Working in the UK

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Tier 4 students – Working during your studies:

Your Tier 4 visa will state the number of hours per week which you are permitted to work whilst studying in the UK. This will be restricted to either 10 or 20 hours per week during term time, depending on the academic level and length of your course of study. If you are unsure about the number of hours you are permitted to work in the UK you should check with the International Student Journey Officer.

UK Visas and Immigration clarified in April 2017 that they define a week as a period of seven days beginning with a Monday.

Undergraduate students

You can work full-time during vacation periods. Please see the University term dates here to check the term dates and vacation dates.

Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate (Masters and Research) students do not follow the standard academic calendar.

Vacation time for Research students is to be agreed with a student’s Director of Studies and must be confirmed in writing with the Research and Graduate School. Please note vacation for PhD students is 40 days per calendar year and must be taken on Public holidays and university closure, this leaves 29 days to take with agreement from your Director of Studies.

Postgraduate taught students should check with your Programme Leader or Personal Tutor. If you are completing academic work over vacation periods for example your dissertation this is considered term time and you will be restricted to working 20 hours per week.

Term time is any period when you are doing academic work for example attendance at class, preparing for an exam, undertaking research or writing an assignment, dissertation or Thesis.

If you are unsure please check with the International Student Journey Officer. It is a breach of your immigration status to work more hours than your visa permits.

There are certain types of work that you are not permitted to undertake. This includes:

  • Self-employment and Business activity
  • Professional sportsperson including a Coach
  • Entertainer
  • A permanent full-time job
  • Doctor or Dentist in training unless you are on the Foundation Programme

Detailed information about work you cannot undertake can be found on the UKCISA webpages:–Advice/Working/What-kind-of-work-can-you-do

Working after your studies

Once you have completed your studies you are able to work in the UK during the short period that your visa permits you to be in the UK after your course end date providing that this is on a temporary or rolling contract and it is not a permanent position.

If you leave your course before the expected end date you are not entitled to work in the UK regardless of the expiry date of your visa.

Your employer may ask for confirmation that you have completed your studies at the university. If you need a letter you can request this in the Student Centre, Chancellors Mall, by telephone +44 (0)1204 903 733 or email

Important information 

If your visa is an entry clearance vignette in your passport this must be in your current passport in order for you to work in the UK. If your entry clearance vignette is in an expired passport you will need to apply to the Home Officer for a Transfer of Conditions. 

The International Student Journey Officer can provide advice and assistance with the Transfer of Conditions application.