How Many Hours Can a Student Work in UK?

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 03 February 2024 & Read Time 8 minutes


 Do you know the working hours in the UK that are allowed on a student visa? Well, most students aged 16 and over are allowed to work in the UK, even if it is only to complete coursework. However, the question of how many hours can a student work in UK is not only practical but holds the key to striking a balance between academic pursuits and financial stability.


Understanding these limitations and opportunities for international student employment is crucial for a balanced academic and financial experience. According to the UK labour guidelines, the working hours in the UK for international students may vary depending on your degree and course.


In this blog, we will delve into the regulations surrounding how many hours an international student can work in UK, providing insights that will help students make informed decisions and maximise their UK education journey. 


Working Hours in the UK for International Students

Students should be aware of university employment restrictions, which are often more severe than the number of hours a student visa allows them. As a result, for your convenience, we have explained the working hours in the UK for international students.


How Many Hours Can a Student Work in UK?


How Many Hours Can a Student Work in UK?

Over-16-year-old students on a full-time study visa are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week, with extended work hours permitted on holidays. This covers one or more organisations in both paid and unpaid work.


However, it is crucial to remember that rules and regulations about working hours may differ for overseas students, particularly those enrolled in UK PhD programs. Understanding the working rules is essential for a successful and fulfilling study experience in the UK. Specific restrictions apply to different categories of students, such as those with full-time study visas.


How Many Hours Can an International Student Work in UK?

Here are the guidelines for working hours in the UK for international students.  

  • The maximum number of labour hours that can be completed each week for full-time degree programs is 20, or four hours per day, plus one weekend off.

  • Courses in German, English, French, or Spanish allow for a maximum of 10 hours of work per week.

  • Contract-based or freelance employment is not allowed.

  • You cannot work in the UK if you are enrolled in part-time studies.

  • Students may work up to 40 hours per week during session breaks, but they may only work 8 hours per day on weekends.


How Many Hours Can a PhD Student Work in UK?

The majority of overseas students are only allowed to work a certain number of hours while pursuing a PhD in the UK. However, the working hours in the UK for PhD students may depend on some conditions, such as –

  • Candidates can work full-time throughout the "vacation" period that occurs between submission and viva outcome announcement.

  • Resuming full-time study with a maximum of 20 hours of work per week is allowed following the announcement of the viva outcome and until the degree is unconditionally approved, including rectification work.

  • The 10-hour working is allowed by the university if the viva conclusion is "revise and resubmit.


Latest Rules on the Working Hours in the UK

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intends to raise the maximum amount of time overseas students can work in the UK to 30 hours per week. The purpose of this law is to combat the labour shortage and the 3.7% unemployment rate, which, according to UK Labour Market Statistics, affects 1.27 million persons aged 16 and older.


Fulfil your study abroad dreams with Meridean Overseas

Embark and excel in your study abroad journey with our expert team!


How to Get a Part-Time Job in UK?

The University Career Service can help you in your postgraduate studies, improve your employment skills, find jobs and place work experience, strengthen your application, and meet potential employers.


The services of the college, as well as the recruiting agency for jobs and temporary jobs, are generally free. They can help you find temporary or temporary jobs on campus and around. You can also search for jobs on Google, in local newspapers, or through employment consultancies and agencies.


How Much Money Does a Part-Time Work Make?

Correspondence students enjoy the same benefits as full-time employees. All employers in the UK must pay the minimum wage (NMW). Current standards for the minimum wage:

Wage band

Current rate from 1 April 2021

25 and over

£8.72 (INR 735)

21 to 24

£8.20 (INR 691)

18 to 20

£6.45 (INR 543)

Under 18

£4.55 (INR 383)

Type of Work Not Allowed on Student Visas

With the student visa in UK, candidates are allowed to work on various types of on-campus or off-campus. However, some types of work are not allowed on student visas. 

  • Engage in Self-Employed Activities (e.g., Freelance writing and publishing)

  • Doing Business (or owning a business where products are sold directly to customers)

  • working full-time (permanent replacement for a vacancy).

  • Engage in professional sports as an athlete (e.g., sports coach).

  • Engage in paid or unpaid entertainment work.

  • If you are not enrolled in the foundation program, work as a medical intern or a dental student.


Work Visa in the UK

 Below, you can check the types of work visa in the UK that allow international students to work during and after graduation.

  • Tier 1 UK Visa (or "Talent Visa")

  • Tier 2 UK Visa (or "Skilled and Sportsperson Visa")

  • Tier 3 UK Visa (or "Skilled professionals' Visa")

  • Tier 4 UK Visa (or "Student Visa")

  • Youth Mobility Visa in the United Kingdom 


Who is eligible for a work visa in the UK?

From September 2020, every international student who registers with a Tier 4 visa, i.e., a student visa, will have the right to stay and work in the UK while studying and after graduation.


Candidates can also apply for a post-study work visa in the UK if they want to work after studying. However, they have to apply for an expiring Tier 4 visa. This is an addition to the prescribed changes that allow PhD students to stay in the UK with a post-study work visa after graduating from university. The UK claims this is because it wants to expand its STEM domain.


Now, all graduates have the opportunity to work in the UK after studying. Graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree previously stayed only four months and hunted for work. Under the new postgraduate visa rules, it was extended for up to two years.



Understanding the working hours in the UK for International Students is not only about earning extra income but also about maintaining a healthy balance between academics and work. Above, we have covered each and every detail of how many hours can a student work in UK. This information will be helpful for you even if you are a PhD student.  You must stay informed about regulations, seek guidance when needed, and recognise the importance of prioritising studies to contribute to an enriching experience. By knowing these guidelines, you can make the most of your time in the UK, academically and professionally.

We hope you enjoyed this blog. If you would like to get a deeper insight into working hours in the UK, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad. Get help with the application process, SOPs, and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011.



Q1. How many hours do students work in the UK?

Ans. International students in the UK can work 15 hours per week during the academic year and 20 hours per week on holidays.


Q2. What is the definition of the week in the UK?

Ans. One week in the UK starts as seven days starting on Monday. You must not work more than the maximum number of hours per week that your visa allows. This restriction applies to both paid and unpaid work.


Q3. What is the definition of the term time in the UK?

Ans. All the times during which you are required to do academic work are called deadlines. As an example

  • Attend classes and lectures

  • Writing essays, dissertations, or pamphlets

  • Exam Preparation

  • Execution of coursework


Contact our counselors for application details

Get your free counselling

blog meet

Get the best study abroad guidance

By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies.