Student Employment

Connect2Counsellors recognises that it is expensive to study in the UK. For many students and families it will involve either money that has taken many years to save or finance from a bank study loan which will need to be paid back. If you would like to work in the UK during or after your studies it is important to understand the employment regulations for overseas students.

The following is a guide to employment regulations for overseas students coming to study a full time course. These regulations are current but are subject to change by the UK Government and should therefore be taken as a guide only. Students should also consult the appropriate Government websites and take advice from the Student Support Services at their University or College.

Part Time and Full Time Employment during studies

A student who has been granted permission to be in the UK as a Tier 4 student is generally permitted to work 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacation periods. There will be a clear endorsement in their passport stating that they are permitted to work.

Tier 4 (General) student visas allow people from outside of the European Economic Area to enter the UK as a student, usually either at a school, college, or university. In order to apply for a Tier 4 student visa you will need to have a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) at a UK educational institution that holds a valid Tier 4 sponsorship license. Tier 4 visa students must be able to meet the cost of the course, maintenance and accommodation without working. Students attending Further Education Colleges may not be allowed to work part time.

Work Placements

Tier 4 students are allowed to undertake work placements where they are integral and related to the course and are assessed as part of the course. The work placement is restricted to no more than one third of the total length of the course undertaken in the UK unless:

• the student is following a course at degree level or above and is sponsored by a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or by an overseas HEI to undertake a short-term Study Abroad Programme in the UK, in which case the work placement is restricted to no more than 50 per cent of the total length of the course;

• the student is a child student aged 16 or over, in which case the work placement can form no more than 50 per cent of the total length of the course;

• there is a statutory requirement for the course to include a specific period of work placement which exceeds this limit

Further information on employment during your studies including work placements can be found on Page 33 of the Employers Guide to Work Checks published by the UK Home Office.

How much can you earn whilst a student?

The national minimum wage in 2020 is as follows:

£6.45 per hour for 18-20 years olds
£8.20 for over 21-24 years old
£8.72 for over 25 years old.

Further information can be found here:

Full time Employment post completion of an approved degree or postgraduate degree course.

A new “Graduate” route will launch for the 2020/21 intake of students which will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of choice, for 2 years after completing their studies at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. After 2 years they will be able to switch to the skilled work visa if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route selected.

This new post study work permission will give overseas students who are successful in being offered employment the opportunity to gain valuable work experience after graduation. The average graduate starting salary in 2019 was £23,000 pa. There is the possibility, but no guarantee, that they may be able to save some of the income earned through employment to contribute towards the repayment of study loans. Students considering how much they might be able to save must remember that the cost of living in the UK is higher than in India.

Further information can be found here: