Why do British universities have a lot of vacations

Working in the UK while studying

From some of the highest tuition fees in the world to one of the most expensive countries to live in, studying in the UK costs a fortune.

Fortunately, there are many ways for you to make your education in UK universities an easy task that would not be possible in most fields of study. A well-developed and easily accessible student loan system, as well as many scholarship programs, will provide you with enough financial support.

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In addition, foreign students in the UK are allowed to work part-time, similar to most international study centers. In Great Britain, as an international student, you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the semester break and full-time during the holidays. But there are many restrictions and conditions that you must adhere to in order to be able to work.

Eligibility to participate

Your eligibility to work in the UK while studying is subject to two main restrictions: those set by your university and official bodies. First of all, you need to make sure that your university has no restrictions on withdrawing you from work before negotiating with officials. For example, depending on your degree program, your university may limit working hours to you, apart from government restrictions.

In the UK, especially in big cities like London, international students can easily find a part-time job. Some universities may only allow you to work within campus, but there is nothing to worry as there are still many options. However, before looking for part-time jobs, it is important to verify that you are eligible for such a job. It all starts with your Tier 4 visa, the official UK student visa. The first criterion to check is your age. If you are under 16 and do not have level 4 (General 4) you are not qualified to work in the UK.

Please note that these work bans are only weighted for students from one country and not from EU / EEA countries or Switzerland. EU / EEA citizens, including Switzerland, also do not need a permit to work in the UK while attending university.

All conditions and restrictions are printed on your Tier 4 sticker (vignette), including hours that you can work per week during the term. When you receive your residence permit, you will receive a letter giving you all the information, regardless of whether you will be able to work while studying or not.

If any of the following is mentioned in this letter, you can work in the UK:

  • The work must be approved
  • Can be approved by the State Secretary
  • Work like in Tier 4 rules
  • Restricted as in Tier 4 rules
  • Restricted work - part-time during the semester, full-time during the holidays
  • Limited working hours
  • The working time is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week
  • The working time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours per week

The sticker on your passport could say differently from all of the above, but if none of the following is mentioned then you are allowed to work in the UK.

  • No work
  • Work prohibited

If none of these points are clearly stated in your paperwork, or you have a problem understanding it, we encourage you to reach out to them personally before deciding to find a job.

Note that if you decide to upgrade to a higher level or change course, you will need to submit a new immigration application. Until you receive a response to this new application, you will need to stick to the old immigration status.

How many hours of work are allowed per week?

The number of hours you are allowed to work in the UK depends on the type of course you are taking. The following shows how many hours you are allowed to work in relation to the type of course

In these courses, a student can work up to 20 hours per week

  • A full-time college-level or higher course sponsored by an accredited institution in the UK
  • A short-term student enrolled in a UK overseas higher education institution program

In the following types of courses, students are only allowed to work 10 hours per week

  • In a full-time course below the level sponsored by an accredited institution in the UK or publicly funded as a higher education institution
  • Any course where the over 16 year old student has a Tier 4 (Child) Visa

During these courses, students are not allowed to work while studying in the UK

  • In a part-time postgraduate course or higher, this is supported by a recognized body in the UK or is publicly funded such as a college
  • In a course at a secondary school at whatever level
  • In a course offered by a private university provider
  • Any course where the student under 16 has a Tier 4 (Child) Visa

In the UK, you will face some working hours restrictions based on a few factors including the type of course you have and the type of Tier 4 sponsor you are studying at. Full-time students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, regardless of whether you are paid for your work or not. There is a legal definition of the week. Based on this rule, a week is the 7-day period between a Monday and a Sunday.

Types of jobs you are not allowed to do

Now that you have verified that you are allowed to work in the UK, you now have to deal with some restrictions on the type of work you are willing to do. There are certain jobs that you are not allowed to do while studying in the UK. Below are some types of jobs (paid or unpaid) that you cannot participate in if you have a Tier 4 visa:

  • Self-employed or freelance
  • Initiate business activity
  • Full-time permanent position
  • Professional athletes including sports trainers
  • Work as an entertainer
  • Work as a dentist or doctor in training, unless you are enrolled in a foundation program.

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