Work Placements and Experience

Work placements (including sandwich years) and other employment experience opportunities for Tier 4 students

Tier 4 students may be able to take up a work placement (WP) or other employment experience opportunity (EEO) dependant on certain criteria around:

  • Accreditation (whether it is an assessed part of the course or not)
  • Timing (whether it is in term or vacation time)
  • Length (how long the opportunity lasts)
  • Visa length

As a general rule, Tier 4 students are welcome to undertake any WP or EEO that they like which is taken during designated vacation time and which can be completed within their current immigration leave (visa).
However, if a WP or EEO is to be taken during designated term time or is not able to be completed within current immigration leave, it will need to be checked as permissible under Tier 4 regulations.

As of the 11th January 2018, students who need to make a Tier 4 application to undertake a study abroad programme or an assessed work placement, or who need to extend their visa having completed a study abroad programme or work placement as part of their course, will be exempt from having to meet any requirement about academic progress. This means that as of this date students can extend their visa from within the UK if the addition of a work placement or study abroad programme requires that they do so.

It is important to note the following key points if undertaking a WP or EEO during designated term time:

  • Any University monitoring and assessment requirements must be adhered to and can be requested by the UKVI
  • Any additional employment taken outside of the WP or EEO (e.g. working concurrently in a part-time job) will still have to be within Tier 4 working conditions of either 20 or 10 hours (as will be stated on the visa)
  • Any overtime that has not been agreed in the WP or EEO working hours will have to be within Tier 4 working conditions of either 20 or 10 hours (as will be stated on the visa)
  • If overtime and additional employment are both being undertaken, these combined will have to be within Tier 4 working conditions of either 20 or 10 hours (as will be stated on the visa)

If you have any further queries around a specific WP or EEO please email the IISA team with as much information about the opportunity as possible so that they can help you.