Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students
   
   
  

Frequently asked questions

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How many hours a week can I work during term time and the vacations?

We recommend that you do not work more than 16 hours a week during term time so that your job does not interfere with your studies.

If you are a citizen from the European Economic Area (EEA), you can work in the UK without any restrictions on the type or amount of work you can undertake. If are you a Croatian national you will only be able to work in the UK if you hold a valid accession worker authorisation document (such as a purple registration certificate) or if you are exempt from work authorisation. Croatian students working under a yellow registration certificate will also be required to show a letter confirming placement on their course and proof of the term dates that apply to them.

For non-EEA students you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacations, unless you are writing a postgraduate thesis during the summer term. There are some restrictions on the type of work you can do. If you are allowed to work, this will be outlined on your visa card issued to you by the Home Office Visas and Immigration or on the visa stamp in your passport.

If you have any questions about your entitlement to work in the UK, please read the University's International Office leaflet Working during your studies.

If you are looking for a part-time or temporary job, please visit our section on part-time and vacation work.

 
Do I need a National Insurance number? How can I get one?

You don’t need a National Insurance number to look for jobs, but once you are offered a post you must telephone the Contributions Agency on 0845 6000643 to apply for it.

You will be invited to an interview held at your local Jobcentre Plus office. It usually takes about six to 12 weeks for your application to be processed, but you can still work during this time. As soon as you have been notified of your permanent NI number, you should inform your employer. Find out more on the Gov.uk website.
 
Is there a list of international-friendly employers in the UK in my field or preferred location? 

We do not have a ready-made list of such employers, but we can offer some advice on possible strategies and resources to identify companies interested in employing international candidates.

You should also use your own networks to identify potential contacts. Find out more about networking and how it can help you in your job search.

The UK Visas and Immigration website provide a list of registered sponsors of international employees nationwide. However, it is not a searchable database and it offers scant information on the companies listed -students might need to cross-reference and research these companies themselves.

 
Can I have a list of employers seeking UK-educated candidates in my target country and field?

We do not have these kinds of lists, but our Passport Career resource and other web links and materials in our working abroad section might provide a useful starting point for your research.

Our staff might also be able to give you further advice on identifying alumni and other professional associations in your target destination, contacting consulates and chambers of commerce for company listings.  

You should also use your own networks to identify potential contacts. Find out more about networking and how it can help you in your job search.

 
How can I present an academic and professional non-UK background to UK employers?

It is important to gain a good understanding of the UK recruitment process and UK employers’ expectations of potential candidates. This will highlight what skills you can offer over and above a home applicant as well as any points that might need to be clarified or addressed in your application.

Potential employers might be unfamiliar with your institution and degree or with the feasibility of acquiring work experience while studying in your home country. In this case, you might want to highlight specific merits of your university, department and course (such as for instance ranking positions). You might also want to highlight how your academic and extra-curricular achievements meet and excel expected standards for the average candidate in your country.

Find more information about the UK recruitment process in our graduate vacancies and making applications sections. An appointment with a member of staff and a review of your CV will also be helpful.

 
What do I do if I'm asked about my UCAS tariff points in an application?

There is no official list of how UK grades or tariff points compare with other countries’ qualifications. The UCAS tariff tables offer standard conversions for several non-A level qualifications, but no equivalencies are offered for most international secondary school qualifications.

When dealing with an application form, you can contact the company requesting advice on how to fill this section, or use the spaces provided for additional information to explain the matter. A sensible option is to list your qualifications and grades providing a context and explanation for them – for instance, obtaining a 90% in a subject for which 60% constitutes a pass, or being in the top 10% of your peer group.

You may find it useful to read our leaflet on International qualification equivalencies PDF format.

UK NARIC assists non-UK students in assessing the equivalency of their qualifications when applying for jobs or courses in the UK, though their services incur a charge.

 
How can I present non-UK qualifications to UK employers?

Some large employers will provide information on this point on their recruitment pages – it is worth checking their website for any guidelines on this point. Other companies however might not be familiar with your qualifications or know their equivalents in the UK.

When dealing with an application form, you might want to contact their HR department requesting advice on how to fill this section, or offer explanations in the spaces provided for additional information. A sensible option is to list your qualifications and grades providing a context for them - for instance, obtaining a 90% in a subject for which 60% constitutes a pass, or being in the top 10% of one’s peer group.

Although the International Office advises colleagues across the University regarding international qualifications equivalencies, this is for internal use only (i.e. Admissions) and they are not able to offer official conversions/equivalencies for external use.  Please see our advice on international qualifications equivalencies for further details.

UK NARIC assists non UK students in assessing the equivalency of their qualifications when applying for jobs or courses in the UK, though their services incur a charge.

 
How should I present and explain my UK academic and professional background to non-UK employers?

Many multinational and large companies abroad might be familiar with the UK educational system and main qualifications, but that will not necessarily be the case everywhere – particularly with smaller employers. You are likely to need to do some have research to understand what employers’ expectations, address any preconceptions or clarify your achievements in your application.

You can find some country-specific sources of initial information on recruitment processes in our working abroad section. Our staff can also offer some initial advice on undertaking this type of research and you can have your CV reviewed to ensure  your achievements are properly showcased in your application.

 

 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk