Working while you study in the UK

‘You can make your UK study experience work even harder for your future by gaining some valuable work experience. Getting a job while you study in the UK can improve your language skills and enhance your CV. Your future employer will be looking for smart, creative, team-orientated people – working and studying in the UK could make you the perfect candidate.’

Jobs shop

Before taking on a job, you need to check whether are entitled to work and how many hours you can work each week. For more information, visit the UK Border Agency (UKBA) website.

Your UK place of study will have a careers service to help connect you to the world of work. They will provide a wide range of help and support, including:
Access to job adverts
Help with writing CVs and job applications
Tips on preparing for job interviews
Information about what it’s like to work in the UK.
They will also help you get first-hand experience of the workplace, consider career choices and make professional contacts. Many UK institutions also have partnerships with local employers who want students to work for them – so they understand that you’ll need flexibility to work around your studies.

National Insurance numbers for international students

If you want to work while you study in the UK you will need to apply for a National Insurance number. National Insurance is the UK’s social insurance programme that provides payment to people who are unemployed, incapacitated or retired. Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number that ensures your contributions are properly recorded.

To make an appointment for a National Insurance number interview while you’re in the UK, phone 0845 600 0643 between 8am and 6pm weekdays. If you are hard of hearing or have speech difficulties call 0845 600 0644.

At your interview you will need to provide proof of identity (passport, birth certificate or bank statement), your right to work in the UK (passport sticker or identity stamp) and details of your job offer. Your new employer can allow you to start work before your number is issued and should deduct contributions from your pay.

For further information on National Insurance numbers visit the Job Centre Plus website.

Recent changes to the UK student visa system: For adult students applying to study in the UK for over 6 months.

The UK Government has announced some changes to Tier 4 which come into effect on 3 March 2010. Most of these changes do not affect you if you make your Tier 4 immigration application in order to study a course at degree level or above, or a foundation degree. However, the changes do apply to you if you make a Tier 4 immigration application on or after 3 March in order to study a course which is below degree level and which is not a foundation degree course.

The changes do not apply to Child or Student Visitor Visas.

You can find further information at the UK Border Agency website.

The British Council will endeavour to provide support and advice for students at the earliest opportunity through our offices throughout the world


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