This page will provide you with information on working in the UK and tips on working outwith the UK during and after your studies.

If you are interested in further study, visit the Further Study & Funding section of our website for information on study options, finding courses and research opportunities, and funding.

Working during your studies

While studying in the UK, engaging with voluntary activities and working part-time are great ways to gain work experience and transferable skills, which help to improve your professionalism and employability for your future career.
There are things to consider before finding a job:

  • National Insurance. Visit the AUSA website for advice on what a National Insurance number is, why you need one and how to get one. For more detailed information on National Insurance visit the website. 
  • Work restrictions and regulations. You may have restrictions on the numbers of hours you can work and the type of work that you can do while you study. It is your responsibility to check any restrictions before applying for jobs.

The Careers Service is not authorised to give any advice on working and other visas. The following website answers commonly asked questions regarding entitlement to work in the UK and work restrictions.

For more information on working in the UK during your studies, please visit the following section of our website.

If you have queries regarding other issues during your studies here, including visas, please contact the International Student Advisers

Working in the UK

If you want to work in the UK after you complete your studies, you will need a visa which allows you to live and work in the UK.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides in-depth information on the most common options:

  • Tier 2 (General): This route allows employers to 'sponsor' non-EU citizens to work in their organisation for a specific period of time.
  • Start-up Visa: This route is for graduates with an exceptional business idea, who would like to start a business in the UK. See separate section below for more details.
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker): This route allows graduates to undertake specific types of work in the UK with sponsorship for a period of one to two years, depending on the schemes.
  • Doctoral Extension Scheme: This route gives PhD students who have almost finished their qualification an additional 12 months leave to remain in which to look for and start work.


Start-up Visa

The University of Aberdeen can sponsor a very limited number of graduates through this visa route. To be eligible, you will need to:

  • have a well-developed business idea and
  • be fully engaged with Research and Innovation or Enterprise Campus at the University of Aberdeen, or with the Scottish Institute for Enterprise or another enterprise/entrepreneurial support route such as Business Gateway or Scottish Enterprise.

To review the full eligibility criteria, guidelines and application procedures, please email You should also consult the information on the Start-up Visa on the Home Office website.
Please note that the University of Aberdeen does not currently sponsor graduates from other institutions.


Further information

You can find more details about these, and other, visa options on the UK Home Office website and the UKCISA website. Whilst there are other visa options they all have their own specific requirements. Make sure you keep up to date via both websites. The Careers Service can provide general advice on visas but we are unable to provide individual visa advice.

Working outside the UK

Working overseas provides opportunities to experience new cultures, learn new languages and enhance your adaptability and employability in different environments. If you are an international student, the resources on this page may help you with the transition to finding work back home. Whether you are considering working internationally or you are an international student who wants to return home or work in another country, you should start to research your options as soon as possible.

Advice on returning home

  • Read the UKCISA guide on Preparing to return home
  • Capitalise on the advantages of studying abroad:
    • Learn how studying in the UK has benefited previous University of Aberdeen students. For example, Xiao Xuan says, “This experience has improved my presentation skills from classes, my problem solving skill by living alone for a long time, and communication skills from socialising with other students from all over the world.”. Read more from Xiao and other Chinese students.
    • Read our advice on gaining work experience during your studies.
    • Make the most of University of Aberdeen co-curricular activities to develop your skills and enhance your employability. Selected co-curricular activities are also recorded on your Enhanced Transcript which you will receive with your degree certificate.
  • Research the job market of your home country. GradLink UK has graduate job market information for China, Malaysia, India and Africa.

Information for specific countries

Top tips
  • Start early: Many vacancies close almost a year before the start date. You have to be organised or you will miss out! UK graduate recruiters often advertise between September and December for graduate vacancies commencing the following September.
  • Make the most of the Careers Service: we can assist you with career planning and how to approach CVs, applications and interviews. Visit our about us section to find out more about what we do.
  • Find out what UK employers want: This may differ to the employment market in your home country. Make sure you understand what UK employers want by attending employer presentations, careers fairs and, of course, by asking the Careers Service.
  • Get involved: UK employers want more than just a degree. Make sure you stand out from the crowd by gaining work experience and getting involved in co-curricular activities.
  • Keep up to date with immigration legislation: If you want to stay in the UK, it is vital that you understand your options. Keep up-to-date with the UKCISA and UK Visas and Immigration websites.