From some of the highest tuition fees in the world one of the most expensive countries to live in, studying in the UK costs a considerate amount of money.
Luckily, there are a lot of options for you to make on your education in British universities an easy mission to accomplish which wouldn’t be the case in the most popular study destinations. A well-developed and easily accessible student loan system, plus many scholarship schemes will offer you enough financial assistance while you study in the UK.
Moreover, in the UK, like most of the top international study destinations, foreign students aren’t allowed to work part-time. In the UK as an international student, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours at maximum per week during term-time and full-time during holiday breaks. But there are many restrictions and conditions you must stay keep to within order to be allowed to work.
Your eligibility to work within the UK while studying depends on two major restrictions: those set by your university and those by state-run official institutions. First, you must ensure that your university doesn’t have any constraint pulling you back from working before dealing with state officials. For example, depending on your study course your university can limit your working hours to you, aside from governmental restrictions.
In the UK, particularly in big cities like London, international students can find a part-time job. Some universities may can allow you to work inside campus, but there is no need to worry because there are many other options available to you. However, before getting out to hunt part-time jobs you must check if you are eligible for such work. It all starts with a Tier 4 visa, the official student visa in the UK. The first criteria you must check is your age. If you’re under 16 and don’t have a Tier 4 (General 4) you won’t be qualified to work in the UK.
Note that these working prohibitions are only weighted to students coming from a country rather than EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. Citizens of EU/EEA, including Switzerland, don’t need permission to work in the UK while they’re attending a university.
All conditions and limitations are printed out on your Tier 4 sticker (vignette) including the number of hours you can work per week during term-time. When receiving your residence permit paperwork there will be a letter that will offer you all information, whether you can work or not while you’re studying.
If one of the following is stated in that letter you can work in the UK:
- Work must be authorized
- Able to work as authorized by the Secretary of State
- Work as in Tier 4 Rules
- Restricted as in Tier 4 Rules
- Restricted work – Part-time during term-time, Full-time during vacations
- Restricted work time –
- Work limited to 20 hours per week at maximum during term-time
- Work limited to 10 hours per week at maximum during term-time
Your passport’s sticker may say something a bit different to all the above options, but if none of the following isn’t mentioned you’re eligible to work.
- Not working
- Work prohibited –
If none of these are clearly stated in your paperwork or you have a problem understanding it, we advise you to contact them personally before deciding on getting a job.
Note that if you decide to study a higher level of study or change the course you might be required to initiate a new immigration application. Until you receive a response to this new application you must adhere to the old immigration status.
How many hours you’re allowed to work per week?
How many hours your permitted to work in the UK depends on the type of the course you’re studying too. Below are shown how many hours you can work within respect to the type of course.
- In these types of courses, a student can work up to 20 hours per week.
- A full-time course at a degree level or above in a recognized higher education institution
- A short-term student registered in a program of a foreign higher institution settled in UK
- In the following types of courses, students are allowed to work only 10 hours a week
- In a full-time course below level degree sponsored by a recognized body or a publicly funded as a higher education institution.
- Any course where the student is aged over 16 holds a Tier 4 (Child) visa
- While students attending these courses are not allowed to work while studying in UK
In a part-time postgraduate course or above that is supported by a recognized body in the UK or that receives public funds as a Higher Education Institution
In a course at a further education college at whatever level
In a course at any level offered by a private higher education provider
At any course where the student aged under 16 has a Tier 4 (Child) visa
In the UK you’ll face some limits on working hours depended on few elements, including the type of your course and the type of Tier 4 sponsor you’re studying at. Full-time students can work for 20 hours per week at maximum, whether you get or not paid for your job. You can’t average a week in a long period of time since there’s a legal definition of the week. Based on this rule a week is the period of 7 days between a Monday and Sunday.
Types of jobs you’re not allowed to do
After you make sure you’re allowed to work in the UK, you’ll now have to deal with some constraints on the type of work you’re willing to do. There are certain jobs you’re not allowed to do while studying in the UK. Below are some types of them (paid or not paid) you can’t engage to when you’re holding a Tier 4 visa:
- Be a self-employed or working freelance
- Initiate a business activity
- Full-time permanent job
- Professional sportsperson including sport coach
- Work as an entertainer
- Work as a dentist or a doctor in training, except you’re enrolled in a foundation program.
- What types of jobs can you find in UK for students?
In general, the primary purpose of student visas in the UK is to serve as a route for you to study without barriers in the UK. Despite being designed only to allow you to attend the university, your student visa can allow you to work within certain time limits. However, note that the extent to which you are allowed to work, it’s made rather for your professional gains or to complement your budget. Said otherwise, the government wants to be ensured you’re not losing the track of your studies while working.
If a work placement is mandatory for your study course, then there is a fixed time-limit you should work. Currently, if you’re attending such course, you’re allowed to work for the period which is less than 33% of the duration of your course.
The following circumstances make an exemption to this rule:
Your study course is offered in a recognized higher education institution and it’s at RQF 6 or SCQF 9. You’re allowed to work up to 50% of the total length of your studies.
Your study course is part of a study abroad programme and it’s at RQF 6 or SCQF levels. You’re allowed to work up to 50% of the total length of your studies
You’re a Tier 4 (Child) aged 16 or above. You’re allowed to work up to 50% of the total length of your studies.
Work placement is an integral part of the study course and there’s a UK statutory requirement that allows you to exceed this limit.
As a foreigner and as an individual who may not have a clue of how the labour market work, it may be hard guessing what type of jobs you can and still not violating the law. Surely, there are many such jobs, but if you don’t know at least some of them right from the beginning you may end up with fewer options available.
Many students fear that they lack the proper skills to find a job as a student. That is mainly wrong because the majority of student jobs require no specific qualifications or skills. Furthermore, regardless of how hard may be to perform the task in a job placement as a student, you will always receive provision from an experienced employee.
But have you ever thought about what types of jobs you can find while studying in UK? Below we give you a long list of student jobs in the UK, which will give you an idea over what jobs to seek in UK as a foreign student.
- Student Support officer
Pharmacy Deliver Driver
Pizza Delivery Driver
Veterinary care assistant
Sport Facilities Worker
Social Media Assistant
Ice Cream scooper
Host at a Restaurant
Software Developer Intern
Waitress at the university cafeteria