Can I work and also study in the UK?

In our article about the cost of studying and living in the UK, we compiled all the information related to tuition fees for British universities. And as you can see, the study and living costs in the UK are quite expensive. To overcome this challenge many international students choose to work and study in the UK. Thus, we have compiled for you all the available possibilities and also what you should avoid doing in the UK.

Can international students work in the UK?

As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of job offers and opportunities for international students in the UK. As an international student, you can work up to 20 hours a week during your study period.

In addition, you can work in the UK only if your university is on a list of the various universities and institutions whose students can work alongside their study. International students who study in a full-time degree program at a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD level might have a maximum of 20 working hours per week.

Also, they are allowed to work a full-time job during the holidays and summer for bachelor students. If you chose a university which doesn’t allow its students to work, you will not get this privilege to a part-time job.

Moreover, PhD students may work full-time during the period between the presentation of their thesis and their test, which is a holiday period. However, some employers will not allow you to work full-time during this period. This depends on the employer’s policy.

Work and study in the UK: What kinds of job to avoid?

You can definitely work and study in the UK. However, there are also a few things that you avoid, like working as:

  • A self-employed person, and business activities.
  • A professional sportsperson including as a sports coach.
  • Full-time employee.
  • An intern in a job that has nothing to do with your field of study during your internship period.

During the period of employment, whether full-time or part-time, you will have to pay income taxes. The tax rate is determined depending on the amount you earn from that job.

What part-time work can you do in the UK as a student?

Part-time job in café’s or restaurants

If you have good communication skills and wish to provide services that meet all the demands, do not hesitate to apply as there are many jobs in this area that will help you in developing your communication capabilities with others in addition to providing sources of income to cover your tuition fees and expenses.

Working as a Customer Service Agent

Do you have the ability to handle customer requests professionally? If so, there are many jobs that will inevitably improve your communication skills, develop your English level, and solve some study-related problems.

Part-time work in retail jobs

Indeed, there are many retail jobs and sales opportunities available to students. These jobs are good opportunities for you if you are able to provide high level of customer service support and enjoy a good sense of communication with people from multiple backgrounds every day.

How much a student can earn in UK while studying?

The national minimal wages in the UK are the same for a UK and a non-UK resident in the country. This is also the same for students who are working part-time and employees working full-time.

So, students who study and work in the UK, can earn at least £9.50 per hour if they are 23 years and over. Those who are between 21 and 22 years old can expect to earn a minimum of £9.18 per hour. And lastly, students who are between 18 and 20 will earn a minimum of £6.83 per hour.

It’s also worth mentioning that any non-UK student must get a National Insurance number (NINO) once they start working in the UK. This is mandatory and also necessary to claim benefits and apply for a student loan in the UK.

If you found a job in the UK but don’t have a NINO number yet, you need to apply for it before you start working. The process takes around 15 days to complete. And you might need to undergo a face-to-face interview. Make sure to check the UK Government’s website to learn how to apply.

Postgraduate work visa in the UK

Some students wish to remain in the UK after completing their undergraduate studies to gain some experience. Those are required to apply for a work visa in the UK.

These are types of visas you can apply for:

  • Start-up Visa: This visa option applies to all students who want to develop a business in the UK, however, the support and the endorsement of his/her university is mandatory. Moreover, this applies to all students graduating from any specialties.
  • Tier 2 Visa : This type of visa allows you to stay and work in the UK after completing your studies. It is open to fresh graduates with a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree from a well-known university. Before applying, you must have a job offer from a licensed employer and get a minimum salary of £20,800.

Get more info about these work visas in the UK in our guide on the subject.

After five years of work, the Tier-2 visa holders can apply for an unlimited visa to stay in the UK. This is only in case they meet the salary requirements of £35,000 and other relevant eligibility criteria.

  • Tier 4 visa: This visa includes students who have completed their PhD at a higher educational institution in the UK. These students will benefit from applying for a further 12 months after the completion date.

Learn more about how to get a Student Visa in the UK

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