Are you a student aged 16 or older and looking for some extra pocket money? Or maybe you are interested in gaining some work experience in the UK? Well, we have good news for you. You can work in UK, even if it is just a course-related work placement. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, enhance your career prospects, and earn some cash on the side.

But let’s be honest, going through employment opportunities as an international student can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry though, we have got you covered. In this guide, we will help you understand the permissible working hours in UK for students and offer some valuable tips to help you make the most of your work experience in the United Kingdom. Let’s get started.

Why do Students want to Work in UK With Their Studies?

Students often seek work opportunities in the UK while pursuing their studies for various compelling reasons. Here are some key factors that drive students to want to work in the UK:

Financial Support:

The cost of living and tuition fees in the UK can be high. Working part-time provides students with a means to support themselves financially. Moreover, it helps cover expenses such as accommodation, food, and other living costs.

Gaining Work Experience:

Many students are eager to gain practical work experience in their field of study. Working in the UK allows them to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. This, in turn, enhances their skills and makes them more competitive in the job market upon graduation.

Building a Professional Network:

Working in the UK exposes students to a diverse professional environment. This provides opportunities to network with professionals in their industry, potentially leading to valuable connections and future job opportunities.

Cultural Exposure:

Working in a different country allows students to immerse themselves in a new culture and gain a global perspective. This cultural exposure can contribute to personal growth and the development of a more well-rounded worldview.

Language Proficiency:

For international students, working in the UK provides an opportunity to improve their English language skills in a practical setting. Effective communication in English is often a crucial skill in many professions.

Enhancing Employability:

Having work experience in the UK can enhance a student’s employability. Employers often value candidates with international work experience, as it demonstrates adaptability, cross-cultural communication skills, and a broader understanding of the global workplace.

Meeting Living Expenses:

While some students might have financial support from their families or scholarships, part-time work can help them meet additional living expenses. Plus, it can reduce the burden on their financial sponsors.

Contributing to CV/Resume:

Work experience gained during studies in the UK becomes a valuable addition to a student’s CV or resume. It showcases practical skills, dedication, and a proactive attitude. All of these are appealing to prospective employers.

In essence, the decision to work while studying in the UK is often a strategic choice driven by a combination of financial needs, a passion for professional development, and for a well-rounded educational experience.

Allowed Working Hours in UK for Students

You should be mindful of the restrictions on working hours in UK for students, which can sometimes be stringent. Therefore, it is crucial to note the following information:

The amount of work that a student with a visa for full-time degree-level studies can do during term-time is strictly defined. A student visa granted for full-time degree-level studies in the UK permits a maximum of 20 hours. This includes paid and unpaid work for one or more organizations. The Home Office defines a ‘week’ as a 7-day period starting on a Monday. Moreover, it is necessary to adhere to the University’s working restrictions in which you are enrolled.

During official vacation periods, students with a student visa for full-time degree-level studies are allowed to work full-time. However, it is imperative to check term and vacation dates based on the specific study level, as these differ. Full-time work includes internships or placements unless they are integral to the course. Moreover, undergraduates’ term and vacation dates may differ from postgraduate research and some taught master’s courses. Masters students should consult their Faculty or Department for details on official vacation periods and be aware of their course’s official end date used for the student visa application.

For postgraduate research students, the academic year is continuous from October 1 to September 30. Full-time work during the summer period is not feasible for postgraduate research students. However, holiday breaks are allowed with supervisor agreement. 

working hours earnings in UK for students

Type of Work Restrictions

As an international student holding a student visa in the UK, you have the flexibility to engage in various types of work, but it is crucial to be aware of certain restrictions. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the limitations specified by the Home Office in their Student route guidance:


You are not allowed to work as a self-employed individual. This means you cannot run your own business or work as a freelancer.

Business Activities:

Moreover, engaging in business activities is not permitted. You cannot run or be involved in the operation of a business.

Full-Time Permanent Vacancy:

Accepting a full-time permanent job is not allowed. Your work hours should not exceed the maximum limit, even if it’s a permanent position.

Professional Sportsperson:

You cannot work as a professional sportsperson, whether the involvement is paid or unpaid. This includes professional athletes and related roles.


Working as an entertainer, whether it’s paid or unpaid, is not allowed. This includes roles in the entertainment industry.

Doctor or Dentist in Training:

Working as a trainee doctor or dentist is generally not allowed unless you are enrolled in the foundation program.

It is important to keep in mind that all these guidelines must be followed by those on the foundation program for the entirety of their student visa. It is recommended that you fully comprehend and comply with these regulations to guarantee conformity with the conditions of your visa.

Working Regulations After Study

After the course completion and when an individual’s visa is still valid, working hours in UK for students change. The Home Office permits such students to work full-time, maintaining the previously mentioned restrictions on the type of work.

For PhD students, the conclusion of the course is marked by the unconditional approval of the degree. Whereas, for masters and undergraduate students, the course officially ends upon by receiving official approval notification for your degree.  Additionally, it is worth considering the option of switching to a Graduate visa after successfully completing your course.

If you want any further information regarding your stay in the UK or are still confused about the regulations of working hours in UK for students, please contact StudyWise. Our team of proficient and well-versed student counselors works very hard to guide you on the right path and provide the utmost assistance so that you can begin the journey of your ambitions in the United Kingdom. So without any delay, reach out to us and witness your dreams coming to reality.

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Can students work 40 hours in the UK?

While studying in the UK on a student visa, it’s important to verify your permission to work before seeking employment. Even if you have the legal authorization, international students are not permitted to work for 40 hours a week during term time.

Can students work full-time during vacation periods?

Yes, students are usually allowed to work full-time during official vacation periods. However, it is important to check specific terms and vacation dates.

Can students switch to the Graduate visa after completing their course?

Yes, students are encouraged to consider switching to the Graduate visa, which is available after successfully completing their course. The Graduate visa provides extended opportunities for work and career development in the UK.

Can students work after their course has ended?

Yes, after the conclusion of their course and while their visa remains valid, students are generally allowed to work full-time. However, restrictions on the type of work, as mentioned earlier, continue to apply.