If you are an international student who would like to work while you are studying, the following will provide you with all the information you need. 

Some courses at UEA have work placements as part of the course, where you can get work experience in your chosen field.

A work placement must be an assessed and integral part of your course and there are limits on how much work you can undertake.  UKCISA have a section on their website about work placements, which you can find here under ‘Work placements and Internships’.  If you are eligible for a work placement, UEA will monitor your attendance and successful completion of your work placement.

If you are on a course with established work placements that are co-ordinated by your School, they should already have made sure that your placement meets the requirements of your visa. 

If you are arranging your own placement, you must check with your School, your advisor and with Student Life to make sure your work placement module meets the requirements for your visa.

Please note: If you are on a Visitor visa you are unable to do a work placement or internship (including as part of a course of study).  You can find further information on UKCISA’s webpage under ‘Prohibited Activities’.

Work and your visa

Most international students who have a valid Student or Tier 4 visa will be allowed to work in the UK.  It is your responsibility not to breach your working conditions on your visa.  If you work without permission or if you work too many hours, any future visa applications can be refused, or you could be removed from the UK. Remember that you have come to the UK to study, and work should not affect your studies.  

If you are studying here on a Visitor visa, it is important you are aware of the activities that are not allowed on your visa type.  You can find a list of prohibited activities in the Visitor Visa Appendix.

You can find a helpful page about working in the UK as a student on UKCISA’s website.  This includes information on voluntary work, volunteering, working after your course has finished and work that you are not allowed to do. This includes restrictions on being self-employed, engaging in business activity or being a professional sportsperson. UKCISA also has a helpful blog post on the types of work you can and cannot do.  It is important that you familiarise yourself with these pages before you accept a job.  

For the full official rules, please read the UKVI Student Visa Policy Guidance.

Work and your course

Certain courses have restrictions on the amount of work you can undertake while studying that may be less than the hours permitted on your visa. Please check with your School or the Postgraduate Research Service for term dates and course restrictions. 

Finding work

You can find a lot of advice and resources on looking for a job on CareerCentral.

Further information

If you are looking for a job in the UK or you have already received a job offer, it is important that you email us to ensure you are aware of your visa conditions.  We will provide you with our help guide with further information on working in the UK as a student.  If you have any questions on working in the UK as a student, please email us

National Insurance

A National Insurance Number (NINO) is a unique number allocated to you that records the National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and taxes you pay.  If you have a BRP card, you might have a National Insurance number already – it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do.  If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one if you plan to work. You can only apply once you are in the UK.

You can find more information about National Insurance numbers and how to apply for one from GOV.UK.

You can find out how much you will have to pay and what the current threshold is on the National Insurance rates and categories page from Gov.UK.  

Income Tax

Income tax goes towards government spending on services such as transport, health, and education. If you are working and earning a certain amount of money, then you will have to pay income tax.  To find out the current personal allowance amount and for more information on income tax visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.

Your employer should take the amount of National Insurance and income tax out of your pay automatically.  This will be shown on your payslip each time you get paid.

Useful Resources

You can find out further information on the Finding work, employers and tax page from UKCISA’s website.

The Graduate Route (previously, the Post-Study Work Route) is available to international students who have successfully completed a degree or other relevant qualification from an approved UK Higher Education provider and will allow international students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK. It is important to be aware that you cannot apply for this route until UEA has notified UKVI of your successful completion. We do not notify UKVI of successful completion until Awards Boards have met and official results have been published.

You can find a list of all the different visa options on the Work in the UK page from Gov.UK. UKCISA's detailed page on working after studies outlines the eligibility and requirements for work visas and how you can apply for them.  This includes information on the Graduate Route visa, the Skilled Worker visa and the Start-up and Innovator schemes. 

Graduate Route

The Graduate route (Post-study work) will soon be available to international students who have successfully completed a degree or other relevant qualification from an approved UK Higher Education provider and will allow international students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK. It’s important to be aware that UEA will need to notify the Home Office of the award of your qualification before you can apply for the Graduate route.

Further details about the Graduate route can be found on the Working after studies page on UKCISA’s website. This includes a webinar, the eligibility and requirements and the cut-off dates to arrive in the UK to be eligible to apply (you can find this information in the section ‘Study in the UK, including COVID-19 concessions’).

As the Graduate route is not a university sponsored visa route, UEA cannot help you with your visa application. However, the University can signpost you to other sources of helpful information and will answer any questions that they are able to. If you have any questions, you can contact the team on uea.gradroute@uea.ac.uk