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Information for students

In order to confirm your right to work in the UK you will need to provide; 

  • Your passport (current)
  • A sharecode and your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if you have one
  • A letter confirming term dates for Undergraduate students
  • A letter confirming vacation dates or confirmation of completion if you are a Postgraduate student
  • A completed Student declaration.

Most students from outside the UK are permitted, on a student visa, to supplement their funds by working part-time while they study. Any working restrictions should be listed on your BRP under 'remarks', for example, 'WORK 20 HRS MAX IN TERM-TIME'.

If your visa reads ‘No work’, then you must not work while you study.

If you are a student and want to work whilst at University, please make sure that any work you do does not breach the conditions of your visa.

Please note that if you have not provided evidence of your right to work before you start working, you will not be paid for any work that you have done.

Work restrictions

Please note that the hours limit applies to ALL employment and volunteering, if you are working in more than one job for one or more employers and if you are carrying out any volunteer work this must not exceed 20 hours in total. It also cannot be averaged out over a few weeks, for example.

The holiday period in which students can work full-time is defined differently, depending on the level at which you are studying:

  • Undergraduate Students – the 20 hour work limit applies during the standard University term dates. Full time work is permitted during the vacation periods and from the end of their last term at the University until the time their visa expires.
  • Postgraduate Taught (Masters, MRes) Students – the 20 hour work limit applies during the standard University term dates and also during the project/dissertation module. Full-time work is then permitted after the end date listed on the CAS statement until the date their visa expires
  • Postgraduate Research Students (MPhil, PhD) – the 20 hour limit applies throughout their programme. Full-time work is only permitted after the final submission of their thesis (ie after any required revisions and corrections have been completed and approved, and the thesis has been finally submitted).

Although legally workers on a Student visa can work up to 20 hours per week in term time, the University strongly advises that they work no more than 15 hours per week (undergraduate) and 6 hours per week (postgraduate – full time), as extra work may adversely affect their studies. Please see the Code of Good Practice - Employment of Postgraduate Students.

Students are not allowed to be:

  • Self-employed, which includes consultancy, running a business or freelance work;
  • Employed as a doctor or dentist in training;
  • Employed as a sports coach, a professional sports person or an entertainer.

Students are not allowed to take up any full-time, open-ended work while they are on a student visa.

If your circumstances change (for example, you suspend your course cease to be a student), you will not be allowed to work and should inform your line manager and Human Resources at the earliest opportunity.

Evidence of academic term and vacation dates

Since May 2014, students who have limited permission to work during term-times (e.g. Student visa holders) are required to provide evidence of academic term and vacation dates to determine when they can and can’t work full time and part time. If you are studying at the University of Exeter and are also working here, you will be required to provide this information. You may also be asked to provide this evidence if you are employed elsewhere. 

You can print a Right to Work letter through the self service option in your student record in iExeter. If you have any issues producing this letter, contact International Student Support.

Further information

Further information about the Student visa can be found on the UKVI website.

International students of the University of Exeter can seek advice from the International Student Adviser. For more information, see the International Student Support website (Students at other Institutions should seek advice from their University’s International Student Adviser.) If your circumstances change (for example, you cease to be a student), you should inform your line manager and Human Resources at the earliest opportunity.