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International Students


Overview of University's work restrictions during studies

Undergraduate students are expected not to work during term-time.

Advanced Diploma students are expected not to work during term-time.

Masters students undertaking a course of less than twelve months are expected not to work during term-time. Students should consult their Faculty / Department for confirmation of official vacation dates as these can vary between courses. Any time between the end of Full Easter Term and the dissertation or other submission deadline should not be considered as vacation. In addition, students on a student visa should be aware that the official course end date is stated in the CAS used to support the visa application.  

For postgraduate research students undertaking a course of more than twelve months, the University recommends limiting work to 6 - 10 hours per week but students should read the further guidance outlined on the working while you study webpage. It should be noted that the academic year for postgraduate research students is continuous throughout the year, from 1 October to 30 September. It is therefore not possible, for example, for a postgraduate research student to undertake full-time work during the summer period. Whilst breaks for holidays are permitted, at times agreed with your supervisor, these are not periods that would permit full-time work. Students should never in any case exceed a maximum of 20 hours work each week, which includes both paid and unpaid work, in terms of both the University's restrictions and visa restrictions for those students on a student visa.  

Whether you can work after submission of your thesis for examination varies depending on the stage of the process as outlined in the information below. 

Working on a Student/Tier 4 visa at Cambridge

Students on a Tier 4/Student visa should ensure they read the full guidance about the working conditions of their visa. This include restrictions on the type of work that can be undertaken. A student visa does not permit self-employment, engaging in business activity, and certain other types of work. It is essential that students on a Student/Tier 4 visa obtain a formal worker's agreement or employment contract before undertaking any work, including undergraduate supervisions or other work within the Collegiate University. 

Working after submission of PhD thesis for examination

  • The period between submission of thesis for examination and official notification of viva outcome is considered to be 'vacation' and you can work full time.
  • The period between official notification of the viva outcome and unconditional approval of degree, which includes time working on corrections if applicable, is considered a return to full-time study. Working can be undertaken as follows:
    • students who are not studying on a Tier 4/Student visa can continue to work full-time during this period unless the viva outcome is ‘revise and resubmit', in which case the University's 20 working hour restriction applies. 
    • students on a Tier 4/Student visa can only work for up to 20 hours a week in accordance with the conditions of their visa.

Please note that extensions to the deadline for submitting corrections on the grounds of employment would not be approved.

Students on a Tier 4/Student visa should ensure they are familiar with the restrictions on the type of work permitted.