Working during your studies

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Who can work?

If you are studying at LSE with Tier 4 (General) immigration permission, you will be allowed to work during your studies. This will be stated on the sticker in your passport or on your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

If you are in the UK as a Student Visitor, you are not  permitted to work. It is important that you understand the rules about working in the UK as the consequences of getting
this wrong are extremely serious.

LSE guidance on working during your studies

LSE recognises that many students want to work part-time, but you must devote enough time to the academic demands of your programme.  You are responsible for setting your own balance between part-time work and academic coursework.

LSE advises students to work a maximum of 15 hours a week while studying. This is to ensure that any work you do does not affect your studies.  The School doesn't normally consider the negative impact  work of part time or applying for future roles as mitigating circumstances for poor performance in assessments.

For full details of the regulations go to our page:

conditions of study at LSE - undergraduate students

conditions of study at LSE - postgraduate students

Where can I find a job?

The Careers Service at LSE can advise you on looking for a job during and after your studies at LSE. You can also check for vacancies on the online vacancy board when you log in to "My Careers Service".

LSE Careers|

You can also check on the "Jobs at LSE" page on the LSE Human Resources website.

LSE Human Resources|

European Economic Area (EEA) / Swiss Nationals

Most EEA/Swiss nationals do not need to ask for permission from UK Visas and Immigration to work in the UK.  

If you are a Croatian national studying in the UK, you will need to obtain authorisation to work in the UK.  Further advice:

Home Office: Information for Croatian nationals|

For advice on being in the UK as an EU national, go to:


Non-EEA Students on full time degree courses

Check your visa to make sure that you have been given the correct working entitlements. If you think the Home Office has made a mistake (for example if you have only been granted permission to work a maximum of 10 hours per week),  ISIS may be able to get this amended. 

For details on how we can get this amended go to our page on:

Entry Clearance Correction Scheme|

You will be unable to work 20 hours per week until your immigration permission has been amended.

Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to
work with the following restrictions:

  • work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time (term time includes the dissertation period for 12 month MSc students) 
  • work full time during vacations
  • you cannot fill a full time permanent vacancy
  • no self-employment (this means no freelance or consultancy
    work and you cannot set up your own business)
  • no work as a professional sports person or entertainer.

Non-EEA Students on Language Centre courses

If you have student immigration permission and you are studying on a course that is below degree level, you are permitted to work with the same restrictions listed above with one exception – you can only work part time for a maximum of ten hours in any seven day period during term time.

Remember, if you are in the UK as a Student Visitor, you are not permitted to work.

When is 'vacation time'?

All students can work full time during the Christmas and Easter breaks as these are outside term time.

Term dates for undergraduate and Masters students|

For 12 month Masters students, the dissertation period until your official programme end date of the 30 September is not a vacation.  You are still academically engaged writing your dissertation and this is a component part of your programme. However, your academic department is able to authorise a vacation of a maximum of four weeks during your dissertation period.  You can only request one four week vacation during your dissertation period.

The Registry can issue a letter confirming this and during this time you would be able to work full time. You will only be able to work full time once you have received the letter from the Registry.  The letter is not able to be issued retrospectively.

If your department agrees to authorise a vacation period prior to the end of your course then please ask them to email| with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your LSE ID number

The dates of your holiday period that they are happy to authorise (no more than four weeks long).

The Registry will only be able to issue a letter confirming this vacation period if the email is sent by a member of staff in your academic department.  Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period may not subsequently be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners.

What are the term dates for MPhil/PhDs

For all registered research students, vacations are the Christmas and Easter breaks in each year of registration.  However, you are considered to be continuing your studies during the summer vacation.  MPhil/PhD students are not able to work full time during the summer.

Term dates for MPhil/PhD students|


updated  13 November 2014

You may wish to do an internship during your vacation or after the end of your studies.  The rules on internships are the same as the general rules for working. The number of hours that you can work is the same regardless of whether your work is paid or unpaid. The number of hours you can work is also the same and you can only work part time during term time and full time during the vacation.

The School has made a specific agreement with UKVI for undergraduate and Masters students taking full-time internships. Under this agreement we are permitted to release students into vacation up to two weeks before the end of term.  For 2014/15 these early end dates are:

  •  Undergraduate students: 19 June 2015
  • 10 month Masters students: 19 June 2015
  • 12 month Masters students: 16 September 2015

12 month Masters students are reminded that their academic commitments require them to be writing their dissertation during the summer.  Whilst we appreciate that internships are an important career development opportunity, precedence should be given to your studies. 

The Registry will provide a letter for your employer confirming this new end of term date. After you have received this letter, you are eligible to work full-time on your internship as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • the internship does not begin before the date outlined above;
  • you have completed your final assessment for the 2014/15 academic year prior to beginning the internship;
  • the Registry receives the request via your academic department.

This is a special arrangement for internships and does not extend to any other kind of full time work arrangement.

To request a letter authorising an internship, please ask your programme administrator in your academic department to complete the following form:

Internship Letter Request|

Can I volunteer?

There is a legal distinction between volunteering and paid or unpaid work. However, the definitions are complex so to avoid any problems, you should consider volunteering in the same way as part-time work and not volunteer any more than 20 hours in any seven day period. If you also have a part-time job you must be careful to work no more than 20 hours between volunteering and paid work. For more information go to:

LSE Volunteer Centre|

Can I do several part-time jobs?

You can work for different employers at the same time, but you must be careful to ensure that you do not work more than 20 hours in total in any seven day period.

Working at the end of your studies

Remember – you cannot work full time before the official end date of your programme.
When you are granted student immigration permission you are given an extra number of months after the end of your programme to obtain your results and graduate. The amount you are granted depends on the length of your programme:

  • Undergraduate students: you are granted the length of your programme plus four months
  • General course students: you are granted the length of your programme plus two months
  • Master programmes less than 12 months: you are granted the length of your programme plus two months
  • Master programmes of 12 months or longer: you are granted the length of your programme plus four months.

You are permitted to work full time in the period between the end of your programme and the end of your student immigration permission. During this time, you are still restricted by the Tier 4 (General) immigration rules which means that you cannot take a permanent full time vacancy or be self-employed.

What happens if I don't complete my programme?

For more information about the rules for students retaking exams check the guidance on our web page

Re-taking Exams|

If you start working full time and then receive exam results showing that you have not passed your programme, you must stop working and contact ISIS for advice. Check the webpage link above for more details.

Working after your studies

If you apply to switch into a different immigration category, as long as you apply before your current immigration permission expires, you automatically get an extension of your current visa while your application is being processed by the UK Visas and Immigration. This means that while you are waiting for an application to be decided you can continue to work but you are restricted by the student rules about the number of
hours and the kind of work you can do.

What happens if I break the rules?

If you work when you do not have permission to do so or you take employment that is not covered by the rules (for example working freelance), you will be committing a criminal offence. If found, you could be taken to court, fined up to £5,000, face up to six months in prison and you would be liable to be removed (deported). You would also face automatic refusal of any application to return to the UK from between one and ten years.

When applying to extend your immigration permission in the UK (for example to continue to study or to work), you are asked to declare if you have breached the rules. If you fail to declare that you have overworked, your application could be refused and you could face an automatic refusal of any application to return to the UK from between 1 and 10 years.

How can I show an employer that I can work?

Updated 21 October 2014

Your visa is your main form of evidence that you have the right to work in the UK.  From 16 May 2014, employers wanting to recruit students need to confirm that a student has the right to work in the UK. The Home Office will accept the following as acceptable evidence:

  • A printout from the LSE website confirming the term dates of the School.
  • A copy of a letter or email addressed to the student confirming term time dates for the student's course - a Certificate of Registration will confirm this information for your employer.
  • A letter addressed to the employer confirming your term dates - the LSE are unable to confirm to an employer a student's right to work in the UK. However, the certificate of registration includes all the required information for your individual circumstances. 

Your employer can also read the Comprehensive Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working on the Home Office website:

Home Office|

They can also call the employers helpline: 0300 123 4699

We have also written a guidance leaflet to outline the rules for employing LSE students

LSE leaflet for employers| [pdf]

More information


UK Visas and Immigration