Employment during your studies
Working during studies
Whilst you are in the UK under the conditions of a student visa, studying must be your main priority. It is your responsibility to check what has been written on your vignette (visa in your passport) or Biometric Residence Permit to ensure that you do not breach the conditions of your visa. Therefore, before taking any paid work it is vital that you discuss your plans with your supervisor or personal tutor.
You should also keep in mind that, as a full-time student, it is expected that you complete your studies in the within the usual timeframe for your course of study. Extensions requested as a result of a student having neglected his or her studies in favour of taking up paid employment would not normally be approved.
Prospective students, student visitors and all other visitor categories carry a work prohibition.
The conditions of a General Student or Tier 4 (General) visa dictates that you must not:
- fill a permanent vacancy
- be self-employed
- be employed as a doctor or dentist in training (unelss on a recognised Foundation Programme)
- be employed as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
Where you are following a course of degree level study or above (excluding a foundation degree), the following work is allowed:
- Part-time during term-time (no more than 20 hours per week)
- Full-time during vacations (This does not apply to Postgraduate students - see below)
- Full time on a work placement provided that it is an assessed part of the course and is not more than 50% of the total length of the course
Where you are following a course of study below degree level (including a foundation degree), the following work is allowed:
- Part-time during term time (no more than 10 hours per week)
- Full-time during vacations
- Full time on a work placement as an assessed part of a course
For Masters students (regardless of the length of the Masters course i.e. 1, 2, 3 years) the University term dates are irrelevant. A Masters student is only entitled to work part time (up to 20 hours per week) until the course end date has passed. For Tier 4 students this end date is the course end date stated on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which was used to make the visa application. The date cannot be brought forward, even in the case that all elements of the course are completed/dissertation submitted before this official end date. The only exceptions are the official dates upon which the University closes, such as Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. After the official course end date, a student can work full-time provided that it is on a temporary or rolling contract and not a permanent position.
As is the case for Masters students, for Postgraduate Research students University term dates are also irrelevant. A PGR student is only entitled to work part time (up to 20 hours per week) until their course end date has passed. This will be from the date that his or her degree is officially conferred by Senate and not from the thesis submission date or viva date. The only exceptions are the official dates upon which the University closes, such as Christmas Day and Boxing Day. After the official course end date, a student can work full-time provided that it is on a temporary or rolling contract and not a permanent position.
Internships (General Student Visa, not Tier 4 Student)
With a general student visa issued before 31 March 2009, you can undertake an internship of up to three months. You should not have previously undertaken an internship with the employer; the internship must be an established part of the employer’s recruitment procedure; pay and conditions must be comparable to those for ‘resident’ workers and the internship must be completed within the current visa period you have as a student.
Internships (Tier 4 Student Visa)
With a Tier 4 student visa issued after 31 March 2009, any work placement you do has to be an assessed part of your course. You are therefore not able to take an internship during term-time unless it is an assessed part of your course and is not more than 50% of the duration of your course.
You can take an internship during the vacations as this will fit in with the working conditions linked to a Tier 4 student visa which state you can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during vacation.
Voluntary year out
It is not possible for a Tier 4 visa holder to take part in Warwick's Voluntary Year Out Scheme. If you are here on a non-PBS student visa, it may be possible for you to take a year out of your studies to work if you participate in the University of Warwick Voluntary Year Out scheme. You must have gained approval from your department and from the Academic Office before taking a year out under this scheme.
There are various ways of finding out about job vacancies. You could use the University temping agency, Unitemps or use a JobCentre Plus in Coventry or Leamington, or look for local ads in newspapers or shop/restaurant windows. For more details, visit our website listed below. You may also use the Student Careers and Skills centre.
National Insurance Number
You will need an ‘NI’ number if you are undertaking any kind of work in the UK. To apply you should telephone 0845 600 643. Your personal details will be taken and the application forms will be posted to you.
Income tax (and NI contributions) are automatically deducted from your pay once you reach a minimum level of earnings in the UK. The 2013/14 tax free allowance for somebody born after 5 April 1948 is £9,440. If you earn below this level then you do not need to pay income tax or National Insurance. If you only work during university vacations and do not expect to earn more than the annual tax free allowance then you can complete a form so that your employer will not deduct income tax. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/ for more information.
EEA and Swiss Nationals
Nationals of Austria, Belgium, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, and their dependants, have no restriction on the hours and type of work they can undertake whilst studying in the UK.
Nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and their dependants also have no limitations on hours or type of work. There is no longer a need for nationals of these countries to apply for permission to work and you now have the same rights to work in the UK as other EU nationals.
Students from Bulgaria and Romania may also work during their studies, but must register under the Worker Authorisation Scheme. See the Home Office website for details and application forms. Registration certificates issued to Bulgarian and Romanian students will state that they can work up to 20 hours a week unless they are following a course with vocational training and are working as part of that training or they are working during their vacation.
Please note that it is possible to submit your national identity card instead of your passport with a BR1 application.
On 1 July 2013, Croatia accedes to the EU. From this date, Croatian nationals wishing to work in the UK will be required to apply for a registration certificate to do so. It is worth noting that Croatian nationals who are already in the UK will be able to continue to work until the end of their visa. Information about service standards for the registration certificate applications will be available in due course from the UK Home Office. We will put more information on our website when this becomes available.