Working during your studies

Who can work?

If you are studying at LSE on a full time degree programme with student 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 need or want to work part-time but you must devote enough time to the academic demands of your programme. You are expected to produce regular coursework and prepare for classes/seminars, as well as studying for examinations and you are responsible for setting your own balance between part-time work and academic coursework.

LSE advises students to work a maximum of fifteen hours a week while studying. This is to ensure that any work you do does not affect your studies.  The School's examination boards does not normally consider the negative impact of part time work as mitigating circumstances for poor performance in examinations or assessed coursework.

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 in London?

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|

Information on Money Mules - don't become the victim of crime - see our page on Money Mules. This kind of crime is designed to look like a job offer. Read more.| 

European Economic Area (EEA) / Swiss Nationals

If you are a EEA / Swiss nationals you do not need permission to work in the UK.  If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia, you do not need to obtain permission from the UK Border Agency before you can work in the UK. For advice on being in the UK as an EU national, go to:

UKCISA|

Croatian Nationals

If you are a Croatian national studying in the UK, you will need to obtain authorisation to work in the UK.  If you hold a Tier 4 visa for LSE, you will be able to work the permitted hours until you are authorised to work. You must register for authorisation to work before your Tier 4 visa expires to be able to continue working. 

If you do not have a Tier 4 visa and do not meet the criteria for exemptions, you will be unable to work in the UK until you have received authorisation from the Home Office.

Further advice:

Home Office: Information for Croatian nationals|

UKCISA|

Non-EEA Students on full time degree courses

You must 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 ten hours per week),
please contact ISIS and we can try to get this amended. 

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

Entry Clearance Correction Scheme|

Please note you would have to get this amended before you can work more than ten hours per week.

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

  • work part time (maximum 20 hours in any week *) during
    term time (term time includes the summer for one year
    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.

* this does not mean an average of 20 hours, it means you cannot work over 20 hours in any seven day period.

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.

Internships

updated  23 June 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.

In March 2013, LSE agreed a new and specific arrangement for students to work full time on internships. This has been re-confirmed in 2014.  If your internship starts after the end of your final assessment, including your dissertation, but before the official end of term date, you can request a letter through your academic department to provide to an employer to show that you are able to work full time from the day after your final exam.  If you start the internship more than two weeks before the official end of term, LSE will inform the UK Border Agency that you have completed your programme early and your Tier 4 visa may be curtailed. 

If you require a letter, please contact your department who will submit a request to registry on your behalf.  You will need to provide a formal internship letter from your employer.  The link to the letter request is on the registry webpages:

Internship letter permission request|

When is 'vacation time'?

All students can work full time during the Christmas and Easter breaks as these are outside term time. The document available on the link below explains term dates for students so you can check you ability to work full time.

LSE term dates|

If you are a 12-month Masters student your academic department is able to authorise a vacation during your dissertation period, of up to four weeks in length.  The Registry can issue a letter confirming this and during this time you would be able to work full-time.  If your department agrees to authorise a vacation period prior to the end of your course then please ask them to email registry.visa.queries@lse.ac.uk| with the following information:

  •  Your full name
  •  Your LSE ID number

The dates of your holiday period that they are happy to authorise (this must be 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.

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 student 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 webpage

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 Border Agency. 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 and 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?

You can prove your right to work by showing your employer your student visa in your passport and a certificate of registration from LSE confirming you are studying here.
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

UKCISA|

UK Border Agency
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