Policy on student employment during studies
The College is aware that most students will face varying degrees of financial pressures which make it necessary for them to contemplate part-time work while studying full-time, however, they should not plan their studies on the assumption that they will be able to hold down a part-time job to support them during the degree programme.
Degree programmes at Imperial are very demanding and intensive and students will generally have a full timetable though this still leaves opportunities to participate in sporting and other social activities offered by the Students’ Union. Students are encouraged to take part in IC Union activities to complement their academic study especially as such a wide range of opportunities is unlikely to recur in later life.
Each student is responsible for setting their own balance between academic work and social or sporting activities, however, the College is of the view that students’ principal focus must be on the academic demands of their programme. Students are expected to produce regular coursework to deadlines and prepare for classes/labs, as well as revising for examinations.
The College recommends that full-time students do not take up part-time work during term-time. If this is unavoidable we advise students to work no more than 10-15 hours per week, which should be principally at weekends and not within the normal working hours of the College.
Working in excess of these hours could impact adversely on a student’s studies or health. International students should be advised that most visas allow students to work no more than 20 hours a week. Some sponsors may not permit students to take up work outside their studies and others may specify a limit. Students considering part-time work during term time are strongly advised to discuss this issue with their personal tutor. International students should also seek advice from the International Office regarding visa limitations on employment.
The College does not condone situations where a student’s employment would cause them to miss teaching or other departmental activity during the College working day, or submit coursework after the specified deadline.
It should be noted that there are some opportunities for part-time work at College, for example in the Students’ Union, in Catering and in halls. Some final year undergraduates and some postgraduate research students will have the opportunity to undertake paid tutorial and demonstration duties for which training will be provided.
Certain students may be required to undertake a work placement or internship whilst at College in which case this would be an assessed part of their course.
The College’s examination boards will not normally consider as mitigating circumstances any negative impact that part-time work during term-time may have had on a student’s performance in examinations or in other assessed work. Nor can examinations or vivas be rescheduled to accommodate students’ part-time working arrangements.