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How to Get a Student Job in the UK

Students making the leap from their native country to travel and study abroad are a daring, fantastic bunch of inquisitive people; letting their curiosities run wild and exploring the world. The UK is a very popular study abroad destination for international students . If their next stop is the UK to continue and flourish in their studies, then they may find having a student job in the UK may also be beneficial. 

Cost of living fluctuates across the UK cities and with many international students venturing to London, they’ll probably be annoyed to hear that it is currently the 8th most expensive city in the world (don’t shoot the messenger!). Regardless, it is important to know the tips when it comes to finding a student job in the UK as an expat.

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The best jobs in the UK for international students


This one is a favourite type of job for international students in the UK of ours. Not only is it a rewarding experience to work alongside your university peers, but it looks fantastic on a CV. Responsibilities include working on open days and freshers events and it is also a great chance to make friends with new people; making transition far more comforting while studying abroad in the UK.


With many UK universities situated in the greatest cities, there are also a wide selection of shops and world-wide known department stores! Of course, we all like to spend, however, if a student works as a mystery shopper, they can also be paid for doing it!


A popular job option with UK students, it is also a growing trend with internationals too. With many offering flexible works and also during the evenings, it means students do not have to sacrifice precious lecture time to attend their job, making it a popular type of student jobs in the UK. 


With many warehouse and factory positions (Amazon, Post Office and DHL to same a few) are always widely available, especially during holiday season, it is widely accessible to international students. There are many warehouse and factory positions (Amazon, US Postal Service, and DHL to name a few) available to international students. During holiday seasons, there are many available jobs for students in the UK. Be warned, it is physically demanding, so students should ensure they can healthily maintain their work/life balance lifestyle.


If being a mystery shopper does not pay enough, or you need more hours, then retail work will be more ideal. With plenty of opportunities available and typically experience is not required as training is given on the job, retail jobs are another popular student job option in the UK. 

For international students studying in the UK

So international students may already know this, but they will have had to apply for a student visa in order to work in the UK. There are, unfortunately, some strict regulations if you try to find jobs in the UK as an international student. In order to find out if a student can work or not, they are able to check the visa sticker or the Biometric Residence Permit, which can be found in their passport.

No need to worry, we are almost over the boring part! Below is a quick and help list which outlines what type of student jobs in the UK are available to people with Student Visa: 

International Students with Student Visa can do:

  • During term time and studying full-time at degree level or higher can work 20 hours per week
  • During term time and studying full-time BELOW degree level can work 10 hours per week
  • During the holidays or after your programme ends, students are able to work full-time
  • Or a work placement which is part of your studies

International Students with Student Visa cannot do:

  • Self-employed work, freelancing or gig-economy, such as Deliveroo
  • A professional entertainer, sportsperson and coach
  • Work as a full-time employee in a permanent position
  • A work placement that is not assessed and part of your studies
  • Taking part in business activities

Check out Work Conditions for a Student for information on student jobs in the UK. 

Other little bits worth knowing


All international students will need to apply for a national insurance card before applying for student jobs in the UK. It can take up to 12 weeks for it to arrive, so contact the Department for Work and Pensions to find out more.

NATIONAL LIVING WAGE (Valid until April 2022)

  • Under 18 - £4.62
  • 18-20 - £6.56
  • 21-22 - £8.36
  • 23 and over - £8.91
  • Apprentice - £4.30

To find out more about working permission on Student Visa on GOV.UK. Detailed information is provided for checking international students' work permit in the UK.

This article was written by Megan Bryant, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. Europe’s largest online jobs platform for part-time, internships and graduate positions!

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Last update: 26 Jul 2021

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