Why work whilst studying in the UK?
There can be many advantages to working whilst studying in the UK.
Apart from the obvious benefit of earning money, you can:
- Gain useful work experience and transferable skills that may help you get a full-time job once you have graduated.
- Network - making friends and professional contacts.
- Improve your English language skills in a professional setting.
Am I eligible to work in the UK during term-time and vacations?
- Although you may be able to work legally for up to 20 hours per week, the university states that all students should not work more than 15 hours each week, during term-time.
- Students from EEA countries do not need permission to work in the UK.
- Students from outside the EEA are permitted to take part-time employment
(no more than 20 hours per week during term-time).
The International Advice and Support Office have online information relating to working whilst studying. They can provide further details of your eligibility to work in the UK.
What do I need to do to work in the UK?
National Insurance (NI) number - If you are an international student, you will not have a NI number. You should apply for a NI number if you have started, or are about to start work. To make an appointment for an interview, telephone JobCentre Plus on 0845 600 0643. For further information please see the National Insurance section.
Finding part-time work
Visit the Finding Part-time Work section to get you started in your job search.
Some hints and tips:
- Focus on developing your English language skills as much as possible to increase your chances of getting a part-time job; try to speak English as much as you can with people you meet through your course or in society groups.
- Widen your search as much as possible (e.g. as well as using the Careers Service jobs pages, register with recruitment agencies, use the Jobcentre Plus website and look at the jobs section in the Bristol Evening Post on a Wednesday).
- Refer to the Careers Service information about making applications, speculative applications & CVs to guide you on writing a UK style CV. Once you have done this, you can talk to a Careers Adviser to receive feedback.
- Speak with friends about their part-time work experiences. Where are they working? How did they find their job? What format have they used for their CV?
International postgraduate students
- Postgraduates studying at the University of Bristol and subject to immigration rules (i.e. those here on student visas) should not be working for more than 20 hours per week over the summer. This period should be treated as term-time as the university has no formal summer vacation for postgraduates. During this period, it is expected that you will be completing a dissertation as a registered full-time student (most Masters' courses are for a 50 week year of study).
- The only exceptions to this are formal university arranged work placements, forming an integral part of a degree, and holidays of one or two weeks with the prior written consent of your supervisor.
Further information is available from:
- International Office - help and advice on areas such as arriving in the UK, immigration and social events. The office is open Monday to Friday.
- Careers Service - careers information for international students.
- UKCISA - information regarding working whilst studying in the UK.
- 'Finding Your Way to Work' - The British Council guide to working in the UK.
- 'Information about part time work for International Students' (PDF, 264.92 KB) - Careers Service leaflet listing where to find out more about working in the UK.
See more relevant employment legislation