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 gov.uk website for details on how to obtain a National Insurance Number.
How can I get work in the UK after I finish my degree?
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 Start-up Visa scheme, 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.
Sign-up to the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship mailing list to receive information on the activities we run as well as programme deadlines.
BCU has a central role in identifying suitable graduates, who have developed business ideas, and supporting them. Endorsements are limited to 20 for each participating institution per year that last for 12 months and 20 renewals that extend the Visas for another 12 months. BCU offers a variety of courses that are directly linked with entrepreneurship as well as curricular modules and extra-curricular activities that encourage cross-disciplinary entrepreneurial thinking. Since 2013, BCU has supported more than 64 graduates that stayed in the UK to run their businesses. Many of which are still living in the UK after having successfully applied for the TIER 1 Entrepreneur Visa