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EEA Students - Working while studying

Why work whilst studying in the UK?

There can be many advantages to working whilst studying in the UK.

Apart from the obvious benefit of earning money, you can:

  • Gain valuable work experience and transferable skills that may help you get a full-time job once you have graduated.      
  • Network - making friends and professional contacts.      
  • Improve your English language communication skills in a professional context.      

As an EEA or Swiss national can I work in the UK while I am a student?

From 1st January 2014 only Croatian nationals will need to register for permission to work in the UK while they are students. Worker registration will cease then for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals. There are no restrictions on work for other EEA or Swiss nationals. You will need your passport or identity card and you may need to show this to your employer as proof of your identity.

Please note that although legally you may be able to work up to 20 hours per week term time, Careers and Employability advises students to work no more than 16 hours per week during term-time.  More information on eligibility for hours of working can be found on the UKCISA web pages How many hours a week can I work

Postgraduate Students Vacation Working

You can work more than 20 hours during the relevant vacation periods (Christmas, Easter and Summer) if you are not engaged in the following:
  • attending classes and lectures      
  • preparing for exams      
  • doing coursework      
  • writing essays, a dissertation or thesis.      

Please verify with your school office, lecturers and personal tutors regarding your academic commitments.

What do I need to do to work in the UK?

National Insurance number (NIN) - If you are an international student, you will not have a NIN. You should apply for a NIN if you have started, or are about to start work. To make an appointment for an interview, telephone JobCentre Plus on 0845 600 0643. For further information please see the National Insurance section.

Finding part-time work

Visit the Finding Part-time Work section to get you started in your job search.

Some hints and tips:

  • Focus on developing your English language skills as much as possible to increase your chances of getting a part-time job; try to speak English as much as you can with people you meet through your course or socially.      
  • Widen your search as much as possible (e.g. as well as using Careers & Employability resources, register with recruitment agencies, use the JobCentre Plus website and look at the jobs section in the local Newspapers such as the Manchester Evening News).      
  • Refer to the Careers & Employability information about making applications, interview techniques & CVs to guide you on writing a UK style CV and what to expect from UK interviews and application forms. Once you have done this, book a Quick Query appointment at Careers & Employability in University House    to see a Careers Consultant to get the content and layout checked.      
  • Speak with friends about their part-time work experiences. Where are they working? How did they find their job? How did they develop and write their CV?      

Work Fairs

Work Fairs are free one-day events that give you the opportunity to meet lots of employers offering:
  • Part-time jobs in the local area      
  • Vacation-period jobs      
  • Voluntary Work      

Find out more...

Develop your Employability Skills

  • The chance to develop your employability skills and information on how and where to get a part- time job are all available through Careers & Employability from the moment you become a Salford student and continues after you graduate, we are always there to help.      
  • All work opportunities allow you to gain experience and develop transferable employability skills and self management skills such as time management. Experience in using and developing these sought after skills can help you stand out from other applicants in the graduate job market in the future.      
  • Work Experience Advisers and Careers consultants can advise you about finding suitable work experience, making job applications and any other job / career related issues. Quick Query sessions are available or you can book onto specific skills sessions to develop your skills and abilities from Personal Branding to Project Management.      

Paying tax on your UK earnings

International students will, except in rare circumstances, pay UK tax on their earnings from part-time jobs in the UK during term times or perhaps a full-time job during the vacations.

The tax rules applicable to the earnings of students are set out in our section on.

The rare circumstances referred to above are where a particular double taxation agreement provides that small amounts of UK income may be exempt for certain students. The only way to check is to examine the particular agreement for the country you come from.

Useful links

Further information is available from: