Four people working in an office

International students Working during studies

If you have a 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.

Take a look at our right to work in the UK page for full details.

Working while studying

Am I entitled to work?

Your Entry Clearance Vignette (sticker in your passport) or BRP (Biometric Residence Permit card) will state your working entitlement. It should state either 20 hours or 10 hours per week during term time.

This allows you to work part-time for up to 20/10 hours (as stated on your visa) per week during term time and full-time during holiday periods (holiday periods vary according to your course of study).

You shouldn't attempt to work an average number of hours if the average puts you above 20/10 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 you work more than 20/10 hours in any one week you'll be breaking the conditions of your visa which can have serious implications on your immigration status and ability to continue with your studies. 

How many hours can I work?

  • Tier 4 students on pre-sessional courses will be limited to 10 hours per week
  • Students here with a Short Term Study visa are not permitted to undertake paid or unpaid work or participate in a work placement
  • EEA students have no restrictions on their work conditions

For further information on working during studies please visit the 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 hours between any Monday and the following Sunday. Further information on how a week is defined is available here.

When can I work?

Summer vacation runs from the end of Semester 2 to the beginning of Semester 1 in the following academic year.

For confirmation of semester and vacation dates, take a look at our key dates page.

  • A Postgraduate Masters student writing a dissertation/project is not on vacation from the course during the summer vacation and therefore cannot work more than 20 hours per week during this period 
  • Full time work is permitted during official Christmas and Spring vacation periods
  • MRes, MPhil or PhD students undertaking research are not on holiday from the course during the spring and summer vacations and therefore cannot work more than 20 hours per week during these periods. PhD students are only permitted to work full-time on the official University Closed Dates over the Christmas and New Year period
  • Undergraduate students are on vacation during the Christmas, spring and summer vacations and are therefore entitled to work full time during this period.
  • All Tier 4 students can work full-time (for up to 4 months) after the official end date of their course until their visa expiry date. PhD and PGR students, please note that you will not have completed until your thesis has received final examination AND your Pegasus record shows your status as ‘Completed’

What work can I do?

Tier 4 Students are not permitted to:

  • be self-employed or undertake any 'business activity'
  • work as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • work as an entertainer
  • take employment as a doctor or dentist in training
  • take a permanent full-time job

How do I find a job?

You're allowed to use government Jobcentres when searching for a job. Students can also register with the Careers Service online vacancy service for part-time jobs, work experience opportunities and graduate jobs. The Careers Service provides reliable information and advice on all aspects of preparing for and searching for graduate jobs in the UK and abroad.

The Careers Advisers can also help you with your CV, your search for jobs and help you to prepare applications and other employment skills.

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.