Working in the UK during studies

Please read the below information to find out if you can work during your studies.

Tier 4 (General) and Student visa holders

Always check your individual visa decision e-mail, BRP or visa sticker to confirm what employment permissions have been granted to you before undertaking any work.

Student and Tier 4 visas:

If you hold a Tier 4 (General) visa or a Student Visa for full-time degree-level study, you may find one of the following restrictions stamped or noted on your BRP card, visa sticker or discussed in your visa application decision letter:

  • "Work 20 hrs max in term time" or
  • "T4G Student Work limit 20 hrs p/w in term time"

If you have one of these conditions on your BRP or visa sticker, you can work in the UK up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation periods.  You can also work unlimited hours after completing your course until your visa expiry date (your School Office or Graduate School can confirm the official vacation periods for your course and your course completion date).

The 20 hour per week maximum during term time is not flexible and cannot be exceeded in any given week. 

Please note: Masters students on a 12 month course are considered to be studying full-time while writing their dissertation and are not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week during this time.

If you are studying a course below degree level, you will only be allowed to work 10 hours per week during term time.

If you have the following prohibition endorsed in your passport, "No work or recourse to public funds", then you cannot work in the UK. 

After completing your studies:

You can work unlimited hours on your Tier 4 or Student visa after completing your course and until your visa expiry date.

Tier 4 and Student visa "Work Conditions" and prohibited work:

Please see the Student Guidance (pages 93-96) and Appendix Student in the Immigration Rules (ST26.1 - ST26.8) for details of the work and work placement conditions for Tier 4 and Student visas.

Useful links and resources

UKCISA information on working during studies

UKVI's Student Guidance  and the Immigration Rules (Appendix Student) - these online documents list all work conditions and restrictions for Tier 4 and Student visa holders.

EU Settlement Scheme Pre-settled or Settled Status holders

Holders of Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme have the right to work in Scotland indefinitely.

Holders of Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme have the right to work in Scotland until the expiration of your grant of Pre-settled Status.

Useful links and resources

Home Office information on rights with settled or pre-settled status

EU Citizens' Rights Project Scotland right to work information


Standard Visitor (visa or leave to enter)

Standard Visitor (studying for less than 6 months):

If you are coming to the UK as a Standard Visitor Visa holder or have entered the eGates as a Standard Visitor to study for less than 6 months, you cannot work in the UK.  Please remember that working where your visa type prohibits this is illegal.

Work includes:

  • taking employment in the UK
  • doing a work placement or internship
  • working for an organisation or business in the UK
  • establishing or running a business as a self-employed person
  • direct selling to the public
  • providing goods and services

National Insurance Number

A National Insurance (NI) number is a personal number which is used to record your National Insurance contributions. You should apply for a National Insurance number if you have the right to work in the UK and if you’re planning to work in the UK. You can only apply once you are in the UK.

To apply:

  • Read through the eligibility criteria and apply online
  • You will be asked to prove your identity as part of the application process. You will receive an email after you apply telling you how to do this. You may be asked to post photocopies of your documents or to attend an appointment.

Please note that it can take up to 16 weeks, after you prove your identity, to receive your National Insurance number. You can start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK. Please also note there is no charge to apply for/obtain a National Insurance number.

For full details on the application process, please see the webpage

The Student Job Hub

Careers & Global Opportunities, in partnership with the SRC, have launched ‘The Student Job Hub’.  A one-stop-shop supporting students to find part-time work whilst they study.  The Student Job Hub will advertise part-time vacancies and you will be able to view the adverts all in one place on Glasgow Careers.  

Find out more about the Student Job Hub.