Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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Loughborough University

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Tier 4 Students' Work Entitlements

This general information is provided to help Tier 4 students (and others) understand how any right to work may be affected by Loughborough University term and vacation periods. Students requiring individual advice should contact the Student Advice and Support Service.

Tier 4 students who are sponsored by Loughborough University are generally permitted to work part-time alongside their studies in accordance with Tier 4 Policy Guidance. However students and employers should take note of the restrictions and ensure they are fully compliant with Tier 4 Policy and the endorsements on their visa/Biometric Residence Permit at all times. Students who believe they have been given an incorrect work entitlement should seek guidance from the Student Advice and Support Service.

Work limits include all part-time employment (i.e. may be made up of hours worked for different employers), whether paid or unpaid. Tier 4 students may freely undertake ‘volunteering activity’ but time spent undertaking ‘voluntary work’ may count towards the 10 or 20 hours weekly limit. For further information regarding the difference between volunteering and voluntary work, students should refer to the Tier 4 Policy Guidance or seek advice from the Student Advice and Support Service.

Tier 4 students may not engage in business, self-employment or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer. They are also prohibited from filling a permanent full-time vacancy. For the purposes of Tier 4, a working week is defined as a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday.

Work Restrictions by Programme Level

Further Education Students (Art and Design Foundation Studies)

Students may work for a maximum of 10 hours in any week during term time and may work full-time during University Christmas and Easter vacations. The end of the programme will typically fall on the last day of term. Students will normally receive an additional two months’ Leave to Remain after this date and may work full-time during this period.

Pre-sessional English Students

Pre-sessional students may have a Tier 4 visa that allows up to 10 or 20 hours work per week during term time depending on whether the visa was issued for the pre-sessional course only or pre-sessional and main degree. It is term time throughout the duration of the pre-sessional course. The period between the pre-sessional course end date and start of main degree will count as vacation time, during which full-time work may be undertaken.


Students may undertake work for a maximum of 20 hours in any 7-day period during term time but may work full-time during University vacations and for up to 4 months beyond the end of their programme whilst their Tier 4 visa remains valid. The end of the programme will typically fall on the last day of term in their final year.

Postgraduate Taught Students

As for undergraduates but the summer vacation should be regarded as term time and students should work no more than 20 hours in any week during that time. The end of the programme for immigration purposes is usually 12 months after the programme started for a typical one year Masters student e.g. 28 September 2015 to 27 September 2016. The end of the programme is not necessarily set by the date of a final assessment or the last submission of assessed coursework. As for undergraduates, the student visa is likely to be valid for up to 4 months after the end of the programme and the student may work full-time during this period.

China Partnership Programme Students

During the first year of the programme, term dates are as for undergraduates and students may work full-time during the summer vacation.  During the second year of the programme, the summer vacation should be regarded as term time and the 20 hour limit applies. 

Postgraduate Research Students

University terms are not relevant. Students may not work in excess of 20 hours in any week at any time unless they have been granted authorised annual leave. Postgraduate Research students at Loughborough University are entitled to eight weeks’ annual leave per annum and should provide written confirmation of the dates from the Research Student Office in advance of undertaking over 20 hours paid/voluntary work per week. Sponsored students should also note any additional restrictions imposed as a condition by their funding body. Most of the Tier 4 work restrictions do not apply to students sponsored under the Doctorate Extension Scheme after studies have been completed.

Work Placements – Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught/Research

Tier 4 students may undertake a paid or unpaid work placement as part of their Loughborough University degree, providing it is an integral and assessed part of the programme and accounts for no more than 50% of the programme length. Under normal circumstances, Loughborough University will continue to sponsor a student under Tier 4 for the duration of a UK-based placement.

Tier 4 students are permitted to undertake part-time work (up to a maximum of 20 hours per week) in addition to a work placement. However students are strongly encouraged to discuss this with their placement employer.

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