Working during your studies

Can I work while I’m studying?

If you are in the UK on a Student Visa for more than six months, then you will usually be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during term-time. If your visa allows you to work, you must not work more than this - if you do so you will be in breach of your visa conditions. You should be able to work full-time during your holidays. You can find more detailed information about working during your studies from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Working can offer useful experience and can help you with your weekly expenses, although it's important to remember that you should not rely on finding part-time work to pay your tuition fees or accommodation. We suggest that you don’t work more than 10-12 hours per week while studying – your first priority should be your studies and you need time to rest and relax too. 

How can I find a job?

The DMU Careers team provide a comprehensive range of information and job vacancy services for international students. The team can help you to develop the skills you need to market yourself to employers and run a range of guidance sessions and workshops in different faculties. The team arrange recruitment fairs and employer presentations, and provide advice on business start-up through DMU Careers. Current students can also make an appointment via MyGateway.

We also suggest registering with Unitemps, the on-campus recruitment agency. 

What is a National Insurance number?

Employers and employees in the UK have to pay National Insurance contributions, which fund UK state benefits (such as the state pension, for example). Your employer should deduct National Insurance contributions from your earnings whenever you earn above a certain level.

Find out more about paying National Insurance

National Insurance numbers (NiNos) are issued by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). A NiNo is your own personal reference number for the UK tax system - knowing your NiNo should help to make sure that you pay the correct amount of tax. You do not need to have a NiNo before starting work, although many employers prefer students to already have a NiNo and once you get a job you will need to have one.

How can I get a National Insurance Number?

You can apply for a National Insurance Number online through the UK Government website.

Applying for a NiNo is free  - you should not have to pay any money for this service. There are online agencies who will offer to arrange a NiNo for you  - we do not recommend these agencies because we do not know the quality of the service they provide and because they will charge a fee for a service that should be free. If you apply for a NiNo directly through the UK government website then you should not have to pay any money.  

Further information

Additional information about working in the UK during your studies is available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). You can also contact the International Student Support team for further guidance, or book an online appointment with us via MyGateway.