Students Staff

Information and resources for international students

Working in the UK during your studies

If you are a European national you can work freely in the UK.  Please read the UKCISA guidance for more information.

If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and have a Tier 4 visa the work you can do is restricted and the rules are complex. Therefore, before you look for work it is very important to check what you can do and seek immigration advice if you need to. If you have a short-term student entry clearance sticker or stamp in your passport you are not allowed to work at all in the UK. Detailed guidance is available within our immigration web pages and you can contact our International Services team via the ‘Ask us a question’ section if you need to seek advice.

Please be aware that, if you work when you shouldn’t, do any type of work that isn’t allowed (including unpaid or as a work placement) or, you work more hours than allowed in any one week, you will be breaching your immigration conditions. This is a criminal offence and can have very serious consequences for you and the University.

National Insurance Number

To apply for a National Insurance number, you need to contact the National Insurance Number application line
Telephone 0800 141 2075 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm).

You will be advised to either:

  • complete and return the Fastpath Application Form
  • attend an interview at a Jobcentre Plus office

The closest Jobcentre Plus office which handles National Insurance Number applications to both our Colchester and Southend Campuses is Gemini House, 88 New London Road, Chelmsford CM2 0PD.

The International Students' Association, part of the Students' Union, arrange National Insurance number interviews at our Colchester Campus at various points in the year.

Applying for work

Many international students face challenges in explaining the qualifications they have obtained to UK employers. We offer a useful guide on explaining international qualifications (.pdf).

The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) provide a service whereby you can apply for a Statement of Comparability, for a small fee, which would provide suitable clarification about your previous qualifications when making work applications.

Further advice and information

Working outside the UK

Make use of our information and resources for job seeking outside the UK.