Working in the UK

Please see the information below regarding your ability to work in the UK both during and after your studies.

Am I allowed to work?

For immigration purposes, international students must show that they can pay their fees and living expenses without working and without claiming public funds (benefits).

If you have a Tier 4 (General) Student visa and you are studying at or above degree level, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holidays. If you have a short-term study visa you are not allowed to work. Please note, the Home Office defines 'week' as a period of 7 days starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday.

Postgraduate students should also be aware that they may not be allowed to work unlimited hours during normal University holidays as their courses may not necessarily follow the usual Univeristy term dates.

If you are uncertain whether you are allowed to work, or would just like to check the rules, you can email us using the form to the right or below.

How do I find a part time job?

London Metropolitan University has a Careers and Employment Service which can help you find a part time job and enhance your employability. They can also assist you with any issues once you find a job. For more information visit London Met Careers Service.

Do I have to pay income tax?

It depends on how much money you earn. If you earn over the annual Personal Income Tax Allowance (currently £11850) you will need to pay tax on your earnings but students working part-time are unlikely to earn enough to have to pay tax. You can also claim tax back if you have paid it and haven’t earned over your personal allowance. Full details can be found here on the Government HMRC website and on the Gov.UK website.

Further information on working during your studies can be found on the UKCISA website.

Most international students would like to do some part-time work during term time not only to earn some extra money but also to build up some important skills and work experience for your CV.

As a Tier 4 Visa student studying a course that is at degree level or higher you will be permitted to work during your studies as follows:

  • up to 20 hours per week during term time (remember that the summer is considered term time if you are working on your dissertation). 

  • full time during official vacation periods when you are not studying on your course

  • you can take a work placement as an assessed part of your course
  • you can take up a sabbatical officer position at the Student Union for up to 2 years

Tier 4 Visa students studying a course below degree level are permitted to work as follows:

  • up to 10 hours per week during term time
full time during official vacation periods when you are not studying on your course

  • you can take a work placement as an assessed part of your course
  • you can take up a sabbatical officer position at the Students' Union for up to 2 years
  • Undergraduate students are allowed to work full-time during the winter vacation, spring vacation and the summer. There may be exceptions to this, such as if you started in January and not in September. If you are not certain, please ensure to contact an adviser to confirm.
  • Master's students are allowed to work full-time during the winter and spring vacations, but are only allowed to work 20 hours per week during the summer as this is because you are expected to be working on your dissertation during this time. There may be an exception to this, such as if you started in January and not September. If you are not certain, please ensure to contact an adviser to confirm.
  • PhD students are expected to be working on their research throughout the year and therefore are considered to be in term-time all year round, except for the winter and spring vacations when you can work full-time. You may be entitled to some annual leave, which is also a time when you would be allowed to work full-time, however, this must be agreed in writing with your supervisor. If you are not certain, please ensure to contact an adviser to confirm.

For help with finding and applying for a job in the UK please contact the University Careers Service. They can support you not only with your long term career planning but also with applying for part time work.

  • identify and explore your career options, including further study as well as full time and part time work
  • clarify your goals and provide you with support in achieving them
  • develop awareness of your skills, qualities and motivations and how to articulate these in applications and interviews
  • access resources and develop strategies to find part time and full time work, work experience and graduate opportunities
  • update your knowledge of labour market intelligence (LMI) including trends in the recruitment and selection procedures of a range of recruiters.

You can find more information about the rules on working while you are studying on the Home Office website.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs also publishes this useful information on Working in the UK during your studies.

If your employer requires more information about your right to work you can suggest that they call the Home Office Employer's helpline on 0300 123 4699

Please note that all employers are now required to check your actual term dates and therefore you will need to provide evidence of your term and vacation dates.

Although the Post Study Work visa route was closed in April 2012 there are several other possible options if you would like to apply to work in the UK after your studies including:

  • Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) allows PhD students to extend their Tier 4 visa in order to work in the UK for 12 months after their studies.If you do want to apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme you will need a new CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) from the University. The CAS can be issued only if you are within 60 days of completing your PhD. The Doctorate Extension Scheme will allow you full unrestricted work rights, except for some limited professions such as doctors or dentists in training or sports persons (including coaches). To make an application for the DES please contact our International Advice Service on
  • Tier 2 (General) all recent graduates can apply to switch into this work visa route if you meet all of the eligibility criteria . You will need to obtain a Graduate Level job with an employer that has a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. The register of licensed employers can be found on the website here. You must be earning at least £20800 per annum although this amount may be higher depending on the occupation. You can check the actual minimum appropriate rates of pay on the Codes of Practice for Skilled Workers.
  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur - If you have a really great business idea and possess 'genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills' then you may be able to apply for this visa. Students can apply to be endorsed by any of the Universities on the list of Endorsing Bodies. London Met is an Endorsing Body for this scheme for London Met students only. This visa is different from the other Entrepreneurial visas in that you don't need to have investment funds. Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applicants must not intend to run a business in property development or property management if the aim is to generate income from rent or the increased value of property. The intended business sector or intention must be included in the letter of endorsement provided by the institution. Time spent with Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) leave can no longer count towards the period required in the UK for eligibility for settlement under Tier 2. All London Met students can use the Accelerator to help them with their business ideas. The Accelerator offers a range of help, support, advice and events for those interested in going into business for themselves. If you’re a student of London Met the Accelerator gives you the opportunity to discuss your business ideas with a professionally qualified business adviser. They also offer funding and office space, as well as run regular workshops and motivating talks designed to equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to take your ideas to the next level. Through the annual Business Plan Competition, they encourage London Met students to submit their ideas for the chance to gain a £5,000 top prize and put contestants through training that will set them on the path to achieving their business dream. They also have an array of connections into the business world and through networking at events you can connect with the people who are able to elevate you into business success.

Come along to one of our Working in the UK After your studies Workshops

Working in the UK after your Studies workshop. To sign up please click HERE.



The workshops are delivered jointly by the international adviser and careers consultant and cover visa and immigration advice to help you understand how to make an application for a Tier 2 (General) visa and also provide information on other work related immigration categories for which you may be eligible. The Careers consultant will provide information on the UK job market and advise you on job search techniques so that you can find and apply for the graduate job you will need in order to be eligible for the Tier 2 visa.

For full details about all work options after you have completed your studies please see the UKCISA guide Working in the UK after your studies.

International Student Support

International Advice


Telephone: +44 (0)207 133 4186

Drop-in advice


9.30am – 12pm

Holloway Hub


9.30am – 12pm

Holloway Hub


To make an appointment, please email

Appointments by request

LCM-04, Learning Centre

International Programmes Office

Study Abroad email: 

Study in London email: 

Sponsor Compliance

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7133 4146

Visa Compliance 


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7133 4146

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