Group of friends walking together on a beach on a sunny day

During your studies

Understand the opportunities and restrictions while you study

Working and building experience while studying is a great way to build the skills that graduate employers want. The Careers and Employability Service can support you with finding part-time work, volunteering and internships but it is important to understand what is permitted within the terms of your visa. 


Visa restrictions

Tier 4/Student Visa students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week (Monday-Sunday) during term time. This includes all paid and unpaid work, and volunteering. For example:

  • 10 hours paid + 10 hours volunteered
  • 20 hours paid
  • 20 hours volunteered
  • 12 hours paid + 8 hours volunteered

Your term time and vacation dates vary depending on the level of course you're studying.


Work you cannot do

Some types of work are not permitted under a Tier 4/Student visa including but not limited to:

  • self-employment and freelancing
  • business activities like selling goods online for profit
  • delivery driver for companies such as deliveroo and uber eats
  • any form of coaching role for university teams, local sports teams, or clubs, whether paid, unpaid, or voluntary work

Learn more about prohibited work from UKCISA


Important information

National Insurance (NI) number

Everyone who works in the UK is required to have a National Insurance (NI) number. The NI number ensures that National Insurance contributions and income tax are properly recorded against your name.

As an international student, you will need to apply for a National Insurance number through the UK government website. It can take up to 4 weeks to receive your number after you apply. You can start work before it arrives, but employers may want to wait until you receive it. 


Income tax

When you work, you will be required to pay tax on any income you earn over the personal tax allowance. You may pay tax immediately when you start work because your personal tax allowance is spread evenly over the tax year. You will pay tax on earnings from full or part-time work, including bonuses and tips. Your employer will deduct any income tax and national insurance contributions before they pay your wages using the PAYE system.


Further information

  • Wait until you arrive in the UK to secure a job - use the time before you arrive at university to prepare your CV and research what you'll need when you get here
  • Be ready to prove your "Right to work" - your employer will ask for your passport or your Share Code to check your Visa working restrictions
  • Complete your MyCareer Profile - once you're registered at the University, you can search for part-time jobs on our online jobs board.
  • Attend international student workshops - the Careers and Employability Service run careers workshops specifically for international students looking for work in the UK – find our events listing online at MyCareer



Build your skills during your degree

Whether you're hoping to earn some extra cash or would like to build your experience in the UK, we have a variety of opportunities for you to get involved in.  

Part-time work

Part-time work is a great way to develop experience in the UK and earn extra money. Most roles do not relate to professional work but will still provide you with valuable transferable skills.
Read more


When you volunteer, you'll apply the knowledge you gain from your degree to a cause you care about. You'll also improve your career prospects by developing your employability skills and gaining experience working in a professional environment.
Read more

Placements and internships

Doing a placement or internship before you graduate is a great way to get long-term experience in a sector of your choice.
Read more



Careers screen

Where to find opportunities

Once you have registered at the university, you can access our MyCareer platform. Here you can search for jobs, work experience opportunities and upcoming events. You can also find online learning and articles to support you through your career journey. 


Visit MyCareer

Explore more for international students

International student career guide

Find out about the regulations for finding work in the UK as an international student

International Ambassadors, November 2018
Read more

Working in the UK after you graduate

Learn about the options available to an international student after you graduate.

Graduation 2023 Photos
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Starting a business in the UK

Learn more about the rules around starting your own business as an international student or graduate, and how we can support you. 

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