Are Oxford Students Allowed To Work?

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Are Oxford Students Allowed To Work? Guidelines & Restrictions

Are Oxford Students Allowed To Work?

TLDR: Oxford University generally permits students to work (typically, up to 20 hours a week during term or a little more if you’re doing a Masters or you’re outsaide term), but there are important factors to consider — particularly regarding visa regulations, university policies, and academic commitments.

Oxford University attracts students from around the world seeking a world-class education. However, amidst the rigorous academic environment, many students wonder about their ability to work while studying at Oxford.

Here’s a closer look at the policies and considerations regarding employment for Oxford students.

Can You Work While Studying in Oxford?

The short answer is YES, but here are some things to keep in mind if you’re going to be studying at Oxford and you want to also do work. Let’s break down each of these so you can prepare properly.

Visa Requirements to Work in Oxford

International students, especially those holding Tier 4 visas, must adhere to specific regulations regarding employment. These regulations may dictate the number of hours they can work per week during term-time and vacation periods.

Your student visa sticker or Biometric Residence Permit card should clearly indicate any restrictions on work permission. For instance:

  • Limited to 20 hours per week during term time
  • Maximum of 20 hours per week during term time
  • Work limited to 20 hours per week as per PBS rules

If your Student visa, issued for full-time degree-level study, lacks this restricted permission—for instance, if it states ‘no work’ or specifies a 10-hour limit—contact the University’s visa advisers to inquire about the necessary changes. Students with a Student visa for part-time courses are not permitted to work at all.

Oxford University Policies Sorrounding Work

Oxford University may have its own policies governing student employment. These policies often emphasize the importance of prioritizing academic commitments while allowing students the opportunity to gain work experience that complements their studies.

During term, you will most likely be allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week (and this includes non-paid work). If you are an undergraduate or enrolled in a taught master’s program, you have the flexibility to work beyond 20 hours per week during University term time or, if applicable to your course, extended term.

As a postgraduate research student (Masters by Research or DPhil), you may surpass the 20-hour limit only during approved holiday periods, arranged in advance with your departmental supervisor and in accordance with the University’s guidelines on paid work. Additionally, your supervisor may authorize leave for this purpose after thesis submission, especially if there is a brief interval between academic obligations and viva preparation.

Working for the University or College

You might receive offers for part-time positions within various University departments, Oxford University Colleges, or Permanent Private Halls, which could entail administrative, teaching, or other roles. You can find detailed information from the University regarding student employment.

Prior to commencing work, you will be required to fill out a Student Employment Declaration.

In addition to your own responsibility to adhere to your Student visa work conditions, the University’s Staff Immigration Team will compile data on your working hours to ensure compliance with the 20-hour limit without exceeding permissions. This is especially crucial if you are employed by multiple colleges or departments.

Typs of Work You CANNOT Do as an Oxford Student

Student visa holders are prohibited from:

  • Engaging in self-employment, including freelance, consultancy, or casual work where you are not on the employer’s or agency’s payroll.
  • Occupying a full-time, permanent position, unless you have completed your degree and have a pending Skilled Worker visa application for that job.
  • Working as a sports coach or professional athlete.
  • Acting as an entertainer, unless you are studying music and the performance is professionally arranged through the University as part of your course.

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