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WorkING While You Study 

Learn all about your right to work while you're studying with us

Working during your studies is a great way to build new skills, contribute to your local community, and earn a little extra money to fund your university experience. If you're an international student, there are plenty of opportunities open to you, and a few restrictions to know about too.

Working on a Tier 4 student visa

During term time

On a Tier 4 visa, you can work or volunteer for up to 20 hours a week during term time – as defined by the official timetable. But it's very important that you don't work any more than this. If you do, you'll be classified as working illegally, and this will affect your visa. You can find out more about Tier 4 Visas on the UK Government website.

The 20 hours a week you can work includes all employment and any voluntary work too. So if you have a paid job for 15 hours a week, you can't do more than 5 hours voluntary work alongside it.

You also can't work more than 20 hours one week, and less than 20 hours the next week, and then take an average of your working time – your 20 hours must always fall within a single Monday to Sunday period.

Outside term time

Outside of term time, your working restrictions will depend on whether you're studying an undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research postgraduate course. You can find the specific restrictions throughout the year below:

Working restrictions (Full-time students)


Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week

Summer vacation

No restrictions, as long as you’ve finished any exam re-sits.

After your course ends (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4 visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished any exam re-sits


Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week

Summer vacation

20 hours per week, until the course end date and after your last exam or hand in is completed.             

After your course ends (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4 visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished any exam re-sits


Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week

Winter and Spring breaks

No restrictions

During your exam re-sits

20 hours per week, until you finish your last exam

When you're re-submitting coursework or a dissertation

20 hours per week

Summer vacation

At the point you commenced your course, you will have been given information on the structure of your course and of the hours that you can work in your academic year of study.  

During the summer vacation, students may be able to work if there are no Learning and Teaching expectations. You can work work full time after completion of any exam re-sits. 

To confirm whether you are required to study during this period (for example by working on your dissertation or project) please contact your Faculty/School Admin Office. If you are required to study then you cannot work full-time during this period.

After your course ends (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4 visa)

No restrictions until your Visa end date, as long as you've finished any exam re-sits

Time of year Working restrictions

Teaching Blocks (including Consolidation Weeks, Assessment Periods, Re-Sits and Directed Activity)

20 hours per week, except within recognised Annual Leave periods

Winter and Spring breaks

As above

Undertaking viva amendments

As above

Summer vacation

As above             

After your course ends (as recorded in our student record system, until the end of your Tier 4 visa)

No restrictions until your visa end date, as long as you’ve submitted the final bound copy of your thesis

 

If you’re on a bursary, and you’re expected to undertake 6 hours per week assistance to teaching, this would count towards your 20 hours per week restrictions.

If you wish to take Annual Leave from your studies in order to work more than 20 hours for a period during term time, you’ll need to do the following before the excess hours are worked:

  • Obtain written authorisation from your PhD supervisor for the period of annual leave, which includes the specific dates of the leave which has been authorised.
  • Take this written authorisation to your Departmental Administrators (Research Contact) who will then confirm that these leave dates have been added into the Student 'Authorised Absence' Notes on your Student Record, and then issue an Authorised Absence letter if required. 

Please note, you must obtain authorisation and ensure this is recorded on your student record before you undertake any full time work. Your annual leave is a maximum of 6 weeks within the year, not including bank holidays and university Christmas closure.

If you are also working for the university, please ask your supervisor to email the dates of your Annual Leave to hrenquiries@port.ac.uk  before you undertake any full time work. 

For more information for PGR students, please see the MyPort article:  Information for Tier 4 Students on a Postgraduate Research Degree Course.

Please note: The working restrictions for part-time students on a Tier 4 visa or Short Term Study visa.

Students on a Tier 4 visa studying part-time postgraduate taught or research degrees are not permitted to work (paid or unpaid) during term time or the vacation period. The same applies to students on a Short Term Study visa, they are not permitted to work (paid or unpaid) during term time or the vacation period.

If you require any further information, advice and guidance please contact the University's International Student Advice Team, please contact the UoP Global Office.

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