If you decide to work in the UK during and after your studies, we understand guidelines can be complicated and confusing. Gain information and advice from our Careers and Enterprise service to help you find and apply for work, and make the most out of your studies and time at University.
Making the most of your time at University
To strengthen your future job applications and to help you in your journey of achieving the career you want, work experience and extra-curricular activities are key things to consider as well as your studies here at the university. Not only will your time with us be therefore more enjoyable but it will boost your employment prospects too.
You are already proving you have attractive skills to employers by deciding to study outside of your home country but the more you can do outside of your studies to help you build on your skills and UK work experience, the better.
Here are some suggestions of things to consider getting involved in during your time at University:
Working alongside your studies is not just a financial benefit but also an employability one. The work experience you gain can be added to your CV and if you decide to work in the UK after your studies, this experience will strengthen your job applications and interviews.
Get advice on where to look for part-time work.
NOTE: It is important when considering paid work to keep your visa guidelines in mind – visit the WORKING DURING YOUR STUDIES section of these pages for extra information.
Volunteering can be a great way to gain UK work experience and you have more control over the hours you want to put in. When we consider the hours you can work set by your study visa, and the amount of time you dedicate to your studies, volunteering can be a great way to build essential work experience whilst gaining awareness of the working world in the UK.
Visit the volunteering pages to find out where to look and how to apply for volunteering opportunities.
Student Societies and the Students' Union
Students' Union – Student societies relevant to your degree programme, or those that you want to do just for fun can all add to boosting your employability. Visit the Students' Union website to explore the extra-curricular activities you can get involved in during your studies.
The Students' Union also can introduce you to social groups such as the International Café and the International Society.
Placements and internships
Placement years can form part of your degree programme. They are a great way to build industry experience and boost your future applications. You receive academic recognition for carrying out a placement too.
Internships are another way to build work experience and can last from as little as 2 months through to 12 months.
Visit the Placement and Internships information to find out more.
Attend a careers fair
Careers fairs are a great way to get in front of employers and build contacts for future employment opportunities. They take place at the University in the autumn and are an opportunity to practise your networking skills.
Visit the Careers Fairs information to find out more.
Working for yourself
If self-employment is a career path you are considering, you can make use of the resources and support we offer here at the university to help you make these ideas become a reality.
Gain more information and advice about start up visas, entrepreneurial skills, pitching ideas and business plans in our working for yourself pages.
You have already proven you have the required level of the English Language to make a success of your studies, however improving this further will be beneficial for your future in the UK.
By considering and taking part in the suggestions that appear on these pages, these will help you build on your day-to-day English Language skills but there are specific courses you can take advantage of also:
Academic Writing Support – Wordscope and Learning English for Academic Purposes help improve your academic English.
It isn't only the English Language that will boost your future prospects but also considering learning a new language.
University Wide Language Programme – If you would like to learn a brand new language, Salford Languages offer their languages programme to current students and external candidates.
Why not take a look at our LinkedIn Learning tutorial Maximising your Time at University to find out more about building in extra-curricular and working activities during your studies.
Working during your studies
National Insurance number
Everyone who wants to work in the UK must have a National Insurance Number (NIN). The NIN acts as an account number and makes sure that you pay the correct amount of tax and National Insurance contribution.
UK residents are allocated a number automatically at the age of 16; however, being a European or International student, you will not have this number so you will need to apply for one.
- You cannot apply for your NIN until you arrive in the UK
- Check details on applying for National Insurance Numbers and familiarise yourself with the process of applying for National Insurance numbers - The link to begin an application online for a National Insurance Number is the bottom of the web page.
Jobcentre Plus may write to you and ask you to come to an interview where you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.
The letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity, such as:
- passport or identity card
- residence permit
- birth or adoption certificate
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- driving licence
You'll be told at the interview how long it’ll take to receive your National Insurance number.
You will be asked some very straightforward questions at the appointment as to why you want a NIN, and providing the NIN Office are satisfied you have been looking for work they will submit an application for a NIN on your behalf.
Find help with National Insurance related queries or use the enquiries helpline on 0300 200 3500 (Open Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm and Saturday: 8am to 4pm).
How many hours can I work?
Most international students can work up to 20 hours a week (Mon-Sun) during term time and full-time during vacations. However, it is crucial that you confirm your permission to work before starting a job. You can do this by:
- Checking the wording on your Passport or ID card
- The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provide a factsheet and further help with checking your work status and what your visa can and can’t allow you to do
The Home Office Compliance Team are on hand to help you with your queries about your student visa. You can contact them on 0161 295 0023(option 3, option 2).
Working in the UK after graduation
Work visas for international graduates wanting to work in the UK have undergone considerable changes over the last year, and guidance can change at any time. It is important to stay up to date with these changes and developments.
Visa options after graduation
For a full listing of all visas available in the UK please see the UKVI website. This page aims to summarise some key information.
Note: If you are from the EEA or are Swiss, there have been recent changes to right to work checks from July 2021. Check the Right to work information on gov.uk.
The UKCISA website is a student resource that also outlines the main working visa options such as:
- The Graduate Route
- The Skilled Worker Route (check the link to the Register of licensed sponsors for the skilled worker visa)
- The Doctorate Extension Scheme
- Start up and Innovator Schemes
Please also visit the working for yourself pages for more information about the support and information the University provides surrounding the Start Up visa.
Visa advice and guidance
Our advisers are available to offer appointments to support you with the process of looking and applying for work or advice to help you become self-employed. For specific visa advice, the University works closely with immigration specialists, Ward Hadaway, as an information and advice source for our international students.
Their representatives deliver 'Working in the UK' presentations throughout the academic year that you can book onto via Advantage.
Ward Hadaway also provide their Visa Guidelines Hub, an online portal where you can check any frequently asked questions, and ask your own questions to their solicitors.
Speak to a careers adviser
Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).
Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.
Ward Hadaway Visa Info Session November 2022
How to find work in the UK after graduation
Our team offer support to you during and after your studies to provide advice and guidance in your search and application for employment.
To find out more, visit our Graduates and Alumni page.
Providing information to employers about hiring international Graduates
If an employer asks you for information on visas and employing an international graduate, refer to their company's HR department for advice in the first instance.
There are also various online resources employers can use to gain extra information. You could help them by directing them to the suggestions below:
- GOV.UK: Recruiting people from outside the UK
- AGCAS: Recruiting International Graduates - Employers guide June 2020
- UKCISA: Recruiting International Graduates
- GOV.UK: Sponsoring an employee or student
Graduate Routes after studying
Find out about the Graduate Route.