Working in the UK

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International students finding work in the UK
1:22pm 19 Sep 2018
Information on how to find work in the UK

Can I get work in the UK on my student visa?

Yes! If you are on a full-time degree course you can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week during term-time (up to 10 hours per week if your course is below degree level) and full-time during vacation periods.

You can also work full-time after you have completed your course before your leave expires (provided this is no longer than four months) and while you are waiting for the results of an application to extend your permission to stay in the UK if a valid application for further stay has been submitted before your current permission expires.

You can also work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years.

Plus, you can do a work placement as part of your course.

For all the latest information and to check any recent changes, check out the UK government’s information and advice for international students.

What is a National Insurance (NI) number and do I need one?

If you want to work in the UK you will need a National Insurance (NI) number. Your National Insurance number is a unique personal number which is used to record your National Insurance (NI) contributions. You do not need to have a National Insurance Number to apply for work but you must have one before you start a job.  Please head to the website for details on how to obtain a National Insurance Number.

How can I get work in the UK after I finish my degree?

Once your student visa expires, it is possible to work in the UK if you are able to secure one of these visas.  Further information can be found on Target Jobs.

Please note that although the Home Office have a registered list of employer sponsors for the Tier 2 (General) visa, some of these employers may only choose to sponsor for particular levels of position or certain roles.

We would also recommend checking out the Student Circus website, where UK opportunities with employers sponsoring the Tier 2 visa are advertised.


I am interested in setting up my own business in the UK.  Is this possible?

Yes!  Under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, UK graduates are currently permitted to remain in the UK to set up a business.

BCU can support you to start-up, scale and replicate commercial and social enterprise initiatives through our Enterprise and Entrepreneurship service.  It runs activities, including monthly meet-ups, and start-up programmes as well as keeping you updated through regular newsletters.

You can sign-up to the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship mailing list HERE to receive information on the activities we run as well as programme deadlines.

BCU can offer up to 20 new 12-month Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Endorsements a year and up to 20 12-month visa renewals for participants already on the scheme that is dependent upon individual’s business progress. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship also offers a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Introduction and Tier 1 Visa Business Planning session to support interested applicants to gain additional information and advice to apply to the scheme.  See our Events pages to book a place. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship activities support 1100+ students and graduates a year within its 9 activities that are interested in starting-up and receives 350+ programme enquiries with 70+ individuals on the 2 start-up programmes BSEEN and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Endorsement Scheme on a continuous basis. You can contact Enterprise and Entrepreneurship on -

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