If your course is degree level, as a Student visa holder you will normally be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and up to full-time during holiday periods. 

The University recommends that you do not work more than 15 hours per week during term time to enable you to focus on your studies.  

What is term time?

Term time refers to the period when you are required to do academic work such as attend lectures and tutorials; prepare for and sit exams/re-sits; do coursework; write a dissertation or a thesis.

Vacation/Holiday times

You can work fulltime during the vacation periods and during the additional period at the end of your visa (i.e. four/two months) after you have finished your course.

  • Undergraduate students have a vacation period at Christmas/New Year, Easter and the summer break.
  • Masters students have a vacation period at Christmas/New Year and Easter, but not the summer, as this is when you will usually be writing your dissertation or working on a project.
  • PhD students will have a vacation period at Christmas/New Year plus a 35 days’ annual leave. This means that PhD students DO NOT have the same Easter and summer vacation periods that an undergraduate or Masters student has.

What type of work is not allowed?

Students with a Student visa are prohibited from working in the following categories:

  • self-employment e.g. freelance writing, freelance photography, private tutoring or selling goods or services directly to an end customer.
  • engaging in a business activity e.g. setting up a business as a sole trader or under a partnership, holding 10% or more share in a company
  • take a permanent full-time job
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • be employed as an entertainer
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

If you are unsure, it is very important you check your employment status prior to starting work. You must contact the Immigration & Compliance team or attend one of the Immigration Drop-in Sessions (term-time only) on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's 12.00-13.00, so we can advise you further.

Related links

Work conditions – UKCISA website

Preventing illegal working – Gov.UK