Working while studying in UK as an International student

Working while studying in UK as an International student

Tue Nov 14 2023 Effa Iqbal

Navigating the job market can be daunting, especially when you’re in a new country pursuing your education.

This guide’ll provide comprehensive information for those interested in working while studying in the UK.

Can International Students Work Part-Time in the UK?

Prospective international students often wonder about possibly working part-time in the UK.

Many students take up internships and jobs while pursuing their studies, providing an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and earn some income.

Eligibility Criteria to Work While Studying in the UK

Your eligibility to work as a student is governed by the UK Government and your university. According to the government, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be above the age of 16.
  • Possess a valid UK student visa.
  • Your visa should be sponsored by an institution licensed to sponsor migrant students.

Being aware of the strict restrictions and guidelines associated with working in the UK is crucial.

Violating these restrictions could lead to complications with your immigration status.

Universities also have their own rules to help international students navigate part-time work.

Some institutions limit students’ work hours, and some only allow on-campus employment.

Before starting your job search, you must check with your university for specific guidelines.

How Many Hours Can You Work?

If you are pursuing a full-time graduate or undergraduate degree in the UK, you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time.

For courses below degree level, such as diplomas or foundational courses, the limit is 10 hours per week during term time.

Full-time work is permitted during work placements and vacations.

It’s important to note that these are guidelines set by the student visa, and universities may impose additional restrictions on work hours.

Types of Jobs Available to Students

Students in the UK have a variety of job opportunities to explore, broadly falling into the following categories:

Part-Time Jobs:

While finding a part-time job related to your field of study is preferable, options like fast-food restaurants and retail stores often welcome students part-time.

On-Campus Jobs:

Many non-academic jobs are available on university campuses, such as roles in the IT department, university daycare, or cafeteria work.

Some universities even offer academic positions like Teacher’s Assistant (TA) and Research Assistant (RA), which are typically awarded based on theoretical performance.

During semester breaks, students are encouraged to pursue internships in their field of study, providing experience and insight into their desired career path.

Examples of Job Roles Not Allowed

Certain job roles are off-limits for international students, including:

  • Starting a business or being self-employed.
  • Joining an organization on a full-term permanent contract.
  • Working in the entertainment or sports industry.
  • Undertaking statutory roles.
  • Working in a company where you own more than 10% of shares.

However, students interested in these roles shouldn’t worry, as they can prepare during their studies and pursue them after graduation.

The UK government offers up to 2 years of post-study work permit (PSWP) for international students.

How to Find Work Opportunities?

Getting Help from Your University:

All universities have placement support and student support offices to assist students in their job search.

To make the process less intimidating, consider the following steps:

Write a professional CV with a clear objective statement. Seek assistance from placement support offices if needed.

Research available jobs and shortlist those that align with your preferences.

Consult student counselors for guidance and proceed with your job applications.

Scouting for Jobs in Your Local Area:

Explore businesses in major student cities, as they are often accustomed to hiring students. Consider the following tips:

Walk around the city and look for shops or companies seeking part-time employees. Offer your services directly.

Consult senior students at your university for insights into available jobs and employers.

Applying for Jobs Through Networking Sites:

Utilize professional networking sites to explore a variety of job opportunities. Create a profile and apply through platforms such as

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Totaljobs
  • Monster

Pros and Cons of Working While Studying in UK


  • Earn money while studying.
  • Gain insight into real workplace dynamics.
  • Develop teamwork and collaboration skills.
  • Acquire valuable work experience for your CV.

Expand your professional network, which is beneficial for post-graduation employment.


Balancing a part-time job with a full-time education can be stressful.

  • Effective time management may be challenging.

Working as an international student in UK

Study Law In UK


Working while studying in the UK can be a rewarding experience, providing valuable skills and insights into the professional world.

By understanding the eligibility criteria and job options and leveraging university support, international students can navigate this dual commitment successfully.

While challenges exist, the benefits of gaining work experience and building a professional network often outweigh the cons.

Embark on your journey, initiate a conversation with a friendly Edify’s Counsellor, and start your study and work adventure in the UK.


FAQ: Can international students work full-time in the UK?

Answer: No, international students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time for full-time degree courses and 10 hours for courses below degree level.

FAQ: Are there restrictions on the types of jobs international students can pursue?

Answer: Yes, certain roles like starting a business, sports, or entertainment industry jobs are restricted for international students.

FAQ: How long is the post-study work permit for international students in the UK?

Answer: The UK government offers up to 2 years of post-study work permit (PSWP) for international students after graduation.



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