Sign in

Information for international students

Working as an international student

This page aims to explain the work you may undertake whilst studying at Southampton Solent University. It is really important for you to have a great experience as a student and the majority of students undertake work to gain skills and experience to complement their studies. We want to help you understand the requirements of your visa in order to prevent any issues that may result in your visa being revoked. 

Students with Tier 4 visas

For a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, the following applies:

  • Always start by checking your visa and the working hours you are permitted!
  • Your visa and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be clearly marked with the working restrictions and this may differ from student to student.
  • Usually, if you are studying for an HNC/HND, you are permitted to work up to 10 hours per rolling seven day period.
  • If you are studying for a degree, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per rolling seven day period.
  • During a vacation period or recognised academic placement (a placement that will be assessed), you may work full time hours.

What is a rolling seven day period?

A rolling seven day period is a continuous seven day period. For example, if a student with a 10-hour working allowance took a contract for 20 hours over two weeks and then works 5 hours on a Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, this may be considered two separate weeks by a hiring manager but is considered a breach by the Home Office. 

What is inclusive of my permitted hours?

You may take on more than one job, however, the hours you work will be added together to an overall amount which must not exceed your limit. Please tell us and your hiring manager aware if you are working more than one job. Volunteering is a great addition to any CV, but please be aware that volunteering and voluntary work are very different things and can contribute to your overall hour allowance. (See below.)

Volunteering vs voluntary work

The Home Office definitions:

  • Voluntary workers will usually have contractual duties to perform (e.g. to attend at particular times and carry out specific tasks) with the employer.
  • This voluntary contract does not have to be written and payment is 'in kind'.  
  • These voluntary hours are included and count towards your visa’s permitted hours!
  • Students who are volunteering do not have a contract, are not a substitute for an employee and must not be doing work that is usually paid.
  • Volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation.

Further information

For more information please visit the student support pages on international student advice, and

Page last updated on Monday 17 October 2016 at 4.38pm.


Change font size

Change colours

Text Only

Accessibility on the Portal

Cookies and Southampton Solent University

We need to place cookies on your computer to ensure your browsing experience with us is enhanced.

Please continue browsing as normal if you are happy for cookies to be placed on your computer.

Find out how these cookies are used and how to change your settings

Hide this message