Part-time jobs in the UK for international students

Leeds city centre

Choosing to work part-time during your university studies is common in the UK. Many choose to do so to help cover their living expenses and learn how to better manage their finances. Working during your studies can also give you valuable work experience and the opportunity to gain desirable transferable skills. 

Part time job rules for international students 

While a UK Student visa permits international students to work part time during their studies, there are guidelines that must be followed. It is important to understand all rules and regulations for international student jobs in the UK before applying. These regulations are set by both the UK government and your university. 

The following information serves as guidance only. Each university may have different rules you need to follow.


To be eligible to work in the UK as an international student, you need to be enroled on a full-time course and have a Student visa. If you are enroled on a part-time course, you are not eligible to work in the UK. 

Once you have worked out if you are able to have a part-time job during your studies, you will need to make sure you have the correct documentation. To legally work in the UK, you will need a Student visa and a National Insurance number. 

You will need to apply for a National Insurance number. If you are unsure of how to do so, your university student support service can help. 

How many hours you can work

Full-time study prohibits international students from working more than 20 hours per week during term time. Outside of term time, international students can work full-time up to 40 hours per week. You must not exceed these limits, even if the extra hours you want to work are unpaid. 

The limit on hours worked cannot be averaged over a month, they must be per week. The allowed number of hours must fit into a seven-day period, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday.

Types of work

Any job that provides a formal contract is acceptable for international students. You must be given a formal document by your employer, such as a 'contract of employment', or a 'worker's agreement' confirming your employment status. 

There are many contracted international student jobs in the UK that span across different industries. There are some constraints on the types of work you can do even if they are just a few hours a week. There are also constraints no matter if you are being paid or not. The types of roles you cannot engage in are: 

  • Self-employment
  • Freelance 
  • Entertainment 
  • Professional sportsperson, including the coaching of a team
  • Doctor or dentist in training, unless you are enroled in those specific programs
  • Owning or starting a business.

How to find and apply for part-time jobs in the UK 

Before deciding if you are going to work part time during your studies, you need to know how to find and apply for jobs. During your degree at Leeds Beckett University, you will work on your employability skills

By studying a full-time degree, you will be developing the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in finding a part-time job during your studies and your future career. The employability team will help you write your CV and prepare for interviews.

If you are open to all types of work, finding a part-time job in the UK can be easy. One of the most accessible ways of finding a job is through online job websites. These will give you all the information you need to know about the job and how to apply. 

You can also find job openings by walking around your city centre or local area. Many businesses post job vacancies in their windows and will accept physical CVs and cover letters. 

Part-time jobs in the UK for international students

Now that you know how to find and apply for jobs, you need to know the types of international student part-time jobs in the UK available to you. Many students choose roles that take place over the weekend, so they do not have any clashes with their study schedule. This is a good idea when trying to find a good work-study balance.

On campus

On-campus employment provides popular part-time jobs in the UK for international students. They are easily accessible, as you will already be on campus, but in high demand due to the volume of students looking for work. Many choose to work on campus as it is a familiar environment, and you may be able to work in the department of your study. 

On-campus jobs can include working in:

  • Libraries
  • Computer labs
  • Receptions 
  • Gyms 
  • Cafeterias.

Off campus

If you are looking to venture off campus for your part-time job, you will find a much wider variety of roles available. Although they will not be as close by as an on-campus role, working away from your university will allow you to become more familiar with the city you are studying in. 

Off-campus job roles include but are not limited to:

  • Bar staff
  • Waiter/waitress 
  • Receptionist
  • Barista 
  • Retail worker.

Before accepting a job offer from an off-campus organisation, you may need to have authorisation from your university. 

Best part-time jobs in the UK for students

Choosing a part-time job that is right for you is important, especially whilst studying. You need to make sure the job is not negatively affecting your studies by taking up too much of your time.

Retail worker

Working in retail is a common job choice for students. Many businesses offer flexible work contracts, with lots of positions usually available. Smaller independent shops will often employ students for weekend shifts, or on a zero-hour basis, to cover holiday and sickness of other employees. 

Working in retail will allow you to improve your English speaking and listening skills. 


If you consider yourself a people person, then a job in the service industry may be for you. With different roles spanning from bar staff to servers, these roles are customer focused and usually take place in a fast-paced environment. These environments are a great place to further develop your English language speaking and listening skills. 

Depending on the type of role you undertake, the hours will vary. If you choose to work in a restaurant or bar, you may have to work late or night shifts. Your hours will be outlined in your contract of employment.


Most cities in the UK have an abundance of cafes and coffee shops, meaning there are plenty of vacancies. Working part time as a barista will not only support you financially but will also allow you to learn a skill of making a range of drinks. This is also a great role for developing your English language skills as you will be taking orders and conversing with customers.

The average hourly rates for these roles start from the national minimum wage. The amount you are paid will depend on where you work, your job role and how old you are. This job will contribute towards your living costs whilst studying in the UK and help you make the most of your student experience in Leeds.

Work-study balance

The most important thing to remember when working during your studies it to maintain a good work-study balance. You have decided to come to the UK, first and foremost, to study. This needs to be your top priority. 

Tips for balancing work and study

  • Create a schedule – having a planner or diary to track your lectures, study time and working hours is a great idea as you can clearly organise your time.
  • Take advantage of the holidays – outside of term time is the best time to take on extra work as you will have less study related responsibilities.
  • Be aware of your limits – trying to commit yourself to more work than you can handle is never a good idea. Although having a part-time job is good financial support, you need to make sure it is not negatively affecting your studies. 

If at any point during your study at Leeds Beckett University, you can feel the balance slipping or you are looking for guidance, you can visit the International Study Centre to receive professional help and advice. 


Can international students have part-time jobs in the UK?

International students are allowed to have part-time jobs in the UK. However, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. You must be studying full time to qualify for work; part-time students are not allowed to work. 

Is it easy to get part-time jobs in the UK for international students?

If you are open to any type of work, finding part-time jobs in the UK for students can be very easy. Many businesses advertise online and on site for job vacancies and there are a large variety of industries you can work in. 

What is the easiest part-time job for students?

Most students choose to work in the retail or service industry as they can offer flexible working hours. Some contracts allow students to work over the weekend, so the job does not clash with their studies.