Permitted Activities for International students in the UK

Permitted Activities for International students in the UK

Studying abroad is most advantageous and the youngsters are quite interested venturing in a new country with different customs and outlooks. Taking into account the universal education scenario, many students are aiming for their higher education in the United Kingdom. Before landing in the UK, it is imperative to gain knowledge on those rules and activities which are permitted for the International Students residing in the UK. Of course, the students will have to adhere to the restrictions enforced by the UK Government and the educational Institutions for a secured academic life. In order to make yourself aware on the guidelines, the following guide is therefore provided for clear information. Read on, you would get answered for all your queries!

Minimum no. of hours permitted under a part time job

A student visa is granted for full-time degree level, it generally permits you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. This could be either paid or unpaid work. You are also allowed to work for one or more organizations. However you have to ensure that the 20 hours cannot be averaged over a lengthier period.

Full time worker permitted for a certain duration

A student visa issued for full-time degree level studies allows the students to work full-time only during official vacation periods. However, the term and vacation dates differ subject to the level of study you have enrolled, so it is imperative that you check these before undertaking a full-time job. This includes a full-time internship or placement unless it is part of your course. Masters students should consult their Faculty or Department for further details regarding official vacation periods. The academic year for postgraduate research students is continuous throughout the year, usually from 1 October to 30 September. Hence, during summer, the research students move out for work with the approval of their supervisors.

Students on a student visa can do most kinds of job except the following:

  • Be self-employed;
  • Engage in business activity;
  • Filling a full-time permanent vacancy;
  • Be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach – paid or unpaid,
  • Be employed as an entertainer- paid or unpaid;
  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

The international students should keep in mind these restrictions throughout their time on a UK student visa.

Permitted to undertake internship / work placements

Undergraduate students are able to undertake an internship during the official University vacation periods. Particularly, the medical students undertake work placements as part of their course. The International Student Office deals with these placement services who provides the required information to the Home Office at the beginning of the relevant academic year. Masters students could also undertake an internship during their official vacation periods and it is compulsory to keep your Faculty or Department informed of any changes. As far as the academic year for postgraduate research students is concerned, it is continuous throughout the year. In this circumstance, it is feasible to undertake an internship if it is considered to be a contributing factor to your PhD research and approved under the leave to work away procedures.

Research Scholars can work after submission of thesis

​Once your thesis is submitted, the number of hours you can work on a student visa will solely depend on the stage of the process involved. For instance, the period between submission of thesis for examination and official notification of viva outcome is reflected as ‘vacation’. You could wisely utilise this period and work full time. Whereas the period between official notification of the viva outcome and unconditional approval of degree, which in common includes the time for working on corrections if applicable and submission of the thesis, is usually treated as full-time study. Then, you may work for up to 20 hours a week only. In case, the viva outcome is simply ‘revise and resubmit’, obviously, the University’s 10 hour working restriction applies.


Students can volunteer while studying. If permitted, they can involve in voluntary work too but this work and any paid work should not exceed the total number of hours they are permitted with. For example, if a student is permitted to work 20 hours a week during term-time and has paid work of 15 hours a week, then the voluntary work has to be concluded within 5 hours. The students also now have an option to switch to the Graduate visa if needed. This category of visa allows them to work and explore potential job opportunities for 2 years. The assistance given by the Home Office is beneficial to the international students that it allows them to work full-time with the student visa which remains valid even after completion of the course period. For the cause of noble carrier and a bright future, you can very well stick on to the procedures imposed by the universities in the UK. If you really have a burning desire on studying in the countries like the UK, please register your details with IRISH EXPERT, our education specialists will guide you reaching the dream destination.

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