Employment during and after studies

Employment opportunities when studying

Most international students at university level are allowed to do paid work in the UK while they are studying, but the rules on the kind of work you can do and how many hours a week you can work vary, depending on whether you need a visa for study and what kind of visa you have.

These rules are constantly changing, and you should consult the most up-to-date sources to ensure you understand what is allowed and what is not. Here are some of those sources;

  • If you have a visa, look at the detailed guidance provided about your visa conditions

  • Your university should be able to advise you. Most universities have visa specialists who can help you understand the guidance.

  • Look at the guidance on employment for international students on the UKCISA website.

International students have different motivations for working while they study. Some do it for the money, some to create opportunities to meet people and practise their English… and others have both motivations! Think carefully about the kind of work that will enable you to achieve your objectives. If you are not worried about the money, you may find that unpaid, voluntary work will provide you with better opportunities to practise your English.

Finally, think carefully about whether you will have time to work. Many degree programmes, and particularly master’s programmes, are very intensive and not everyone can work and study at the same time. Make sure you put your studies first!

Have you ever worked and studied at the same time? If so, how did you manage your time to ensure that your studies did not suffer?


Employment opportunities after completing your studies

It may also be possible for you to stay in the UK and work after your degree programme ends. Work experience in the UK may enhance your employability in your own country, so this is definitely an option to consider.

If this is something you are interested in, you must start planning well before your study visa ends. Career advisors in your university should be able to advise you, and this webpage on the UKCISA website is a good place to start.

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This article is from the free online course:

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK

British Council