Work on a Student Visa: Understand Part Time Work for Overseas Students in the UK

Starting university is an exciting time. As an international student, you’ll get to live in a new country, experience a different culture, and make friends from around the world.

But studying abroad also comes with financial challenges. Tuition, rent, and living expenses can add up quickly. You may be looking for part-time work to earn some extra cash while completing your degree.

The good news is your student visa allows you to work during your studies as long as you are enrolled on a full-time course. But there are rules you need to follow when working as a student. This guide covers everything you need to know about student part time work in the UK on a student visa.


Can You Work on a Student Visa in the UK?


Yes, international students in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa can work part-time while studying, and full-time during holidays like the Christmas and Easter breaks.

The type of work you can do includes:

  • Office and administrative jobs
  • Retail or restaurant work
  • Tutoring
  • Freelance work like writing, web design or programming

But there are some work limitations to be aware of. You cannot be self-employed or start your own business. Your job needs to fit within the rules and hours allowed by your visa.


How Many Hours Can You Work on a Student Visa?


As mentioned above, you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time.

During holidays like the summer break, Christmas, and Easter, you can work full-time up to 40 hours per week.

Make sure you keep track of your hours and don’t exceed the limits. The Home Office could revoke your Tier 4 visa if you break the rules.

The Best Industries to Work in Part-Time as an International Student


There are plenty of part-time jobs ideal for university students in cities across the UK. Here are some of the top industries and student jobs to look for:




Shops, clothing stores, supermarkets, and other retail outlets offer flexible part-time work. Options include sales assistants, cashiers, stocking shelves, or customer service roles. Retail jobs work well around student schedules.




Cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs often hire students part-time to wait tables or work behind the bar. You’ll earn hourly wages plus tips. If you’re social and comfortable interacting with customers, waitressing can be a great student job.




Work as a barista making coffees and serving customers at trendy cafes or coffee chains like Starbucks or Costa. You’ll get to make fun drinks while practicing your hospitality skills.


Start a Side Hustle


Get creative and start a side business as a student like selling products online, freelance writing, web design, music tutoring, or more. Online jobs for students allow you to be your own boss and make money on your schedule.


How to Find Part-Time Jobs for Students


Now that you know the best options, here are some tips for finding part-time work:

  • Check job boards like Indeed, Monster and Gumtree for listings in your area.
  • Enquire in person at local shops, cafes, and restaurants about open positions.
  • Ask classmates or other international students where they work.
  • Search for major companies that hire students like Starbucks.
  • Check your university career centre for on-campus and off-campus openings.
  • Sign up with a temp agency for temporary admin, events, or hospitality gigs.

How to Write a CV


You’ll need a CV when applying for most jobs. Here are some tips for creating your student CV:

  • Keep it to 1 page in length.
  • Use a simple, professional template.
  • Make your name and contact info prominent.
  • List your education at the top including your degree and expected graduation.
  • Include any part-time work or internship experience.
  • Add skills like languages, computing skills, or soft skills.
  • Check for spelling and grammar errors!


For tips on how to write a Graduate CV, check out our blog post here



Balancing Your Studies, Work and Social Life


The life of a student is busy! Here are some tips to balance it all:

  • Use a planner to schedule your classes, study time, social activities, and work shifts.
  • Be disciplined about making time for assignments and exam prep.
  • Give yourself downtime to relax and recharge. Don’t overschedule.
  • Let friends and employers know you can’t always be flexible with your schedule.
  • Take advantage of university resources like tutors if you’re struggling.
  • Join clubs to make new friends outside of work.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep each night.


Juggling everything isn’t always easy. But following these tips will help you stay on top of your studies while enjoying your social life and earning extra cash.

We hope this guide helps you understand the rules around working part-time during your studies in the UK. Finding a job can help you gain valuable skills, get to know the local culture, and cover some costs as a student.

If you need short-term student accommodation, be sure to check out Hello Student. We offer convenient and affordable housing close to campus to help make your university experience a great one!

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