Working after your studies

Once you have completed your course and whilst your visa remains valid, the Home Office allows you to work full-time, within the following limits.

  • You cannot fill a full-time permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme).
  • You cannot be self-employed.
  • You cannot be employed as a Doctor in training (except on a recognised Foundation Programme) or as a professional sportsperson, coach or entertainer.

For Undergraduate and Master students, course completion means either receiving official notification of approval of your degree OR the course end date as stated on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) as long as you have completed all required assessment by this date, whichever is earlier.

For PhD students, course completion means receiving the official notification of unconditional approval of your degree.

If your course has finished earlier than planned or you changed to a shorter course please contact the IST as different rules may apply to you.

Student Sabbatical Union Officer

Within Tier 4 (General), the Student Union Sabbatical Officer job is a full-time, salaried, elected executive union position. The job may be either at your Student sponsor’s institution or with the National Union of Students of the UK. You may take this job during your studies or in the academic year immediately after you graduate.

If you take a Student Union Sabbatical Officer job while you still have time left in your permission to stay as a Tier 4 (General) student, your Student sponsor must let us know as they are responsible for you until your permission to stay (known as leave to remain) runs out.

If you want to do the job at the end of your course, and you have no more time left in your permission to stay as a Tier 4 (General) Student, you must apply for further leave to remain and meet the requirements of the category.

A Sabbatical job is normally for one academic year and you may be given permission to stay to cover this time. If you are re-elected after one year, you will have to apply again for further leave to remain in this category. You can only have a Student Union Sabbatical Officer job for a maximum of two years.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur (GE) & Post Study Work Visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category permits the University to identify the graduates as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. 

Find out more information on Tier 1 Graduate Entreprenuer (GE) for International Students

The Post Study Work Visa was announced by the government on 11 September 2019. This will be a new 2-year Graduate Immigration Route from summer 2021, similar to the previous Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) scheme which ended in April 2012. Any international student who will complete a degree in or after the summer of 2021 will be eligible to apply. Refer to the UKCISA website to keep up to date with more information.

Sponsored students

If you are sponsored by Government, your home university or an International Scholarship Agency, you should check with your sponsor to confirm that they will allow you to stay in the UK after your studies. In many cases sponsors will want students to return to their home country as soon as their studies are completed.

The time that you spend employed as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer will not count towards the maximum period that you are permitted to spend in this category. For example, it will be acceptable for a Student Route visa holder to spend 5 years studying at or above degree level, as well as spending 1 year working in a Student Union Sabbatical Officer role.

The requirement that a work placement be no more than 50% or 33% (depending upon the course/sponsor) of your course in the UK does not include any period that you are in post as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer. You are permitted to do additional work but it is restricted to part-time work during term-time (of no more than 20 hours a week) and full-time work during vacations, if you are not working full-time for the Students’ Union in the vacations.

Looking for a job

If you need help looking for a job, you can contact the Careers Network who are available to help all students looking for graduate employment, work experience and training. You can talk to staff and use reference material and take-away literature to help you with your career planning. Whatever your course, and whichever country you wish to work in when you graduate, they will try to help.

For advice regarding your visa or work permit applications, you must contact the IST.


Professional Services