Tip: Check your BRP when you receive it to see if you have the correct permission to work. If you have the incorrect conditions contact us before starting to work.
Under the UK immigration rules, you are legally permitted to work with the following restrictions:
a maximum of 20 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for degree students
a maximum of 10 hours paid or unpaid work per week during term time for Language Centre students
full time work is permitted during vacations - 12 month Masters students must read the section on vacation time to understand what rights you have during the summer.
you cannot take a permanent contract ( we will update this once we have received the guidance for the new Skilled Worker Route)
These also apply if you are working remotely in the UK for an overseas employer. If you are doing the work in the UK you are bound by the restrictions of your visa.
When is 'vacation time'?
IMPORTANT: READING WEEKS ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AS VACATION AND YOU CANNOT WORK FULL TIME DURING READING WEEK.
All students can work full time during the Christmas and Easter vacations. Undergraduate students and two year MSc students in their first year benefit from a summer vacation between academic years.
I'm a 12 month MSc student. Do I get a summer vacation so I can work full time?
If you are a 12 month or second year Masters student, you do not benefit from a summer vacation. You are still academically engaged with writing your dissertation at this point. This means you are unable to take a full time position starting before the official end date of your programme as stated on your CAS.
Important: Your dissertation submission date is not the official end date of your programme so do not assume you can start working full time once you have submitted your dissertation. If you are unsure, check with the Student Advice and Engagment Management Team before you start working full time.
Can I request a vacation?
If you are a 12 month or two year Masters student in your second year, your academic department is able to authorise a single, four week vacation during your dissertation period. During these four weeks, you will be able to work full time.
Before starting your full time work, you will need to request a letter. You cannot work full time without this letter and it cannot be issued retrospectively.
You will only be issued a letter confirming this vacation period if the email is sent by a member of staff in your academic department.
If your department agrees to authorise a vacation period, they will need to contact the Visa Compliance Team with your full name; LSE ID number; and the dates of your holiday period that they are willing to authorise (no more than four weeks long).
Any full time work completed during the dissertation period without permission is a breach of your visa conditions. As a Student visa sponsor, LSE is legally required as part of our sponsor licence agreement to report any students we are aware have breached the conditions of their visa.
Please note that disruption to studies resulting from a vacation period cannot be used in an appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners.
I am an MRes/PhD student. Is it different for me?
One year MRes students do not benefit from a summer vacation so you should follow the same guidance as for 12 month MSc students.
If you are on a two year MRes programme, the summer between years one and two are considered as vacation and as such you can work full time under the immigration rules during LSE's official vacation period.
LSE Term Dates
What are the term dates for PhD students?
For all registered PhD students, vacations are the Christmas and Easter breaks in each year of registration. However, you are considered to be continuing your studies during the summer vacation.
PhD students do not benefit from a summer vacation and are not able to request a vacation during term time. You may be able to request a vacation during the summer, but you must speak to your supervisor and the PhD Academy about this.
Work restrictions during out-of term assessment periods
If you are required to undertake re-take assessments of any form during the in-year resit period, or you have any exams during the January exam period, you should consider this as term-time and should only work a maximum of 20 hours per week.
When can I start working full-time at the end of my studies?
You can start working full-time once your official programme end date has passed. Your official programme end date is the date that was provided on your CAS number not the date you submit your dissertation or complete your examinations. You must refer to the official end date given to the UKVI not the date you submit your last assessment or you risk breaking immigration law and losing potential opportunities to remain in the UK in the future.
The Home Office considers the extra two or four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.
Is it different for PhD students?
PhD students who submit as expected can start working full time after their thesis submission date as stated on their CAS has passed (even if they submit early). The exceptions to this are:
Confirmation of further studies for your viva - if your department confirms to the PhD Academy that you are in full time study preparing for your viva and need to extend your Student visa, you will be restricted to working 20 hours per week (paid or unpaid). This means that you will be required to finish any full time position you may hold.
Confirmation of further studies for corrections post viva - if your department confirms to the PhD Academy that you are in full time study completing your corrections post-viva and need to extend your Student visa, you will be restricted to working 20 hours per week (paid or unpaid). This means that you will be required to finish any full time position you may hold.
Any work of more than 20 hours would be a breach of their conditions. If you are unsure if you are affected, contact us for advice.
The Home Office considers the extra four months at the end of your visa to be vacation, so you can work full time during this period. However, the same conditions apply unless you are switching into a different immigration route e.g. Startup or Skilled Worker.
More information can be found on the UKCISA web site.
We cannot provide letters for employers confirming your ability to work full time at the end of your studies.