors in ornate window displays and hiring only the most literate and passionate readers as staff.

By 1990, the chain was able to open more branches, and Tim’s former employer took out a stake in the brand. Just a decade later, it was the largest bookshop chain in Europe and WHSmith bought it for £47m… not a bad return given Tim’s first investment! WHSmith saw the chain broaden its horizons to the US and open a shop in Boston, as well as open its 100th store in Reading, UK.

In 1997, Tim Waterstone attempted to buy the WHSmith group, and they reacted by selling the Waterstones chain to HMV. HMV oversaw a withdrawal from the American market and Tim step down from his position as CEO due to ‘concerns’ in the running of the business. The company changes hands again in 2001 and then again in 2018. Sales have been up and down, dependent on the owner and the direction being taken, but the hedge fund now owning the brand are looking to stabilise it and make their approach more consistent. This can only mean good things for Waterstones, so we hope they continue to strengthen and diversify.

Fun Facts, Did You Know

  • There are 283 stores in the UK
  • On average there are 30,000 books per store
  • They employ 3500
  • It was established in 1982
  • It was founded by Tim Waterstone and the HQs are in London
  • In 2018 they bought Foyles
  • Waterstones offer a great in-store shopping experience and sell toys & games, as well as books
  • They support lots of literary awards
  • Plus Student is their great in house scheme to help you save money (Waterstones plus student scheme)
  • They have a fab app – make sure you download the Waterstones student card app today for even more savings.

Popular Questions

Does Waterstones student discount?

Yes, we can confirm that there is currently a 10% student discount for Waterstones.

To get it you need a Unidays code and to add it at the online check-out.

How do student discounts work at Waterstones?

Student discounts work at Waterstones by getting 10% off your books, gifts or stationery.

To get it online you need to generate a Unidays code. Then enter the code in the promo code box at the online check-out.

If you are in-store then show your valid student id or Unidays app at the till.

Is there a Waterstones Unidays code?

There is currently a Unidays code for Waterstones for 10% off.

To get it, go to myunidays.com and either register or logon. Search for Waterstones then generate your Unidays code and use it at the online checkout promo code box.

Do Waterstones do discounts?

We can confirm that Waterstones do discounts. This  can be with voucher codes, student codes, and sale discounts.

Does Waterstones do NHS discount?

There is currently a Waterstones NHS discount of 15%. You can get the code at the Health Service Discounts websites.

How do I get a Waterstones voucher?

You can buy Waterstones vouchers through the gift card and vouchers page on waterstones.com and in Waterstones stores too. These can either be a paper voucher or an e-voucher too.

Summary of Waterstones Student Discount

We’ve come to the end of this guide. Here’s a summary:

NUS Totum 0%
Student Beans 0%
Unidays 10%
Student Discount 10%
Best Current Offer 50% off

We’ve shown you that there is a 10% student discount for Waterstones that you can get with a Unidays code. We’ve also shown that there is an in-house student discount scheme at Waterstones with additional savings possible.

In addition, it’s also possible for students to save more with voucher codes and sale discounts. Our savings section has the latest.