Posted on 26th June 2024

How many hours can you work as a student?

Whether you need funds for your social activities, money for your post-hangover takeaways or even just a little extra cash for those trainers you’ve been eyeing up, getting a part-time job in uni is highly recommended for a stable income of money. 

When it comes to a part-time job, you might be wondering how many hours you can work as a student. There’s no straightforward answer. But in this blog, we’ll explore the legal limitations and university policies as well as the impact they can have on your studies. 

The legal limitations

First off, the legal stuff. In the UK, the number of hours you can work as a student depends on a few things. For example, an international student on a Tier 4 visa can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. In contrast, there are no limitations on how many hours you can work as a student if you are from the UK. Despite there being no official cap, don’t overdo it! We’ll cover why later on.

University policies for part-time jobs

Not all rules are one-size-fits-all – there are exceptions. For instance, some courses come with their own set of rules. So be sure to research your specific course requirements or any visa restrictions you might have before applying for a job.

Although there are no legal obligations, you should check out your chosen uni’s policies regarding part-time jobs. While it does vary from uni to uni, UCAS’ guidelines suggest that you shouldn’t exceed 15 hours of work per week. Remember, you’ve got to have time for your studies, as well as time for yourself to avoid burnout, which is exactly why universities have these policies in place. 

Part-time vs full-time studies

Similarly, the number of hours you can work can also depend on whether you’re a part-time or full-time student. Being a full-time student means that the course comes with a heavier workload, so you won’t have as much free time to dedicate to working. On the flip side, you’ll have more flexibility for work if you’re a part-time student.

The impact on your education

While there are no laws for how many hours UK students can work and only rules set by your university of choice, it’s still important that you get the balance right with your studies and social life. Burnout is real and if you do suffer from it, you’re likely to have poorer cognitive functions, which will reflect badly on your academic performance. 

Maintaining a work-study balance

Balancing work and study is key to actually enjoying your uni years. It helps you stay productive, avoid burnout, and still have time for fun and personal growth. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve this. 

  1. Prioritise: 

Know what’s more important at any given time. Your studies should be a priority, especially when it comes to exam season and writing up your assignments. 

  1. Map out your time

Digital planners, apps and diaries are all great ways of managing your time. First of all, schedule your lectures before pencilling in your work shifts, ensuring that you have optimum time for both relaxing and socialising. 

  1. Be realistic

Don’t overcommit! It’s better to work fewer hours in the week and improve your academic performance than to cram everything in and risk burning out.

Explore financing options

Money on your mind? Working while studying is a great way to cover your expenses – but it’s not the only option! From scholarships and grants to other financial aid, there are many ways you can access extra cash without the need to work long hours. So, make sure you’re exploring all available support before loading up on work shifts. 

Types of jobs for students

If you’re still interested in working as a student, it’s important that you get a job with flexible hours that fit around your study schedule and lectures – after all, you are paying to be there! Here are some student-friendly job ideas we think could work for you.

  1. Retail and hospitality both offer evening and weekend shifts, making them the ideal student occupation.
  2. Tutoring is a great side hustle for making extra cash and can even act as a way of studying for yourself!
  3. Particularly for creative talents like graphic design and writing, freelancing gigs are a great option because they can be done on your own time whilst giving you industry experience.
  4. Universities will often have part-time jobs available. From library assistants to campus ambassadors, check out what’s available.


Ultimately, the amount of hours you can work as a student is about finding that sweet spot where you can earn some cash without sacrificing your education. As long as you manage your time well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to learn, work and play.