skip to content

Full-time Students

Taught students undertaking taught Masters courses (for example, the MPhil by Advanced Study) are normally expected not to work during term-time. Students should consult their Faculty and Department for further details regarding vacation dates when they may be able to work. Any time between the end of the final term and the dissertation submission deadline should not be considered as vacation as students are still expected to be working on their studies at this time.

Research students undertaking a course of more than 12 months or the MPhil by Research 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 either academic-related,  related to a student's professional or career development, outreach work undertaken on behalf of the University or related to covid-19.  Academic related work may include supervising undergraduates, invigilating examinations, working in a University / College library or demonstrating in a laboratory. Students who are also clinicians may work in Departments and Units within Cambridge University Health Partners.

Research students:

  • may work for more than one employer (e.g their Department and their College) but must ensure that the total number of hours worked per week does not exceed 10
  • should not rely on such work to generate essential income for their studies.
  • if in receipt of funding, should check that the terms and conditions of their funding permits them to undertake work.

Students who wish to teach should undergo basic instruction.The Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning offers training both through departments and centrally.

The vacation dates used by undergraduate and taught Masters students do not apply to postgraduate 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 should  not be used for the purpose of undertaking work.

Working as a Research Assistant Research Assistants whose research employment activity is the same as their 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).  This arrangement is not normally possible for  students on a Tier 4/Student visa.
CASE studentships 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.
After thesis submission Students who have submitted their thesis for examination are no longer subject to the University's restrictions on working hours (the 10 hours per week limit referred to above) during their examination period and whilst making (minor or major) corrections to their thesis.  However, if they are working in a job outside Cambridge whilst making corrections to their thesis, they will need to apply for leave to work away. They are not required to apply for leave to work away for the period between submission of the thesis and formal notification by Student Registry of the outcome of the examination’ Students who work whilst undertaking corrections to their thesis are not expected to apply for an extension to the deadline for submission of their corrected thesis. Students on a Tier 4/Student visa will still be subject to restrictions laid down by UK Visas and Immigration (see below).  
Revise and resubmit 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 (i.e. up to 10 hours per week). Students who wish to take up employment should apply for a change of mode of study.
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 withdrawal from study for this period.  Intermission may be a possibility in certain circumstances.  Students who hold Tier 4/Student visas should be aware of any visa implications before taking this course of action and are advised to contact the International Student Office for further advice.


Students holding a Tier 4/Student visa

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

This includes restrictions on the type of work permitted. Tier 4/Student visa holders must not be self-employed and must therefore ensure they are given a formal document (e.g. a "contract of employment", a "worker's agreement" or some other written statement confirming your employment status) even if other students (who are not on a Tier 4/Student visa) are not required to have the same document in place. For work undertaken within the Collegiate University, the employing College, Faculty or Department would provide this document.

Income Tax

Students who wish to undertake work should ensure that they are aware of any visa or tax implications with regards to their employment or employment status. 

Students who undertake work may be liable for tax and national insurance payments depending on their circumstances.  Any monies earned would be considered income which is potentially taxable.   For students who are in receipt of a studentship whether the studentship would be considered taxable income may depend on whether the conditions of the studentship require the recipient to provide work as an element of the studentship.   Further information can be found at or should be sought from the Faculty, Department, College or external employer, although the University is not able to provide personal tax advice to students.

Staff Unions

Research students may be interested in joining their local Unite or University and College Union (UCU) branches. Their websites can be found here:


University and College Union (UCU): CUCU website

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 the Student Registry at: