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Working Restrictions

International Students (on Tier 4 Visas)

Tier 4 students at the University generally have a right to work while studying. Work permissions and restrictions are stated on the Tier 4 visa/Biometric Residence Permit. There are limits on the type of work and length of employment permitted. These restrictions depend on the type of programme the visa is issued for.

Tier 4 Visa Restrictions

Level of study Right to work during term-time Right to work during vacation
Pre-sessional English students & Foundation students Part-time, no more than 10 hours per week (including voluntary work). Full-time
Undergraduate students Part-time, no more than 20 hours a week (including voluntary work). Full-time
Postgraduate taught, 9 months Part-time, no more than 20 hours a week (including voluntary work). Full-time
Postgraduate taught, 12 months Part-time, no more than 20 hours a week (including voluntary work).

Full-time during Christmas & Easter vacations.

Students are required to study for one calendar year and, therefore, do not have a summer vacation.

The summer should be treated as term-time, with the same restriction on working hours (20 per week).

PhD programme

Part-time, no more than 20 hours a week (including voluntary work).

Restrictions are in place until the PhD is completed and awarded.

Term dates do not apply to PhD students -vacation time for an individual is approved at the discretion of their school or department (see "Term dates and vacations" below).

During approved vacations an individual may work full time.

For more information on the type of work prohibited, please check the Home Office Tier 4 student guidance at:

Term dates and vacations

Term dates do not apply to all students - please see the headings below. University term dates are published at

Undergraduates / Postgraduate taught programmes (9-months, full time)

Term dates apply to all undergraduate students and postgraduate students on a 9-month programme.

Postgraduate taught programmes (12 months, full-time)

Students do not get a summer vacation and are deemed to be studying until the expected end date of the course, as stated on their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

PhD programme (full time)

PhD students are required to be in continuous attendance, so term dates do not apply to them. They are permitted up to 8 weeks' vacation per academic year, including bank holidays and University closure days. Vacations are authorised at the School or Department's discretion, through the PhD supervisor or Doctoral Research Office student administrator. PhD students are able to work full-time during their vacation periods, which can be taken at any time within reason. Vacation time is not a given right and its authorisation will depend on the academic progress of the student.

UK and EU Students

It is important that UK and EU students balance their academic work and other activities. University policy therefore limits the number of hours that they are able to work. The restrictions in place for Tier 4 International students are mirrored to UK and EU students in University policy (see the table above).

During the summer term, undergraduate students who have completed all of their exams and have no other University work to do, may be able to work up to full time for the remainder of the term at the discretion of their Academic Tutor. An email will be required confirming this from the relevant Academic Tutor.

PhD students who have submitted their thesis and are waiting for their viva may work more than 20 hours per week, with permission from their PhD Supervisor. If working through Campus Jobs, an email from the relevant PhD Supervisor will be required to confirm this.

Due to Home Office regulations, this policy does not apply to students holding a Tier 4 visa.

Part-time students (UK & EU only)

Part-time students are entitled to work more than 20 hours per week during term-time, if they wish.

Working Time Regulations

Workers entitled to work full-time during vacation periods, must not work more than 48 hours in one week. Further information about working time regulations are available here.

Visit us

We have a help desk on the ground floor of the Carrington building which is staffed from 10am until 4pm Monday-Friday during term time. 

Workers can visit this help desk with any questions, or email us on

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