I'm personally not a huge fan of drinking and going out every night- I’d rather stay in and watch Netflix (okay, perhaps not entirely true-even though I love Suits) anyhow- here are a few things to do in Plymouth on a budget.
First and foremost, I probably wouldn't be a true theatre fan if I didn't give an insight of theatre events in Plymouth so I’ll get that out the way first. The Theatre Royal Plymouth offer student tickets for various shows through ANLO ( a night less ordinary) in which if I remember correctly means you get to see a popular- decent performance for a fiver (which is cheaper than the cinema)
The university also hosts theatre visits from professional contemporary theatre companies which you can book through Peninsula Arts- these are free if you’re an arts student. However, these suggestions mean you’ll probably be in bed by 11pm.
I would also probably take advantage of the NUS card discounts around the city with large discounts at Pizza Express early on in the week (Monday and Tuesday) this may be a place to chat and catch up (there are probably plenty more but it’s the only one I personally took advantage of).
If you’re a fan of live music and socialising in a friendly environment I would suggest visiting the Barbican, there’s often live music and it’s a rather scenic. Drinks vary alot dependant on which bar you visit but in the late evenings locals are about-so It may be a pleasant change from being around students morning noon and night. However if that doesn't take your fancy either there are also club nights…
Being a house, techno, disco and well a fan of old school DJ’s I would suggest The factory which hosts many nights throughout the week which feature university DJ’s. Entrance is always cheap (drinks too) and it doesn’t normally close till 5ish so if you can last that long be my guest. Visiting here I can’t say I’ve spent more than £20 in a night so may be an experience for a serious music fan. You can expect people here to be dancing pretty much non-stop all night but there’s rarely any trouble.