Can I work during my studies?

Students who are permitted to work in the UK will have a statement printed onto their visas or on their Biometric cards to state that employment in the UK is restricted. For example, it may state:

  • “No recourse to public funds Work (and any changes) must be authorised”
  • "Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State"
  • "Restricted work in term-time"
  • "Work 20 hrs max in term-time"
  • “Work 10 hours max in term-time”

Students who are not allowed to work whilst they are in the UK are given a prohibition stamp in their passport or on their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) . For example:

  • ‘No work or recourse to public funds’

If you believe that you should have permission to work in the UK during your studies but you have a prohibition stamp in your passport or on your BRP, please contact advice.

For more information about if you can work in the UK on your Tier 4 visa please see section 318 to 330 of the Tier 4 Policy Guidance. You can also find further useful information on the UKCISA website.

How many hours am I permitted to work?

Students who have permission to work in the UK are restricted to working a maximum number of hours during term time.

Students studying on a course above degree level (e.g. undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree, PhD etc) and those studying on Foundation Degree courses and some HND courses are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. During the official university vacations, students can work full-time (unlimited) hours. 

Students studying on courses below degree level (e.g. Foundation, pre-sessional courses, some HND courses etc) are permitted to work only 10 hours per week during term-time, however during the official university vacations, these students can also work full-time (unlimited) hours.


Can I work full-time when I'm doing my dissertation?


When post-graduate students start working on their dissertations, although it might not be necessary to attend regular lectures, they must not work more than 20 hours per week , as this is an illegal offence. During the dissertation phase of the course, students should be concentrating on their research on a full-time basis.

How will I find part-time work?

There are a number of ways you can search for a part-time job in Cardiff. Why not register with some employment agencies, visit the job centre, call into some local stores, hotels and restaurants to ask about vacancies. Many students also buy the local newspapers such as The South Wales Echo on Wednesdays and the Western Mail on Thursdays for listings of jobs available in Cardiff that week.​

You can also visit the Cardiff Metropolitan Career Development Service on the Cyncoed Campus or the UMAX JobShop on the Llandaff Campus.

Where can I get advice about my future career?


Cardiff Met has an excellent Careers Development Service based on the Cyncoed Campus.
It provides a range of services for students both in person and virtually and will be available to help you throughout your time at Cardiff Met.

Some of the things the Careers Development Service can offer students and graduates are:

  • One-to one guidance interviews to help you make decisions about your future
  • Help finding information about different occupations, study options and jobs/employers
  • Work experience and work tasters
  • Practical help with all stages of applications for jobs or courses
  • Jobs and careers fairs
  • Advice and information by email
  • E-learning module on Career Development Skills: self-assessment, CV writing, application form completion, interview skills, assessment centres and psychometric tests


How do I apply for a National Insurance Number?

When making an application for a job, you are likely to be asked for a National Insurance (NI) number. Like all employed UK citizens, a contribution towards National Insurance will be deducted from your wages before you receive your pay.

If you have never worked in the UK before, you will not have a National Insurance number but you will need to arrange to apply for one as soon as possible if you are intending to work. You can do this by contacting the local Benefits Agency office / Job Centre Plus on 0345 600 0643 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

On contacting Job Centre Plus you will be told whether you are able to apply for an NI number via a postal application or whether it is necessary to attend an 'Evidence of identity' interview. Although you need to have a National Insurance number to start work you do not to need to wait for your National Insurance number card to arrive.

You will be advised about what documentation you need to take to the interview.
For more information about National Insurance contributions and making an application, please click here.