Street Section by Helen A Love

International students Working during studies

If you have a Student visa or Tier 4 visa allowing you to work in the UK, there are strict rules governing the total number of hours that you may work in any given week during official University of Strathclyde term time.

The following information is for students studying at the University of Strathclyde only; we are a sponsor with a track record of compliance.

Working while studying

Am I entitled to work?

Your entry clearance vignette (visa sticker in your passport) or Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP) will state your working entitlement. This allows you to work either 20 hours or 10 hours (for foundation and pre-sessional courses) per week during term time and full-time during official University holiday periods; these holidays will vary according to your course of study and can be seen in the table below.   You should not attempt to work an average number of hours if the average puts you above 20 or 10 hours at any time. For example, if you're entitled to work 20 hours per week, you cannot work 24 hours one week and then 16 hours the following week.

If the University becomes aware that you have worked more than 20 or 10 hours in any one week, you will be breaking the conditions of your visa and the University will take action to report this breach of conditions to UKVI.  This can have serious implications on your immigration status and ability to continue with your studies. 

I have another immigration status – can I work?

  • Students here on a Standard Visitor Visa are not permitted to undertake paid or unpaid work or participate in a work placement
  • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals granted Pre-Settled or Settled Status through the EU Settlement Scheme have a right to work in the UK

For further information on working during studies please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

What counts as one week for work purposes?

The Home Office states that a week is considered 'a period of seven days beginning with a Monday.' This means that you shouldn't work more than 20/10 hours between any Monday and the following Sunday. Further information on how a week is defined is available here.

When can I work full-time?

Course level

Periods when full-time work is permitted

Additional information

Pre-sessional

Between end of pre-sessional and beginning of main course of study check University Key Dates page for details of start of Academic Session

Please note that if you have resits you cannot work full-time until you have undertaken the resit exam/assessment

Undergraduate (inc integrated masters courses)

During all official University vacation periods as per University Key Dates page

You can work full-time during the holidays noted in the column on the left.

If you have August resits, you cannot work full-time until you have undertaken the resit exam/assessment.

The period between your last exam in each year and the official end of term date is still considered to be in term-time and you should adhere to 20 hours per week work limit.

You can work full-time when you have *successfully completed your course and until your visa expires. Your course is not complete until you have your final results - i.e. Registration Status on PEGASUS = COMPLETED.

PG (MSc etc)

During Spring and Christmas vacation as per University Key Dates page.  This applies to both January and September starts with no exceptions.

 

The period between submission of dissertation and receiving official exam board results is still considered to be in term-time and you should adhere to 20 hours per week work limit even if this is after the course end date on your CAS. 

You can work full-time when you have *successfully completed your course and until your visa expires. Your course is not complete until you have your final results - i.e. Registration Status on PEGASUS = COMPLETED.

PGR (inc MPhil)

During Christmas Vacation as per University Key Dates page

The period between submission of soft-bound thesis and viva is still considered to be in term-time and you should adhere to 20h p/w work limit even if this is after the course end date on your CAS. 

You can work full-time when you have *successfully completed your course and until your visa expires. Your course is not complete until you have your final results - i.e. Registration Status on PEGASUS = COMPLETED.

*UKVI defines successfully completed to be when you have achieved the qualification for which you were studying i.e. after being formally awarded by the University.

What work can I do?

Student visa holders and Tier 4 visa holders can do most kinds of work. However, you are not permitted to:

  • be self-employed or undertake any 'business activity'
  • work as a professional or semi-professional sportsperson, including as a sports coach
  • work as an entertainer
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on a foundation programme
  • take a permanent full-time job, unless you meet the conditions in the Immigration Rules Appendix Student, paragraph ST 26.6 (see below)

More information is in the Immigration Rules Appendix Student, paragraphs ST 26.5 and 26.6 and the Student route caseworker guidance

Students who have a Standard Visitor Visa are not permitted to work in the UK.

What evidence can I provide to my employer that shows I can work and when I can work?

If you have a Tier 4 or Student visa, checking your BRP will help show your Student visa work conditions. However, some employers may ask for further information from you.

We would suggest that you provide the following:

  • Student status letter - this can be downloaded from PEGASUS
  • Confirmation of award or your results letter - this also can be downloaded from PEGASUS
  • A link to the Key Dates page
  • Providing the employer your share code - you will need your BRP or passport you used to apply for your Tier 4 or Student visa to use this service

Please note that the University cannot provide you with a personalised letter confirming your right to work;  it is a statutory responsibility for the employer to check that you are eligible to work. 

You can direct your employer to our official University statement in regards to providing letters.

How do I find a job?

You are allowed to use government Jobcentres when searching for a job. Students can also use the Careers Service online vacancy platform to search for degree-related part-time jobs, MyCareerHub, to search for work experience opportunities and graduate jobs. The Careers Service provides reliable information and advice on all aspects of preparing for and searching for jobs in the UK and abroad.   Adverts for general part-time opportunities can be found in the Students' Union JobShop.

The Careers Consultants can also advise you on preparing your CV, your search for jobs and preparing for different stages of the application process.

Once you have found a job or have been offered a job, you need to obtain a National Insurance Number. The Careers Service can assist you with this.

What is the minimum wage?

The Government issue details on the National Minimum Wage & National Living Wage rates in the UK.