Working in the UK

University Careers Advisory Service

We strongly encourage students who are considering working to refer to the University Careers Advisory Service for information and guidance on:

  • Employment during studies
  • Employment after studies
  • Job vacancies
  • Writing CVs and covering letters
  • Interview preparation
  • Careers events and workshops

Additional information on employment after your studies is available from UKCISA. For information on Tier 2 (General) work visa, please visit the Home Office website.

EEA and Swiss Nationals

All EEA and Swiss national students can work in the UK.

The requirement for Croatian nationals to apply to the Worker Authorisation Scheme came to an end on 30 June 2018 and can now work without restriction. Please visit the Home Office website.

Further information about working during studies for EEA/Swiss nationals and their dependents is available on the UKCISA webpage.

Non EEA Nationals

If you enter the UK on a Short Term Study visa then you are not permitted to take employment in the UK. This includes unpaid employment or work placements even if they are part of your course.

If you enter the UK with a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa then this will feature either a Prohibition or Restriction condition relating to employment. If you are prohibited from taking employment your visa will clearly state that you are not allowed to work, or engage in any business or profession.

In practice most Tier 4 student visa holders are given a Restriction work permission, which is usually worded "Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State" or "Work (and any changes) must be authorised". Despite the wording used, holders of visas with either of these conditions can work within these conditions without needing further permission, but they must not work more than the maximum hours they have been granted.

This restriction employment condition allows Tier 4 Student Visa holders to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations if they are studying at degree level or above, or studying a foundation degree (course that leads to a qualification at level 8 of the SCQF). Students studying any other course will only be able to work up to 10 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations. The maximum number of hours that can be worked per week (either 20 or 10) will be clearly shown on the student visa.

The UKVI definition of 'week' is 'a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday'.

Please note that term time covers all periods of your course when you are doing academic work and includes, for example, preparing for examinations, time spent producing MSc projects, dissertations and writing up research thesis until final submission.

For more information about working during your studies please visit the UKCISA website.


Your family members will be able to come to the UK as a Tier 4 Dependant, and therefore work, if you are either:

  • a government-sponsored student taking a course that is over six months long, or
  • taking a postgraduate course that is at least 12 months long and you are studying at an institution that meets the UKVI's definition of a higher education institution.

For more information about dependants, please visit the UKCISA website.