Work placements

As part of your course, you might choose to do a work placement. Find out more about what you are allowed to do.

If you have a Tier 4 visa you can undertake courses which include a work placement if:

  • the course of study is at degree level or above or
  • the course meets UK Visas & Immigration’s definition of a "foundation degree" or
  • the course is below degree level (and is not a foundation degree) and is being undertaken at a Highly Trusted Sponsor institution (such as the University of Leeds).

The following criteria apply to course-related work placements:

  • The period spent on a work placement must not exceed half the total length of the course being undertaken in the UK. The only exception is in the case of courses which have a statutory requirement that the placement makes up more than half of the course, such as teacher training courses
  • If you're only studying part of your course in the UK and studying the remainder at your home university, the work placement must form part of the overseas qualification. You must also study at least half of your time in the UK.

Work placements that are course-related and are part of the assessment process can be more than the 10 or 20 hours work per week that you are entitled to work under Tier 4.

You can decide to do a work placement after your course has started. It's likely that you'll need to make a further Tier 4 application to allow time to complete your studies. Due to change in Tier 4 policy you will need to make this application outside the UK in your home country or country of normal residence. Check our guidance on the process of applying under tier 4 outside the UK.

Work placements can take place at any time during your studies and can be on-going throughout the course.

Sandwich courses (courses which include a work placement)

There aren't any restrictions to the number of hours a week you can work on a placement as part of a sandwich course.

For a sandwich course:

  • the work placement must be included as part of the course and
  • the work placement must be clearly defined and
  • the work placement must be approved by the University and
  • the course must lead to a degree awarded by the University and
  • the work placement must not extend beyond the end of the course.

Internships

Internships are more restrictive than work placements and sandwich courses. If you want to undertake an internship, please read the definition below and then check with the International Student Office before accepting an offer.

  • you must be studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course in the UK and
  • the internship must be offered by an employer to a potential employee, whether the future employment is in or outside the UK and
  • the internship must be an established part of the employer’s recruitment procedure and
  • you must not have previously undertaken an internship with the employer and
  • the internship must last no longer than three months and
  • must not cause you to exceed the your visa's work restrictions.
  • Your internship can be paid or unpaid.