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Common Q & A’s

This section gives you essential information and advice about working in the UK as a student and directs you to further sources of help and information.

Can you work?

Most students are allowed to work, though there are restrictions on the amount of work that you are able to do and the type of work you can do while you are a student.

If you are a Student visa holder please read the information below carefully to ensure that you are working lawfully within any restrictions that may apply to you.

There is further information for international students on the UKCISA website and on GOV.UK.

What kind of work can you do?

If you are a Student visa holder you must not:

  • be self-employed (this means no freelance work and you cannot set up your own business – see GOV.UK for guidance about employment status);
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson or sports coach;
  • take a permanent full-time job; or
  • be employed as an entertainer.

Please note, however, that degree-level music and dance students can undertake a work placement that involves professional performance providing that is it arranged by Trinity Laban and is an assessed part of your programme of studies.

Students within the Faculty of Music can contact Alicia Mallace-Goulbourne (Professional Placements Coordinator, Performance) with any questions at

There is further information on the UKCISA website.

How many hours can you work?

Student visa holders who are studying at degree level or above have permission to:

  • work for a maximum 20 hours per week during term-time (paid or voluntary);
  • work full-time during your holidays, i.e. Christmas, Easter, Summer (please note that for Masters students on a 12-month programme the summer is not a holiday period); and
  • work full-time after your programme of studies has ended (this date is decided by Trinity Laban) while you still have current immigration permission, though other work restrictions continue (i.e. no self-employment, no permanent job).

You should not work more than the maximum number of hours in any one week in term-time, even if you sometimes work under the maximum number of hours in other weeks.

There is further information on the UKCISA website.

Voluntary work counts towards the 20 hours per week during term time. Voluntary work is distinct from volunteering; you will need to ask the organisation whether what you are doing is defined as volunteering or voluntary work. Find our more about the difference between unpaid employment (voluntary work) and volunteering on the UKCISA website.

Student visa holders who are studying at for a qualification below degree level have permission to work for a maximum 10 hours per week during term-time (paid or voluntary), and full time outside term time.

Where to look for more information: