Understanding the UK job market

Whether you are hoping to work in the UK whilst studying or hoping to spend a whole career here, there are several things you need to ask yourself before applying for jobs in the UK.

Working in the UK during term-time and vacations

Many students work alongside their study but as an international student, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • You should be eligible to work in the UK, having a valid visa or being from inside the EU/EEA.
  • You will need a National Insurance number - this may be printed on your visa card. To find out more and to apply phone the application line: 0345 600 0643.
  • You may also need to show an employer your passport, or a photocopy of it, to proove your identity (but never let an employer keep your passport).
  • The University recommends you work no more than 15 hours a week during term time, in order to leave sufficient time for academic study.
  • Make sure you are being paid at least the minimum wage for your age group (it is illegal to pay employees less than these amounts).

For more information about working while studying, have a look at the International Student Visa Advice and Compliance website.

Our finding a job page has useful help and advice about getting started in your search for work experience.

Finally, two useful resources for international students looking for work in the UK are Student Circus and Post Study.

Visas and Work Permits

For information about visas or work permits, the International Student Visa Advice and Compliance Team have visa advice on their website, including information about working in the UK after your studies. You may also like to refer to the UK CISA website and the UK government website for further information, the UK Register of Licensed sponsors for a list of employers who can sponsor visas, and the AGCAS guide Recruiting International Graduates: A Guide for Employers.

International qualifications

It is sometimes difficult to explain your non-UK qualifications to potential employers on your CV, application forms or at interview. UK NARIC (The National Academic Recognition Centre) is a valuable resource for international students needing to compare their qualifications when making applications for employment.

The International Office has also produced country specific information which may help you understand how international qualifications compare with UK qualifications.

PhD and postdoctoral positions

If you are thinking about applying for a PhD or a postdoctoral position in the UK, here are some resources which will help you with where to find opportunities, applications and help with funding: