You are allowed to undertake a work placement in the UK as long as it is an assessed part of your programme and is not longer than half the programme in total. The 20 hour per week (or less) restriction does not affect your work placement.
Internships can only be undertaken as a work placement which is an assessed part of your programme or during vacations and after your programme has ended.
If your work placement is outside the UK
If you will undertake a work placement which is outside the UK, as an agreed part of your programme, you may need to apply for a visa before you travel.
Visit the Embassy of the country you are travelling to to find out which visa to apply for and how to apply.
You can produce your own Student Status Letter confirming that you are a registered student at Durham University to support your visa application. Go to Banner Self Service in DUO and click on Self-service Student Letters.
If this letter is not sufficient for the embassy, Student Registry can provide you with a different Student Status Letter which may be acceptable.
The embassy of the country you are travelling to will give you information about other documents that are required.
When can you travel?
Many European embassies or consulates expect students to have a minimum of 2-6 months' leave (permission to stay in the UK) beyond the term of your proposed trip. Check with the embassy before arranging your travel.
Extending your Tier 4 Student visa
If you are changing programmes to include a work placement and the new programme will end later than your current visa expiry date, you can apply for a new Tier 4 visa from within the UK.
When you should apply for a new visa depends on when you applied for your current visa:
Current visa issued on or after 6th April 2016:
- Apply for a new visa from within the UK at any time after your department has changed your programme and before you start your year abroad:
- Request a new CAS from the Student Immigration Service as soon as your department has changed your programme and apply for a new visa
- Allow up up to 8 weeks for standard Tier 4 applications
- Apply for a new visa in your home country at any time after your department has changed your programme and before you start your year abroad or within 3 months of your visa expiring.
- Once you have applied you will be required to return to the UK to collect your new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
- Request a new CAS from the Student Immigration Service once your department has changed your programme and travel home to apply for a new visa.
*Refers to work placements outside the UK. If you are adding a work placement which is in the UK. you can apply for a new visa at any time before your visa expires.
Current visa issued before 6th April 2016:
- Apply for a new visa at any time before your current visa expires, either from within the UK:
- Apply for a new visa in your home country any time before your current visa expires from outside the UK:
- Request a new CAS from the Student Immigration Service once you know the date you will travel home to apply and the approximate date you will return to the UK.
Please note: If you leave the UK at any time, you must apply for the correct visa for your programme before you return to the UK. You should not attempt to re-enter the UK uwith your original visa if your programme has changed.
Collecting your BRP
If you apply for a new visa to change programmes, you will be issued with a 30 day entry clearance visa and will be expected to travel to the UK within that period and collect your new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arrival in the UK.
If you do not travel to the UK within the period of the 30 day entry clearance visa, you will need to request a replacement.
You must collect your BRP and present it to the Student Immigration Office before starting your work placement.
Information about working during your studies is also available from UKCISA