Applying for work in the UK

Students with a Tier 4/Student visa should read the information available on working in the UK during your studies and working in the UK after your studies to ensure you remain compliant with the working conditions associated with your Student visa.

Students with other forms of immigration permission studying in the UK should check your immigration documents such as entry clearance/BRP or digital status to confirm what work conditions will apply to you.

If you have any questions about the type of work your immigration permission allows, please contact the International Services Team.

Once you know your working conditions, Careers Services will be able to support you and offer advice.

Right To Work (RTW) in the UK

The amount, and type, of work you can do will depend on the conditions set out on your visa and may differ between term and vacation time. It is your responsibility to understand these conditions before you begin your job search.

Visa advice is highly regulated in the UK, we suggest using these recognized sources to find out more.

UK recruitment practices

UK application, recruitment, and selection practices may be different from those in your home country.

For example, a UK-format CV does not contain a photograph or personal details such as nationality, ethnicity, marital status, age, or gender.

To help you navigate UK practices we offer information, advice, and guidance through a range of services including a drop-in service on campus, informative workshops and webinars, employer events, and 1–1 appointments.

National Insurance Number (NINO)

Why you need a National Insurance Number

Anyone who works in the UK needs to enrol for National Insurance and get an NI number. This number, unique to you, will be used to keep track of your UK earnings and how much tax you’ve paid.

If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), you might have a National Insurance number already. It will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do. If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one to work. You can only apply once you are in the UK.

How to get a National Insurance Number

Call 0800 141 2079, Monday–Friday, 8.00am–6.00pm or visit the National Insurance Number website.  

You can apply for and start work while waiting for your application to be processed if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK.

We DO NOT recommend using online services offering fast-track NINO appointments for a fee.

Including non-UK qualifications in applications

You will be expected to list your qualifications in your CV and on application forms. To do this with non-UK qualifications we suggest you:

  • provide the name of your qualification according to the country’s education system and state that your qualifications are equivalent or comparable to the appropriate UK qualification (GCSE, A-Level, Bachelor)
  • state your final score/grade as you were awarded according to the country’s grading system
  • mention any academic prizes you gained, or if you were in the top percentile of students from your school or region.


University, Bulgaria 2014-2018
Bachelor: Computer Science & Telecommunication Engineering
Grade 9.40/10
Ranked 3rd among graduates in year 2018.
Relevant modules include:
Final year project:

Senior Secondary School, Nigeria 2016-2018
West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE)
Grade B2 (On a scale from A1 to D5)
Key subjects: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, English, and Electronics

If you don't have UCAS points

Sometimes UK application forms will ask for UCAS points. UCAS points are scores converted from school-leaving stage qualifications in the UK (A-Levels, but also the International Baccalaureate). Unfortunately, there is no official list that compares UK grades or calculates UCAS points against qualifications from other countries.

We recommend that you contact the organisation’s recruitment team, explain that you are an international applicant with a non-UK qualification, and ask how they suggest you complete the application form. Alternatively, if there’s a section on the form called ‘Additional Information’ or ‘Notes’, you could use it to include a clear explanation of your qualifications.

If necessary, The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (ENIC) can provide you with a ‘Statement of Comparability’. A fee is payable for this service.

Not sure where to start? 

Get in touch with us and we’ll point you in the right direction:

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Contact us
Colchester Campus Ground floor of the Silberrad Student Centre
Southend Campus The Info Point, second floor of The Forum