Working after study

Updated on 3 May 2021

If you have studied using a Tier 4 / Student visa there are several methods to work in the UK after the end of your course

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The available options for working after study will depend on your immigration status.

Working in the time remaining on your Tier 4 / student visa after completion of studies

If you have time remaining on your Tier 4 / Student visa when you complete your course you can work full-time in a temporary job until your student visa expires (as long as it doesn’t exceed 4 months and you don’t take up a permanent position).

If your employer requires evidence of completion of your studies you can request a letter to prove your right to work from

For more information on working when you are no longer studying and the end of your Student visa / Tier 4 visa, please visit the UKCISA website.

If you are eligible to remain and work in the UK after study, you must meet the criteria to apply for a visa to remain in the UK before your existing visa expires. 

Skilled worker route (was Tier 2)

If you have received an offer of employment by a licensed employer to do a specific job that meets the minimum levels of skill and salary, you will be able to apply under this route from the UK or from your home country. A full guide to the skilled worker route is available on the Home Office website.

Start-up and innovator schemes

The Start-up route is aimed at people, including those with Tier 4 and Student permission, who wish to establish a business in the UK, and who have a business plan endorsed by a Home Office-approved endorsing body. It replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route.

EEA and Swiss nationals

31 December 2020 is the deadline for EEA and Swiss nationals to move to the UK under their right of free movement under EU law. They can secure their ongoing right to work by applying under the Brexit - EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021.

Those who arrive on or after 1 January 2021 will be subject to immigration control and will need visas for study and work

Graduate route (known as post-study work)

This route is for students with a Tier 4 or Student visa who will complete a degree in or after the summer of 2021. In order to be eligible, such students must be in the UK for their last semester before 21 June 2021. Undergraduate and Master’s degree students will be able to apply for two years and PhD students can apply for three years after they graduate.

The Home Office have produced a fact sheet which may offer guidance.

Doctorate Extension Scheme

The current Doctorate Extension Scheme is expected to close and merge with the above Graduate route by Summer 2021. PhD graduates will get three years' permission under the Graduate route, not two years.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility for any of the above schemes, contact the International Advice Service by email:

For careers advice and support visit the University’s careers service

For more information on working after your studies, please visit the UKCISA website.


International Advice Service

+44 (0)1382 385676