Working during your studies

Information and advice on working during your studies while you hold a Student visa

If you are studying a full-time course in the UK on a Student Visa then it is likely that you will be entitled to work while you study.

Please note that the below guidance is written specifically for Student visa (formerly Tier 4) holders. If you are studying in the UK using a different form of immigration permission you will need to check the working conditions your visa allows or contact us directly for further support.

How many hours a week can I work while I hold a Student visa?

The number of hours that you can work during term time will be written on your immigration permission. Depending on your nationality and the length of your visa, your immigration permission will be in the form of 

  • a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP); or 
  • an Entry Clearance Vignette (the sticker in your passport); or
  • a digital immigration permission.

Most students on a full-time course will be entitled to work a maximum of 20 hours a week during term time.

If you are studying on a Child Student visa or you are studying a short course like Pre-Sessional English it's likely that you will be restricted to working 10 hours a week during term-time.

The Home Office have informed us that they consider “a week” to be a 7 day period starting from a Monday.

It's important that you never exceed the maximum number of hours that you are entitled to work as doing so will put your visa status at risk.

How many hours a week can I work outside term time? 

The working hour restrictions shown on your Student visa only applies during term time meaning that in periods outside term time, you will be able to exceed the maximum number of hours.

There is no limit to the number of hours you can work outside term time. 

Which times of the year are considered outside term time?

All students are considered to be outside term time before their official course start date and after their official course end date. 

Otherwise, which periods of the year you are considered to be outside term time depends on the level of study you are undertaking. Please see the table below for dates specific to the 2023/24 academic year.

Please note that post-graduate taught students do not have have a summer vacation period. Even though you may not have any formal teaching during this period, you are expected to be engaged in research and work towards your final project or thesis. 

Dates outside term time 2023/24
 Level of Study Dates outside term time 2023/24

9 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 (inclusive)

29 March 2024 to 30 April 2024 (inclusive)

8 June 2024 to 22 September 2024 (inclusive)

Post-graduate taught (Masters)

9 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 (inclusive)

29 March 2024 to 30 April 2024 (inclusive)

Post-graduate research (PhD)

23 December 2023 to 2 January 2024 (inclusive)

29 March 2024 to 3 April 2024 (inclusive)

Any periods of annual leave agreed with your supervisor as detailed here

How can I prove my right to work?

Any employer in the UK is required by law to undertake a right to work check for all its employees. 

If you hold a Student visa, your employer will ask you to prove your right to work in the UK.

They may also ask you for evidence of when your term dates are or which periods are considered outside term time. 

If your employer is unsure about how to check your right to work, you can direct them to the official UK government guidance  which includes a section called 'Students'. 

My employer is asking for evidence of when my term dates are, what can I do? 

All students can use this page as proof of any dates outside term time during which they can work full-time.

If an employer would like further documentation in support of your right to work then please contact the Student Services Centre and request a term date letter.

What kind of work can I do in the UK while I hold a Student visa?

You can undertake most kinds of work in the UK on a Student visa. 

However, the immigration rules state that you must not carry out work in any of the following categories 

  • as a professional athlete 
  • as a doctor or dentist 
  • as an "entertainer"
  • being self-employed 

Some of these categories are quite broad and therefore we strongly recommend that you read UKCISA's blog: A working definition for further guidance on what is and isn't permitted. 

As a Student visa holder you are not permitted to undertake employment in a full-time permanent role unless you've submitted a valid application under the Graduate Route or Skilled Worker Route

How can I get help looking for work? 

The Royal Holloway Careers Service can support you with finding both part-time work during your studies and with your future career plans. Click on the image below to access their e-learning resources. 


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