International Student Support

Working in the UK

EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals

If you are a national of an EU / EEA country or Switzerland you do not have legal restrictions placed on the hours you work, providing your working hours conform to the EU working time directive (except Bulgarian and Romanian nationals - see below for further information). 

However, there are restrictions placed on you by the University as to how many hours you will be allowed to work.  This is usually 15 hours per week, however, you should check with your School to see about particular requirements that apply to you.

Croatian Nationals

Croatian nationals have the right to enter and remain in the UK as members of the EEA without needing other immigration permission.  However, there are restrictions on Croatian nationals working in the UK.  See here for further infomation.

Non-EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals

Tier 4 students:

If you have been granted permission on your visa and you are enrolled on a full-time course of study, you are permitted to work in the UK.  Depending on your course of study, you will be granted permission to work 10 or 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during vacation periods. However you must check with your School, as there may be further restrictions by the University on your working hours.  If you are unsure of whether you are allowed to work, or how many hours you are allowed to work, please contact us.

These are general guidelines for what vacation periods are, but you must always check with your School.

  • Undergraduate students: Vacation periods are in line with the University calendar
  • Postgraduate taught students: Vacation periods are in line with the University calendar except during summer vacation, as Masters students must study full-time to complete their dissertation
  • Postgraduate research students: Vacation periods do not fall in line with the University calendar and students must seek permission from their School at all times when they wish to take a vacation

If you want to undergo a work placement as part of your course, it is very important that you tell the International Student Support team by emailing iss@qub.ac.uk.  We will be able to tell you if you are allowed to do the work placement, and if there are any immigration implications.  Your work placement must not take up more than 50% of your course.

Student visitors:

Student visitors are not permitted to do any paid or unpaid work, and are not permitted to do work placements as part of their course. 


Finding a Job

You will not be guaranteed to find a job when you are studying at Queen's and you must make sure that you will have enough money to support yourself without a job before you come to Queen's.  However, finding a job can be a worthwhile experience and will help you to meet people, practise English and get to know more about the culture of Belfast.  If you would like to try to find a job you can register with the Jobshop.  They will keep you informed of jobs both on and off campus.  You can also look for jobs in local newspapers or online.


National Insurance Number

You will need a National Insurance number in order to get a job.  To apply for a National Insurance number you will need to telephone the National Insurance helpline on 0845 915 7006.  They will also tell you what information and documentation you will need to support your application.


Voluntary Work

Voluntary work Voluntary work is unpaid work which gives you the chance to meet local people of all ages and backgrounds and to learn more about Belfast and your local community. Voluntary work helps you develop employability skills such as leadership, communication and team-working while taking part in fun activities. It also enables you to provide a valuable service to the local community. You can volunteer for just a few hours, or make a more long- term commitment.

Voluntary work and your visa:

If you are in the UK on a student visa, voluntary work counts towards your 20 hours per week term-time working limit. If you have a short term student visa, you cannot do voluntary work, as your visa prohibits all work, paid or unpaid. Contact International Student Support for further information.