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Full-time Students


Masters students are generally expected not to work during term-time. Students should consult their Faculty and Department for further details regarding official vacation dates.  

Graduate research students undertaking a course of more than 12 months may undertake paid work up to a maximum of ten hours per week with the approval of both their Supervisor and College Tutor. The work undertaken should be academic-related and take place within the University or College. Such work may include supervising undergraduates, invigilating examinations, working in a University / College library or demonstrating in a laboratory. For students who are also clinicians, this extends to work in Departments and Units within Cambridge University Health Partners. It does not extend to working in any of the University Partner Institutions.

Students should not rely on such work to generate essential income for their studies.

Students who receive funding should also check that the terms and conditions of their funding permits them to undertake work.

Students who wish to undertake some academic-related work should seek the approval of their supervisor prior to undertaking the work.  Students who wish to teach should undergo basic instruction. The Graduate Development Programme offers opportunities both through departments/faculties and centrally

The vacation dates used by undergraduate and Masters students do not apply to graduate research students who study throughout the academic year (1st October  - 30th September). Students may take breaks for holidays, up to a maximum of eight weeks a year, at times agreed with their Supervisor but such periods are not to be used to undertake full-time work.

Research Assistants whose research employment activity matches that of the research degree may work over 10 hours per week whilst being registered as a full-time student. Research Assistants must be employed by the University (this does not include University Partner Institutions).

Students on a CASE studentship, for whom a placement at an industrial partner is an integral component of their PhD studies, may work full-time at their industrial partner for the duration of their placement.


Students who have submitted their thesis for examination are no longer subject to University's restrictions on working hours during their examination period and whilst making corrections to their thesis.  Students on a Tier 4 will still be subject to restrictions laid down by UK Visas and Immigration (see below).  Students who agree to revise and resubmit their thesis for re-examination will be subject to the University's rules on working hours for the period of revision.


Students holding a Tier 4 visa

In addition to the University’s restrictions, students on a Tier 4 visa must ensure they fully understand and comply with the working conditions of their immigration permission.  

If you are a graduate research student and have been asked to teach undergraduates for one or more of the Colleges, or for the University, you will need to make special arrangements to do so.  This will include a formal document (e.g. a "contract of employment", a "worker's agreement" or some other written statement confirming your employment status) from either your College or your Faculty or Department. Please note you may find that other students (who are not on a Tier 4 visa) may not need to have the same document in place.


Taking up full-time employment for a limited period

Students who wish to suspend their studies to take up full-time employment for a limited period will need to apply for temporary removal from the Register of Graduate Students for this period.  Intermission may be a possibility in certain circumstances.  Students who hold Tier 4 visas should be aware of any visa implications before taking this course of action and are advised to contact the International Student Team for further advice.

Part-time students

Part-time students are not restricted in the hours they can work, but their admission interview will explore the extent to which they will be able to manage their work and study and their Supervisor is asked to keep the balance between these elements under review.

For further information contact Student Registry (