Part-time Employment

Working part time in the UK can give you valuable experience that complements your studies, as well as giving you a little extra money.

Many students work part time and the experience they gain enhances their employability at the end of their studies. You should be realistic, however, about how much work you will be able to do without affecting your studies, and you should not expect to earn a lot of money from a few hours' work each week.

Most international students have a visa that permits them to work in the UK. Those on degree programmes will normally have a visa that allows them to work up to 20 hours per week during semester and full time during vacations.

Students on other programmes may have a visa that permits only 10 hours of work per week during semester. You should check your visa before starting a job.

Postgraduate students should note that time allocated for a dissertation is not regarded as vacation time. So, a Masters student writing their dissertation over the summer should only work their permitted "semester time" hours, usually a maximum of 20 hours per week.

It is very important that you do not work more than your permitted hours in any week – working more hours than permitted, even 21 or 22 hours in a week, is a breach of your immigration conditions and will be treated very seriously by UK Border Agency if it comes to their attention.

If you are in the UK as a student visitor, you are not allowed to work and you can not change your conditions in the UK to allow you to work.

EEA and Swiss national students can work in the UK.

You can read more about permission to work for international students on the UKCISA web pages about working and the UKCISA web pages for EEA students.

If you are considering part time work, remember that your first priority should be your studies. No allowance will be made in assessment marking or appeals for students whose study is disrupted by their work commitments.

Students often find work either at the University, in Stirling City Centre or in Bridge of Allan. The majority of students find work in shops, restaurants, and bars. If you are a research post graduate student (PhD), you may have the chance to assist with undergraduate lectures/seminars or practical sessions and should contact your department regarding any opportunities available. Although many students have part-time jobs, the type of job can be dependent on the individual's level of English language proficiency.

In Scotland you should be paid at least the minimum wage. The rate of the minimum wage changes from time to time but you can check it here.

Workers pay National Insurance and sometimes Income Tax on the money they earn. You will pay National insurance on any earnings over £110 per week. Most students do not earn enough money from part time work to be liable for tax but if you earn above a certain threshold you may have to pay. In the UK, employers will deduct any National Insurance and Income Tax from your pay before you get your money. You should receive a pay slip which details the deductions they have made. You should check this and keep the pay slip for future reference.

The UK Government guide to working while you study will help you figure out your tax and National Insurance position.

When you start working you will also need a National Insurance number. This is a reference number used to track your NI and tax contributions. It is not a "permission to work" document. UK Government web pages on national insurance will give you more information about how to get a National Insurance number. Please note that many UK welfare benefits are linked to National Insurance but you must not claim these benefits if you have a student or Tier 4 visa as this will jeopardise your stay in the UK.

To help you find suitable part-time work, the University of Stirling has a career management platform, TargetConnect, which is part of the Career Development Centre. The Job Shop offers an online system which enables you to look at job vacancies and apply online or print an application form to send to the employer. You can also use the national employment service, by visiting the Job Centre in Stirling or by accessing their website: www.gov.uk/jobsearch. The University Career Development Centre also offers advice and guidance on future career options.

For more information on sources of funding, living costs and information concerning part-time employment, you may find the following links useful:

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon