The UK has a National Minimum Wage (NMW) that all employers have to meet, regardless of whether you’re an international or home student. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a UK national - international students will be paid the same rates as everyone else.
At the time of writing, the NMW for workers aged between 18 and 20 is £6.45 per hour. For those between 21 and 24, the NMW is £8.20 per hour and if you're over 25, it's £8.72. These rates change every April so you can keep up to date here. Now you know the minimum wage for international students, here are some other frequently asked questions about part-time jobs answered.
- Can I work and study in the UK as an international student?
- How many hours can you work?
- How do I find a part-time job?
- What types of jobs can I do?
- What are the main advantages and disadvantages when working while studying?
- Can you balance work and fun?
1. Can I work and study in the UK as an international student?
If you’re an international student, you may be curious about whether you can get a job while studying.
International students are allowed to work in the UK, you’ll need a Tier 4 student visa. However, it’s important to check if you can as there are some exceptions.
Students who are on a short-term study visa are not allowed to work.
To work part-time while studying, a National Insurance number is required*. This ensures all tax and national insurance contributions made while working are recorded correctly.
*Keep in mind that you’ll need a National Insurance number for any type of paid work in the UK, not just for part-time work. So, you’ll need one if you secured an internship or placement as well.
2. How many hours can you work?
If you’re an international student enrolled on a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degree, these are the hours you’re allowed to work:
- part-time during term for up to 20 hours per week
- part-time during term for up to 10 hours a week if you’re studying a qualification below degree level
- full-time during any holidays if you’re an undergrad. If you’re a postgrad, the summer is classed as full-time so you won’t be able to work full-time
If you’re not sure, you can check your visa vignette or biometric residence permit (BRP) for your personal work eligibility. You can learn more about working and studying in the UK as an international student in this blog here.
3. How do I find a part-time job?
There are several ways you can find a part-time job. We’d recommend speaking to your university’s career team first. For example, our Careers Service manages The JobsOC, where students can apply to be part of a pool of students who are contacted when there are short-term jobs available across the University.
Check if your university offers a similar service.
You can also search for part-time roles on employment websites, such as:
- Indeed - make sure you select ‘part-time’ before searching
- StudentJob - specialises in student jobs of all types but mostly part-time
- Student Gems - for short-term freelance work in areas such as photography
- Resortjobs.com - for holiday and other seasonal roles
As well as running JobsOC, the Careers Service at Newcastle University also provides support where students can access advice from an information adviser. They help you find part-time work through the 1-1 drop-in, as well as workshops on the topic
4. What types of jobs can I do?
If your visa allows you to work during term time, you’re able to apply for jobs in nearly every industry and at any level. Just make sure you don’t exceed the 20 hours per week limit (or whatever limit is stated on your visa).
Some common example areas you can work in are:
- hospitality - e.g. a waiter/waitress for a restaurant, an event or a cafe
- retail - e.g. a sales or store assistant in a clothes, hardware or phone shop
- temporary work - e.g. working at a seasonal or one-time-only event such as a festival or product launch
- on-campus - e.g. at your university’s student union, campus store or cafe
These are just a few of the part-time jobs you could do. Find out more here.
5. What are the main advantages and disadvantages when working while studying?
Let’s look into the advantages and disadvantages of working while studying abroad...
- you can earn extra money during term and holiday time
- you’ll find more opportunities to network
- you can gain work experience and develop transferable skills
- you'll learn how to manage your money
- you'll learn how to balance work and fun
- you might have less free time
- working alongside studying can be tiring
Ready to read more about them? Check out this blog.
6. Can you balance work and fun?
It’s possible to balance your social life, study life and a part-time job at the same time. Here are some tips:
- aim to keep a detailed calendar and schedule. They can help you to see when you need to study and how much time you have leftover to work part-time and enjoy other activities
- eat a balanced and healthy diet so you can better balance your studies, part-time work and social activities
- get a good night’s sleep so you wake up refreshed and ready for the day
You can find more helpful tips for working while studying in the UK here.
Part-time jobs are fantastic ways to develop your own skills and increase the chances of employment after you graduate. Interested in learning how to develop your future career further? We've got some resources that can help.
Enhance your employability
If you’re looking to advance your career after university, you need to be able to create CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles that impress your potential employers. You also need to be able to impress in an interview.
We have plenty of useful advice created by our careers team which you can check out here.