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Staff Guidance: Work Placements

Section 1: Purpose and Contents of this page:

This page has been created to give guidance to staff for international students going on a work placement.

UG Students: Student can do work placements as long as it is a part of their course, example: doing work placement in third year of the 4 year course.

Masters students: Please be aware that taught Master's students cannot do a work placement (or add adhoc placements) unless it is an integral and assessed part of the course. The Placement should be a module and credit bearing, if not then they will need to wait until their course ends to start working full-time, although they can request a 'course completion' letter if they submit their dissertation earlier. See full details HERELink opens in a new window.

PGR / PHD Students: Please see information on PGR INTERNSHIPSLink opens in a new window I NEWSLink opens in a new window

International students subject to immigration control in the UK are likely to require additional support as a work placement triggers some additional checks and considerations.


Section 2: Course student is enrolled on

International placement searchers should be flagged by academic departments for monitoring.

Once an UG international student secures a full-year placement (UK or International) academic departments need to consider which degree route the student is enrolled on.


UG International (non EU) national:


  • If student is on a 4 year with integrated/intercalated placement, no further action.
  • If student is enrolled on a 3 year route, where departments allow, students should be transferred to a ‘with placement year degree route’. It is important to ensure that any student visa holder wishing to do this liaises with the Immigration and Compliance team to ensure there are no implications for their visa in doing this.

Should no such option exist within the department international students on a Student Visa should be advised that they are not eligible for the ‘voluntary year out’ opportunity within the UK. International students on other visa types are advised to seek advice from the Immigration and Compliance team about whether their visa permits them to undertake such a placement.


International students on a Student Visa may be considered for an international ‘voluntary year out’, this would need to be exceptionally agreed by the Student Records team, after the student consults with the immigration team who will be able to advise.


If this is approved, the student will need to obtain a new Student Visa to return to complete their studies as sponsorship has to be stopped if they are permitted to undertake the voluntary year out note:


this will incur a significant cost to the student. Advice may be sought from the Immigration and Compliance Team regarding making a new application

PGT / Master International (non EU) national:

Master's students cannot do a work placement (or add adhoc placements) unless it is an integral and assessed part of the course. The Placement should be a module and needs to be credit bearing, if not then they will need to wait until their course ends to start working full-time, although they can request a 'course completion' letter if they submit their dissertation earlier. See full details HERELink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window.

As this placements will be a module/credit bearing, it should not go over the current course end date. If the student decides to work for the same company beyond the course end date, then they should do so on individual basis and not as a placement.

Section 3: Visas and Immigration

Please note that a Tier 4 visa is now known as a Student Visa

Free movement to the UK ended on 1 January 2021, following Brexit. EU students must now either apply for immigration permission under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) or, if not eligible, obtain a Student Visa sponsored by the University. Please ask the student to contact the Student Immigration & Compliance team if EU students require advice on their eligibility for each visa type.

You are not expected to, nor should you, provide immigration and visa advice to students, as these are specialist areas governed by the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Students should be signposted to relevant pages of the university’s Immigration and Compliance website or directed to the Immigration team for specific queries:

Practitioners should be aware of:

  • working hours for student visa holders, usually printed on the student’s visa sticker or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), although the conditions may be different for work placements
  • Working permissions for EU students will differ depending on whether the student has been awarded EUSS status or holds a Student Visa

Please refer to the information for staff webpagesLink opens in a new window.

Section 4: Responsibilities of the Academic Departments and work condition letter for employers

Once the outgoing placement is agreed, the academic department should complete a ‘change of study locationLink opens in a new window’ online form

The student’s home department should inform Student Records, once a placement has been confirmed for the international student so that a report of this can be made to the Home Office.

UG Students: Should a visa extension be required for students should liaise directly with the Student Immigration and Compliance TeamLink opens in a new window (note: the student will incur cost for the extension of their visa). Please note that PGT students cannot extend their visas to cover a placement.

Should the placement provider require a letter from the University to confirm the student’s eligibility to carry out a placement, the department are able to produce the required letter. Departments can use this TEMPLATELink opens in a new window - please make sure that the letter is printed on department's letter headed paper, signed and stamped

While the student is out on their placement year, they should be subject to the required engagement monitoring practice as outlined in the ‘monitoring student attendance and progression, good practice guideLink opens in a new window’ - and reported accordingly

“Sponsored students must be monitored monthly by recording expected contact points in Tabula/MyWBS”

Please see policy on Education Policy and QualityLink opens in a new window

Should the circumstances change at any point (for example the placement no longer takes place; the student stops the placement earlier than expected; or the placement location changes), this should be reported to Student Records who will need to update their record accordingly and make any required report to the Home Office.

Once the student returns back to the University from the placement another report should be made via the ‘change of study locationLink opens in a new window’ online form so that Student Records can make the necessary report to the Home Office.

Section 5: Compliance responsibility of the University

The University holds a Student Sponsor Licence, which allows us to recruit and teach international students.

To retain our licence, the University must comply with the sponsor obligations as set out by the UKVI, which includes reporting changes in student circumstances and monitoring engagement. All reports that we are required to make need to be made within 10 working days of us becoming aware of a change to a student’s circumstances.

Information regarding the University’s compliance obligations may be found on the staff web pagesLink opens in a new window.

Specific information on work placement reporting (to the UKVI) can be found on Student Records Staff procedure guidance.

Section 6: If you have further queries and useful links:

If, after reading the guidance above, and you are still unsure of what you should do next, please contact Student Immigration to discuss your situation via the following methods:





Please click on the following links for more information






Page Change Log:

Page Audit Review:
Previous Review Date Reviewed By Next Review Date
28 Mar 2023 ISA: YA 27 Mar 2024
Page Updates:
Section Updated Sub Section Short summary of update Updated By Updated When
All   Added PGT work placements and updated template ISM:YA 28 Mar 2023
Section 4 All updated template ISM: YA 04 nov 2022
Section 5   Added link re work placement reporting ISM: EZ 10 Oct 2022
All All Page Created ISA: YA 21 May 2022